Are you always the one who does the chores around the house, or do you have certain chores for kids especially chalked out too?
Some of you might feel it’s much easier and faster doing the chores around the house yourself, rather than getting after or nagging your kids to do those chores.
Some parents used to feel that why should they burden their kids with household chores, because it’s their own duty and responsibility.
But things nowadays have changed a great deal. With an effective parenting style you can achieve a great deal.
I’m sure when you were a child, even your parents must’ve asked you to contribute in the house by doing certain household chores – isn’t it?
I think it’s any day better for children to do chores around the house rather than throw their toys around, or be constantly plugged to their video games, watch television endlessly, or surf the Internet.
Doing household chores is an experience in itself for the kids. I’ve seen my kids enjoy doing what they do. However, it’s not always an enjoyable experience for some, but it is good for them nevertheless.
“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.” ~ Phyllis Diller
How Chores For Kids Help
If you ask any parenting expert, they’d suggest that chores are good for kids of any age. Chores for kids benefit them and us parents, both.
I think you bond so much better with your kids when you teach them or do tasks with them, and they in turn know it’s good to share the responsibility and chores at home.
When kids help out, it makes them feel independent, confident, and brings a sense of responsibility in them. It boosts their self esteem and brings about a sense of achievement in them.
Kids love to have their way about, and I’m sure if you are a parent, you’d agree with that. So, they love to do things they are told, provided you make it a little interesting enough for them.
They love to lead and manage the household chores just like you. Chores for kids can be of any and many kinds, depending on their age and the amount they can do.
For example, you cannot ask a toddler to cut vegetables with a sharp knife, but you can certainly ask them to fetch you small things around the house.
Also, you shouldn’t expect perfection from the chores your kids do. It’s but obvious that you can do things much better than your kids, but you need to remember that they are just starting off.
So, encourage and motivate them for their little efforts, even if it’s not according to what you wanted. Or even if you have to re-do what they have done – it doesn’t matter!
When you appreciate their efforts, they feel like doing chores around the house all the more, and begin liking it too, if they didn’t initially.
Just feel happy that they are doing household chores, and be proud of the fact that they are learning new things while doing so.
Doing house chores make kids understand what all is needed to be done within the household. It teaches them valuable lessons about life, besides the actual skills.
Such house chores for children develop a good attitude to work, and they gradually get into the habit of working on their own when they grow up.
When you chalk out age appropriate chores for kids, don’t forget to demonstrate how to do the chores yourself first. Kids learn best when you show them how things are done.
Take care to supervise all such chores that might involve potential danger, just in case.
“It is amazing how quickly the kids learn the operation of the DVD, yet are unable to understand the vacuum cleaner.” ~ Etienne Marchal
Should You Reward Your Kids
Some smart kids will ask what will they get if they do the household chores! My kids started doing that when they grew up a little!
While some parents believe it’s good to reward kids or give them some incentive to work, but it slowly becomes a habit with them to only work when they are paid or rewarded, which isn’t right.
Kids should do chores because they are part of the family, and not because they want to be paid or seek something from doing these chores.
If you pay them, they might get a feeling that whenever they do some chore later in life, they always need to be paid or get something back from it.
However, you can always reward them in other ways by allowing them certain incentives like watching an additional hour of television, or treating them for an ice cream if they play their role well.
Of course, it’s a different matter if kids are trying to save or raise money for a cause or reason – then it’s still alright to pay them a little, but otherwise I don’t think chores should be paid for at all.
Age Appropriate Chores For Kids
There are various household chores for kids, and doing them depends more on their ability than age.
For instance, some kids are ready to make beds at four or five years, while others aren’t able to do till mature enough.
So, remember to keep your child’s age, ability, and maturity in mind when you assign them house chores.
Let me share a few chores that my kids did when they were young. Some of them are the ones that I taught them, while others are those they picked up seeing me or wanted to do on their own.
A few of these household chores are also what I’ve seen a few other kids carry out at different ages.
Chores For Kids Aged 2 to 3
Kids this small love being around their parents and observe closely as to what’s being done.
I would suggest not being too harsh on these young ones, if they don’t listen to you or don’t want to do certain chores.
However, you’ll notice that they are quite keen to learn things and do exactly what you do. Be with them, show them, and let them do things under your supervision at this age.
- Pick up their toys and put them away. Remember, they may not want to do at times.
- Dust around a little area. But first, please ensure your child isn’t allergic to dust.
- Matching socks – makes a good skill for teaching them what is “same” and “different”.
- Sweep a little, may be just for fun! But don’t let them touch any chemicals or wet themselves.
- Stack up and tidy a few books and magazines.
- Pick up clothes and put them in the wash basket.
- Begin to dress self. You would need to teach them how to do that at first.
- Help feed animals – your pets at home or the harmless birds.
- Hang clothes on hooks. Make sure these hooks are at their height level and conveniently positioned.
- Fetch diapers; though ensure that they are placed in a low and safe place.
- Help fold towels or small clothes, again for fun sake and for the sake of learning!
Chores For Kids Aged 4 to 5
All the chores mentioned above in addition to these –
- Clear the dining table.
- Dress self, though you need to supervise them at times.
- Use the vacuum cleaner (small handheld one) to pick up debris or small crumbs. But first, you need to make them aware of the electrical hazards of manhandling the equipment.
- Empty out the wastebasket, which has only little dry trash in it.
- Retrieve the mail, which is easily accessible to them.
- Make their own beds, though you could help them a little.
- Wash and dry their toys. If soap is used, make sure it’s all done under your supervision.
- Bring in the newspaper from the outside in the morning.
- Pull up weeds and water the plants. Ensure that the area outside is clean and safe.
- Sweep patio – more for fun and it shouldn’t be too hard a chore for kids to do.
- Wiping low windowsills that’s within their reach and they don’t have to use a stool for it.
- Sort out dirty clothes by color.
- Wash light plastic utensils off and on. If the kitchen sink is used, be around them as they might need a stool to stand and wash, or else find an alternative place for this chore.
- Hang up the towels after their bath.
- Make their bowl of quick mix cereal after they’ve seen you make it a few times.
Chores For Kids Aged 6 to 7
All the chores mentioned above in addition to these –
- Set the table properly, and even clear it later.
- Answer the telephone by wishing and talking properly.
- Help you to make their lunch and pack it too.
- Sweep the floor if need be.
- Take care of the pets you have.
- Sort out the washing clothes.
- Weed and rake leaves.
- Keep their bedroom neat and tidy.
Chores For Kids Aged 8 to 9
All the chores mentioned above in addition to these –
- Vacuum the area required.
- Help in cooking.
- Make their snacks under supervision.
- Sew buttons and learn an odd stitch or two.
- Peel and cut vegetables under supervision.
- Mop the floor.
- Polish shoes.
- Make their own breakfast that’s easy to assemble, like toast and cereal under supervision.
- Put away the washing clothes.
- Clean the pet cage, feed the pets, and look after them.
- Help in placing the groceries in their appropriate place.
- Clean and clear up the table after meals.
- Load the dishwasher under supervision.
- Take the pet for a walk, though under supervision, or along with you.
Chores For Kids Aged 10 and Older
All the chores mentioned above and the ones listed below –
- Fold the laundry and put it in the appropriate place.
- Help you in washing and polishing the car.
- Wash windows under your supervision.
- Iron light clothes gradually, till they can manage to iron well enough, under supervision.
- Clean their bathroom.
- Do the laundry under supervision.
- Help to shovel snow.
- Taking out the trash.
- Baby-sit a younger sibling, though under supervision of an adult.
- Change the bed and do up the rooms.
- Mend and repair clothes under supervision.
- Clean the refrigerator under supervision.
- Mow the lawn under supervision.
- Clean the kitchen and oven when required.
- Unload the dishwasher and place the dishes in their right place.
- Make cakes or biscuits from the ready-to-make mixtures, under supervision.
- Cook simple meals with your help or guidance.
There are many more age appropriate chores for kids you can add to the above list. Do let me know more about it all in the comment section.
Once the kids reach high school or are well into their teens, they can do almost anything you can do, provided they’ve been trained to do household chores from the time they were young.
However, it does get tough to get your teens to listen to you because of their mood swings most of the time! They need to be handled differently, which I’ll discuss in another post.
While I have mentioned a list of chores for kids here, I do know that some parents don’t believe it’s fair to ask young kids to work.
They feel it deprives them of their childhood fun, and it’s simply a way for parents to leave the house chores to their children.
Perhaps this is true in some cases, but it wasn’t the case in my house. My kids loved doing chores around the house, and would ask me how they could help me out when they were young!
Remember, we aren’t raising children; we are raising adults, who one day would be capable, productive, and responsible members of the society.
Children who are between 2-5 love doing what you do, and sometimes even if you have dusted an area or done some work, they just like re-doing it again! Isn’t that wonderful?
Here’s a video that gives you an idea about what kind of chores can kids of different ages do and how.
Tips on Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids ~ YouTube Video
What To Do If Your Child Doesn’t Like Doing Chores
Some kids just don’t like doing household chores and no matter how much you try, they just have a huge list of excuses lined up – sounds familiar?
What can you do in such a case? How do you get your kids to listen to you?
Just make work fun if your child doesn’t like doing chores and get them started by doing the tasks yourself. Make it interesting for them.
Sometimes when you show your kids the list of household chores you have lined up, they understand and are willing to help you out too.
Some kids have favorite chores, so you can ask your kids what they would like to do, if they are a little fussy about house chores.
You could even try rotating the chores for kids by giving each one something different to do each time, instead of them doing the same old things repeatedly, which might make it boring for them.
Turn on some music, dance a little step here and there, make it like a game, chat or talk with them, and see how they enjoy what they do.
Some Do’s and Don’ts About Chores For Kids
Mentioned below are some tips to help make household chores for your kids more enjoyable.
- Do appreciate and encourage them.
- Do start them young.
- Do remain consistent with the household chores for kids so that it becomes a habit with time.
- Do make the chores for your kids fun and social.
- Do recognize their efforts.
- Do choose age appropriate chores for kids, and make sure they like doing what they do.
- Do offer choices to your kids by offering them one chore over the other, or set a particular time of the day to complete the chore.
- Don’t pay your kids to do the chores.
- Don’t expect perfection of any sort. Just be glad that they have done their bit.
- Don’t criticize their way of working or the way a task is done. Remember, they are kids and cannot become you!
- Don’t overdo things – keep the chores short and sweet, rather than spending hours in making them do things. Break it up into bits and pieces.
Please remember that chores for kids aren’t meant to be a punishment, nor should your kids take it in that way.
You need to start your kids with household chores when they are young.
Like even a two year old would love to put napkins on the table for lunch, but if you’ve never asked your 15 year old to do chores, trying to make him/her put the same napkin will be an ordeal!
Also, I’ve often observed that boys aren’t given household chores to do as much as girls, which turns them into adult men who never help around their mothers or wives later in life.
So, as parents you need to remember to divide the chores for kids equally between both genders.
“No matter how many house chores you complete, there are always more to be done.” ~ African Proverb
You need to coach, guide, and train your kids initially when you ask them do the chores. They need to do things under supervision when they are young, till they get into a habit of doing it on their own.
Take out the time to be with your kids while they learn how to do the chores, and teach them the right way.
I’m sure your kids will love and thank you for making them into responsible adults when they grow up
Over to you –
When you were a child, did your parents give your household chores to do, and did you enjoy doing them? What age appropriate chores for kids would you suggest? Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos
Posted on: July 12th, 2013
Last Updated on: March 17th, 2015