I’m Teaching My Toddler Some Responsibilities with a Chart

In case you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of the Melissa and Doug brand of educational toys. Given my love for their products and commitment to craftsmanship, when my first daughter received a Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart as a Christmas gift as a 12 month-old, I was stoked. Wait. Uhh, for the sake of my “cool” points, please ignore the fact that I said “stoked” in reference to a baby product. Please.

Anyway, so we got a responsibility chart, which is a chart that parents can use to encourage good/desired behaviors in their children, behaviors like saying please and thank you and sharing, with the promise of a magnet that reads such exclamatory phrases like “Good job!” or “Excellent!” The chart is organized with goals/desired behaviors in the left column. The right column features days of the week.

We began using our responsibility chart with our first daughter when she was almost 2. And while the packaging for the chart says that it’s most recommended for children ages 3+, my toddler adores this chart and so do I. Here’s why:

  • The magnets stay put on the chart when applied.
  • The goals/responsibility magnets features a range of tasks that are conducive to a variety of age groups.
  • The craftsmanship. It’s Melissa and Doug, so quality toys are what I have come to expect and what I know I’m getting as a consumer.

While all of the tasks on the chart are not yet applicable to my toddler, many of the tasks are. Also, given that the board can double as a dry erase board (this was discovered by an accident that I’d rather not repeat out loud) I can write in my tasks in the left column to make the chart totally two-year old friendly.

So, what’s on my chart for my two year old? Oh, you know, just the standards, or “say please and thank-you,” “no whining,” “using the potty,” “eat veggies,” “take a bath,” “brush teeth,” ” keep hands to yourself.” Some magnet tasks geared to older children, that I have yet to use with my toddler are, “set the table,” “empty dishwasher,” “make bed,” “don’t use bad language,” “take care of pets,” “help with outdoor chores,” “clean up room,” “do homework,” “clear table,” “take out trash,” “put clothes in washer,” etc.

My toddler is still very interested in trying to throw the magnets at her baby sister, so that’s why I keep our chart out of her reach. It’s hanging in our kitchen at the moment. But that’s not the point, the point is that children learn through receiving rewards and that the Melissa and Doug responsibility chart is a great way to bribe, I mean, inspire your children to take on responsibilities that are age-appropriate.

So would I recommend the Melissa and Doug responsibility chart to other parents? Yes! I imagine this responsibility chart being one of the “toys” that goes with us for the distance. So in ten years, when my child is “perfect” and cleaning our house while I eat bons bons and watch soaps, I’ll be sure to report back. Hahahaha.

SHOP Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart HERE

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Jessica lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband and two girls. Once upon a time, pre-motherhood, she did many things as a “serious-looking” woman who managed to successfully balance a reality TV addiction with a career and academic pursuits. She's now a serious-acting woman whose primary job is raising her children. She writes, reads, fantasizes about minivans, and takes midday naps. She enjoys (among many other things) dancing to 80s music, photography, laughing out loud (at, usually, inappropriate moments), and writing about writing, being a writer, and becoming fearless on her blog Jessica F. Hinton

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