30 useful tools that will make kids more independent and happy to help with chores

Raluca Loteanu August 2, 2017
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tools that encourage young kids to be independent

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If you are looking for tools that encourage young kids to be independent and help with chores, here is a list of 30 tools that you can use in your home!

One of the things that people often notice about my son is that he is really independent and he likes to help with chores. So I often get questions about how I taught him to be independent at such an early age. The truth is that it was not my achievement! Ever since Bogdan was a baby I truly believed in his ability to learn new things on his own. The only things that I did to encourage his independence was to allow him to do as many things on his own as he could. And I still do this every day!

Every child has a huge capability of learning and they can surprise us a lot if we just allow them to be independent! I totally believe in the power of trusting our kids and guiding them without interfering more than necessary. I discovered this approach while reading about the Montessori principles and applying it in our lives helped me raise a more independent and confident child. The main rule that we followed when it comes to independence is to give our child the tools he needed for doing many things on his own.

Here are some of the great benefits that this approach can bring:

– children gain more confidence that they are able to do a lot of things without an adult’s help

– they learn new skills in a natural way while doing daily life activities and become more willing to help with chores

– kids – children feel that they have more control over their lives and that eliminates a lot of frustrations

– parents can involve the kids in their daily activities and this makes things easier to handle (e.g. instead of giving them something to do while you cook or clean, you can involve them in the chores).

And one last very important benefit: Kids have a lot of fun! It is so wonderful to see the joy in the eyes of a 2-year old who managed to prepare his first omelet. Or the smile on a toddler’s face when he manages to clean the table as mom does. 🙂

If you want to help your kids become more independent and confident in their own abilities, I’ve gathered here a list of tools and ideas that will allow you to do this. First of all, I want to share with you the changes in our home that helped our son have more independence. Some of them are really easy to put into practice! And you will enjoy the benefits right away!

Also, I’ve included here a complete list of tools that you can use in your home to encourage young kids to be independent and help with chores.

{ If you wonder what chores a young child can do, I invite you to discover our list of ideas here: Chore ideas for young kids and how to put them into practice [+ printable chore list] }

The tools and ideas that made a difference in our house

We started to implement most of them when my son was 10 months old because then was when we moved in our own house. Before we lived for a year in my parents-in-law’s house where we couldn’t make a lot of changes.

1. We put his toys and clothes at his level.

This way he always had access to them. The most effective method for us was to hang the clothes on an adjustable garment rack (similar to this one). The rack allowed him to see the clothes without taking them out of the hangers. So he was able to choose the clothes and take them off the hangers without making a mess. In our new home, we have a separate dressing and the below racks are “reserved” for his clothes.

For toys and books, we used shelves that were at his level. You will see some of them below, in the list of tools.tools that encourage young kids to be independentphoto credit: Yuganov Constantin / shutterstock.com

2. We adjusted our kitchen to allow our son to be more independent at meal time.

We created a separate drawer that contained his own vessels and tableware. They were all safe and break-proof so he could use them on his own. We also placed another step stool in front of the kitchen sink to allow him to reach it and use it to wash dishes.

3. We made the bathroom accessories accessible for him.

This was really easy! We bought a step stool and placed it in front of the sink. We also placed his self-care items within reach (comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap).

4. We replaced the crib and our normal bed with floor beds.

This allowed my son to go in and out of the bed on his own even when he was still a baby. Now we still have a big floor bed in our bedroom.

A floor bed can either be a very low bed or just a mattress placed directly on the floor. We have a high mattress that it’s placed on the carpet. I know that this is not an option for many parents who don’t like this idea but for us, it worked great!tools that encourage young kids to be independentDifferent photos of Bogdan’s room in our old house (he was a toddler at that time)

5. We enabled him to take part in all the chores.

This was possible with only a few little changes. For example, we created a laundry basket for his clothes. So he got used to putting the dirty clothes in the basket and let us know when it was full. Then he could help us sort his laundry and put it in the laundry machine.

We bought chemical-free cleaning products and some small-sized tools for him to help me with the cleaning. (you will find a list of the tools in the below list)

Also, we bought a learning tower that was a great investment. A learning tower is a tool that enables young kids (babies and toddlers) to help with cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. Here are two practical learning towers you can check out: Little Partners Learning Tower and Guidecraft Kitchen Helper. They are expensive but the good news is that you can also find them for sale in Montessori groups at more affordable prices. I bought ours from another mom and it was much convenient this way. When Bogdan grew and we didn’t need it anymore we also sold it on a group and recovered some of the money.

The complete list of tools that encourage young kids to be independent and help with chores

Here is a complete list of tools that enable young kids to be independent and do a lot of things on their own. I’ve created this list using my experience but also some great advice I received from a group of Montessori moms.

You don’t need to have all these tools in your house to have an independent child! But having some of them will certainly help! You can start with a few of them that you think that your child will like. After you will see the benefits of using them, you will probably go on with introducing new ones in your child’s life. At least this is what happened in our case!

* Young kids need adult supervision when using any of these tools.

Child’s room

1. Low shelf storage for toys – you can find a lot of nice design with affordable prices at Ikea. We love their furniture! I also like this model from Amazon because it combines open shelves with baskets.

2. Sling Bookshelf (great for young kids and also practical)

3. Adjustable garment rack for hanging the child’s clothes (plus small baskets for socks, accessories, and underwear) – we used this instead of a classical closet when Bogdan was a toddler and wanted to choose his own clothes because it was more practical and easy to use

4. Floor bed (for babies and toddlers)


4. Learning Tower (the one that I talked about earlier in this article)

5. Step stool

6. Plastic dishes and cutlery (we like the ones from Ikea a lot because they are colorful and practical)

Tools for cooking

7. Stainless Steel Pitcher

8. Mini glass juicer

9. Mini Silicone Tongs (these are great for fine motor activities too)

10. Silicone Mini Whisks

11. Vegetables peeler

12. Colander

13. Apple slicer

14. Egg slicer

15. Nylon Knifes (this set is specially designed for kids)

16. Fruit And Vegetable Wavy Chopper Knife

17. Vegetable Crinkle Cutter

18. Spreader (great for making sandwiches)

19. Stainless Steel Masher

20. If you prefer to use tools with a more playful design, you can check out this 11-Piece Kids’ Chef Kit from Curious Chef. They also have this nice 6-Piece Fruit and Veggie Prep Kit for kids.


22. Faucet handle extender set (it allows very young kids to use the sink without help)

23. Step stool (or this one for younger kids)

24. Laundry basket for child’s clothes

Cleaning tools

25. Chemical-free cleaning products (we like the ones from Seventh Generation)

26. Dust, Sweep and Mop Set from Melissa & Doug (perfect size for kids)

27. Little Helper Broom Set (great for little hands)

28. Dustpan and Brush Crumb Collector Set

29. Mini Dust Pan And Brush Set

30. Microfiber Duster

I hope that you have found some practical ideas on our list of tools and that you will try them with your kids! Children love to be independent and do things on their own and it’s great when we can encourage this from an early age! Not only that this makes them more confident but it can also be very helpful for us during our daily chores. And kids are really willing to help if we allow them to discover new things, have more freedom, and get involved in many of our activities!

More from Playful Notes

A step by step guide to toy rotation: a way to use fewer toys and encourage more independent play

How to create an effective morning routine for kids (+morning checklist printable)

4 Montessori inspired learning activities about animals (+ printable animal cards)Practical tools for kids: If you are looking for tools that encourage young kids to be independent and help with chores, here is a list of 30 tools that you can use in your home! | Montessori tools for kids | Practical life tools for kids | Montessori tips | Tools that encourage independence in kids | Montessori ideas

Practical tools for kids: If you are looking for tools that encourage young kids to be independent and help with chores, here is a list of 30 tools that you can use in your home! | Montessori tools for kids | Practical life tools for kids | Montessori tips | Tools that encourage independence in kids | Montessori ideas

photo credit preview image: Evgeny Atamenko / shutterstock.com

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Raluca Loteanu

If you find yourself on this blog I invite you to discover us as the happy family we are, who look with optimism and joy at life. If you want to contact me, you can find me on email, I gladly respond to each message.

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