Chores may be something you associate with older children, but the truth is it's almost never too early to start encouraging your children to help out around the house. Children as young as 2 years old can be taught to help out by doing everything from putting their toys away after playing with them to dusting alongside a parent who is cleaning and many other small chores around the house. Parenting expert Jim Fay explained to WebMD that even younger children like to know they are making a contribution and doing their part, "But they can't feel that way if they don't have chores and make contributions to the family" Fay added.
Once children are of school age, they are ready to take on a bit more responsibilities when it comes to chores. Giving children chores makes them understand that they are an important contributor to the household and that everybody needs to help out. Younger kids can get easily distracted doing chores so it's important that you are only assigning chores that are age appropriate, and are switching it up enough that they won't tire of what they're doing. If you are looking for some age-appropriate chores for your five-year-old, here are a few ideas for you.
Pets are important members of the family and entrusting their care to your 5-year-old is a big responsibility for them. Allowing your child to be the one to feed the family pet is a chore they can take great pride in while still being age-appropriate. And while you will still need to follow up every day to make sure the chore has been done it's a great way to teach your child about accountability.
Most typical 5-year-olds aren't going to be able to make their beds with precision military corners, but they are more than capable of pulling their covers up every morning when they wake up, no matter how messy it is. The more they do it, the better they'll become at it. Having kids make their bed daily is a great way to teach them that some chores have to be done every day while others can be done less often.
If you are busy doing chores yourself around the house, it's the perfect time to involve your 5-year-old and let them help out. Dusting, cleaning the windows and even using a small, hand-held vacuum are great ways for kids to help out with chores. As they say, many hands make light work. Not only are they learning about all the chores that need to be done to keep the house clean, but they are also seeing first hand how their own chores contribute.
At the age of five children are ready to help out their parents around the house. While they may still be a bit too young to take the large, full garbage cans out to the curb, they can definitely gather the garbage from different rooms in the house and empty it into the larger trash cans outside. This will also help prepare them as they grow older to eventually start taking the garbage to the curb.
While you may not want your five-year-old unloading the dishwasher by themselves, they can certainly help. While you or an older sibling are taking care of putting the dishes on the upper and lower racks away, putting the clean utensils back in their drawer is a great job for a younger child. Not only does it teach them to help out, but it teaches them that everything has its own place and where everything goes.
Make Simple Snacks
Five-year-olds tend to snack often so teaching yours how to fix their own basic snacks is the perfect chore for them. Perhaps it's learning how to get their own bowl of cereal, or maybe some crackers from the cupboards or fruit from the fridge, but teaching children to get their own snacks and clean up after themselves gives them a sense of independence and control.
Check The Mail
Kids love to get mail, which makes checking the mail the perfect chore for a five-year-old. If you're lucky enough to get mail delivered to your home, your child can be responsible for going to the mailbox and bringing in the daily mail. If you have to walk a bit further to your local mailbox, bringing your child along and letting them be responsible for unlocking the mailbox and collecting the mail is a fun chore for kids to do.
Chores are very important for children of all ages, but it's equally important that they are given chores that are appropriate for their age. Changing up chores can help keep younger children more interested in helping out, and chore charts can also help kids see what needs to be done and let them choose what they want to do. Parents know their children best and know what they're capable of, but it's important to remember that they're never too young to start helping out around the house.