As many parents know, running a household with kids is a lot of work. There seems to be an endless list of chores and things to do to keep your place clean, and running smoothly. Although your children tend to be more the mess-makers than the cleaner-uppers, there is actually a benefit to getting them involved with doing chores. Even at an early age, you can see the natural interest that kids can take when it comes to helping out. It is a great idea to jump on this by giving them some simple, age-appropriate chores. Ultimately, this will benefit the, in the long run.
Your success with getting your kids to help out with chores relies on finding them tasks that are age-appropriate. You don't want to set them up for failure, or get them so frustrated that it ends up being a negative experience. The following is a list of simple chores by age that you can try with your kids.
Toddlers (2-3 years)
In the toddler years, kids are very eager to help, and are able to do some light sorting-type activities that will help them learn to help out more in the future.
Picking up toys.
Wiping tables and counters
Picking up clothes and putting them in laundry baskets
Picking up books
Putting child dishes in the sink
Helping wipe spills
Helping sort recycling
Preschool Age (4-5)
Preschoolers are capable of helping out even more, and are usually more than happy to do so in short spurts.
Making beds (putting blankets and pillows on the bed)
Helping put away folded clothes
Light gardening (such as pulling weeds)
Help put dishes on the table
Help put away dishes
Help putting groceries away
Younger Kids (6-9)
Younger kids who have grown up doing chores are likely going to be receptive to keep learning new things when it comes to helping out around the house.
Helping fold clothes
Help caring for pets
Helping cut up and prepare food for lunches/dinner
Helping to clean out and vacuum the family vehicle
Some tweens might complain about chores, however they are getting to the age where they really are a quite valuable help to the home when it comes to getting things done.
Helping with simple cooking
Taking out garbage and recycling
Washing the car
Helping with yardwork (mowing the lawn etc.)
As they get older, teens should be able to do quite a lot around the home. Getting them to do so provides them with a good base for when they move out and are living on their own. Getting your kids involved with household chores is a wonderful way to help prepare them for living on their own in adulthood.
Doing their own laundry
Cleaning the fridge
Helping with grocery shopping
Supervising younger children
Helping with repairs
Although this list is broken down by age group, there is no firm rule that every child will be ready to help out with the same chores on the same time scale.
There are a few different factors that may influence whether your child is ready for the same chores along the same timeframe outlined in this list.
Also, depending on your lifestyle, there may be additional chores that you can incorporate into your child's routine when they are ready. This may include helping out with younger siblings, taking care of livestock, or helping with a family business. There are a lot of things that kids could be helping out with.
Ultimately, not getting kids to help with chores is not doing them any favors, The earlier you can get them started, the easier it will be for them in the long run. If you start a child off doing simple chores from a young age, they will learn a solid base of responsibility and will be more likely to get involved with more and more things as they go. If you start a child off with chores when they are older, say, middle-school aged, they might complain more and have a more difficult time adjusting. You are still helping them in the long run by teaching them some responsibility and self-sufficiency.