The wonderful thing about toddlers and preschoolers is that they take great pleasure and pride in being helpful. At our house, we've decided to capitalize on this by giving our daughter, who will turn three next week (yikes!), several chores to do, both daily and weekly.
1. Feed the cat
2. Clear her dishes from the table, putting leftover milk in the fridge, and plates/bowls in the sink.
3. Pick up toys and put books on her bookshelves (this doesn't quite happen every day, but two - three times a week at least).
1. Help me scan groceries (we have a computerized pantry inventory system and use a barcode scanner to log nonperishables in and out). This is one of her favorite activities in the whole world.
2. Put away her laundry (I hang up her shirts and dresses, but she puts away everything that goes in drawers).
1. Sort silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer. This is a sometimes chore because my husband usually unloads the dishwasher before he goes to work. long before we get up in the morning. But, when I have occasion to unload, I let her sort silverware if she's around.
We also try to include her in other chores as we're doing them, if we can find small pieces of tasks that she can handle. She's been doing them for several months now, and it works out well.
I'm not sure how long this helpful phase will last, but hopefully by the time that happens, we'll have set up some good habits to keep her responsible and helpful as she grows older.