Every parent knows that kids need to learn a little responsibility and the sooner you do this the easier is to instil. Every parent also knows that a little help around the house occasionally would be much appreciated. Busy family life needs everyone to muck in sometimes and even toddlers can have small, safe jobs to do to help out, so here are some chores that your kids can do:
#1 Toy Tidy
Even children as young as 18 – 24 months can assist in tidying up their toys when they’re done playing. They can help to put dirty laundry in the hamper, do a bit of light dusting and begin to learn how to get dressed independently. At this age, the best way to introduce the concept of helping out is by having them mirror what you’re doing. If there is a spill to wipe up, let them help and let them try watering some plants.
#2 Set The Table
From around the age of 3 years, your child should be able to set the table for dinner under supervision. Encouraging them to get involved in some simple cooking is another job that they’ll love. As long as you keep the kitchen a safe area, there’s no reason why your little ones shouldn’t start learning about the processes involved in feeding a family. A child of this age can also make their bed and help to sort laundry by color.
#3 Food Prep
Between the ages of 4 and 6 years, you could teach your child how to help prepare dinner and clear away the table afterwards. Putting away dishes and clean laundry are also chores that can be easily achieved. Depending on the child, they might like to have a go at a little light vacuuming and you could make it their responsibility to do their bedroom under supervision.
As your child reaching the 7-year mark, you can expect them to take responsibility for a set of chores specifically designed for them to complete. It needn’t be daily but a few times a week would be a good place to start to instil that sense of responsibility and joint effort. Mopping or sweeping floors, helping to unpack groceries and tidying their room are just a few chore ideas for children of this age.
#5 Taking Out The Trash
As long as there is nothing sharp or harmful in your trash then there’s no reason why you can’t encourage your kids to take ownership of this chore. From 7 years and up, children can empty the trash from different rooms of the house and learn about recycling and composting (if you do this with your food scraps).
#6 In The Yard
It doesn’t just have to be help in the house, a great job for kids is to help sweep the yard and rake up all those fall leaves from the lawn. Kids will love having their own gloves and mini tools so encourage them to help you with some weeding or planting too. It’s the perfect excuse for them to get some fresh air away from all those computer games!
#7 Pet Care
Older children can take the dog for a walk round the block which is a great way to get the dog and the kids some fresh air and exercise. If you have small animals like hamsters, rabbits or guinea pigs then your children should be shown how to clean out their cage, provide them with food and water and be responsible for their care as much as possible to instil good practice in pet care.
#8 Doing The Dishes
Even if they need a stool or chair to stand on, there is no reason why your little ones can’t be introduced to the soapy world of doing the dishes. Most kids actually love this activity and it doesn’t seem like much of a chore until they get a bit older.
#9 Fetching The Mail
This is a very simple task that you can hand over to your kids to do every day. The types of chores that your children can do will depend very much on their maturity and physical capability. If there’s ever anything that they’re not sure about or struggle with then encourage them to try but go with them to supervise.
#10 Matching Socks
You know that infuriating job of pairing up all the socks after you’ve done the laundry? Turn it into a game and set your kids on the task. Maybe you could set a timer to see if they can beat their last time or see who can finish first? They might even enjoy it!
#11 Older Children
From about the age of 9 years and up, your older child could be learning to take responsibility for organising their own homework schedule, with a bit of parental double checking of course! They could also help in washing the car and assist you in the job of cleaning bathrooms. You might want to teach them how to load the washer and dryer so they can learn how to take care of a load of laundry.
Responsibilities can increase in line with age and teens can be expected to baby sit, change their bed sheets, dust, vacuum and learn how to prepare a family meal. Other tasks could include mowing the lawn, cleaning their room regularly and being responsible for all their homework. As teens get to around the age 16 and upwards mark, they can begin earning spending money from chores, go shopping on their own and maintaining any vehicles they own. This is the stage where doing chores is more about learning to live independently so you should encourage them to know how to budget, make a grocery list, clean household appliances and deal with their own laundry and ironing requirements.