“Mama, why aren’t you working on the treadmill these days?” my four-year-old son asked one day.
“I have lot many things to do at office and home, dear. Not getting any time to exercise,” I tried to explain.
“Oh, mama, then I’ll do all your works so that you can work out,” he said innocently.
I was overwhelmed at his concern and eagerness to help me, but was careful not to brush aside his offer. I did give him some age appropriate chores and how nice it was to see those little hands and feet working for me!
Until recently our children were little babies seeking our assistance in everything. And suddenly they grow big enough to support us. It is important to involve kids in daily chores, but it is equally important to assign them works that suit their age. repertuar.spb.ru gives you a list of age appropriate chores for kids to do in various age groups.
Why Chores For Kids Are Important?
Your children feel proud when you assign them some work. You can instill a sense of responsibility by showing confidence in their abilities.
When you hand out responsibilities to your children in the form of daily chores, you show them that their contribution adds value to your daily home life.
[ Read: How To Teach Kids To Be Responsible ]
Age Appropriate Household Chores For Kids:
Here are a few household chores for children that they can do through their different age groups, starting from as early as the toddler years.
1. Between Ages Two And Three:
Dress Up: Teach your children to dress themselves up by doing simple things such as pulling up their pants, putting their hands into the dress, wearing a cap and so on. Make them do it as part of a routine after bath and at bedtime.
Help To Feed Animals: If you have a pet at home, you can give your children the responsibility of feeding the pet every day at a given time. You can show your child how to fill the pet’s bowl, how to put water in the bowl and more.
Clean Up Any Spills: Children drop their food, water, or milk all the time. You can teach them to clean up after such spills. Keep a dedicated cloth, which your child can use to clean up any mess.
Make The Beds: Help your child make the bed by placing pillows and sheets in place. He can also help you make the bed by fluffing the pillows or smoothening the sheets.
Clear Up Toys: Teach your children to clear up their toys early on by showing them where to store everything after play time. To make it easy, give them a basket to put all their toys after they finish playing.
Bring A Diaper: Each time your child needs a diaper change, make sure that they know how to bring one to you. Show them where you keep the diapers and teach them to take out one and bring it to you.
Keep Plate In The Kitchen: Once your child finishes eating, show him how to carry his plates or dishes and keep them in the kitchen wash area.
Fold The Laundry: Your children may not know how to fold clothes properly, but they will love to sit with you and help fold the laundry as best as they can. It will be a learning experience at an early age.
Water The Plants: Give your child a small watering can that they can use every day to water the plants. Make sure that they do not end up watering too much, as it can destroy some plants.
[ Read: Ways To Teach Kids About Money ]
2. Between Ages Four And Five:
Dress Up: Let your children get ready by themselves after they take a bath and at bed time.
Put Away Groceries: Once you do your grocery shopping, show your child where each thing is kept and how to store it. He can also help you to arrange vegetables and fruits in the fridge.
Clean The Car: Let your child help you in washing your car, both from the outside as well as inside. Of course, you can allow him to do so only while you are supervising.
Set The Table: Let your child set the table at meal times by placing out mats, plates, and dishes. You can also let them set the cutlery.
Water The Plants: Give them a small watering can that they can use to water the plants. To make sure that they do not water the plants more than what is needed, you can stick a small note on the pot and mention the days of the week when they need to water the plants.
Help Out In The Kitchen: Your child can do a lot of things in the kitchen to help you, without using knives or involving with fire. He can help to dry the dishes, break up the greens and leafy vegetables with their hands, crush garlic using a mortar and pestle, and break vegetables such as bell peppers using their hands.
Put Clothes For Washing: As your child changes his clothes, make sure he keeps them in the hamper. If you have to sort the clothes by color, he can help you in that.
Get The Mail: Show your kid how to open the mailbox and bring in the mail. If your children can read, show them how to read the names and give the mail to whoever it is addressed to.
Hang Up Wet Towels: Once your child has taken a bath or used a towel, show him where to hang the towels. Ask him to look for any wet towels around the house and hang them up to dry.
Load The Dishwasher: Your child can help you load the dishwasher by placing smaller utensils in the machine. Make sure you are around when he is doing this, to avoid any accidental breakage.
Dust The Floor: Most children enjoy sweeping the floors, so you can give a small broom to your kid and ask him to sweep the floor. You can assign a particular room to each child and ask him to sweep it in the morning or before bath time every day.
Rake The Yard: Your children can help you by raking the yard daily or as required. Also, you can ask them to clear the driveway and remove all the fallen leaves from the area. Once they have cleaned it up, show them how to place the trash in the bin.
Take Out The Trash: Help your child take out the trash by properly securing the trash bags. Make sure that the bags are closed so that none of the trash spills out. Accompany your child outside if you keep the trash along the road.
Wash Their Own Toys: Show your child how he can wash his toys as and when needed. If your child wants to wash soft toys, show them how to place them in the washing machine and clean them up. If the toys need to be washed by hand, show them how they can do it during their bath time. Once the toys have been washed, help your child dry them.
Sort The Clean Clothes: Once you have done the laundry and folded it all up, show your child how to segregate the clothes of each family member. If it is still too early for your child to understand the difference, ask him to sort out his clothes from the pile and keep them in place.
[ Read: Ways To Ensure Good Habits For Kids ]
3. Between Ages Six And Twelve:
Make Their Bed: Make it a point that your child makes his bed each morning after he wakes up. Show him how to fold the sheets, fluff up pillows and clear the bed. Once done, show him how to set it up with a clean sheet on the top.
Prepare Basic Lunch For School: By now, your child will be able to help you in the kitchen. If your child is still young, you can give him tasks that will not involve the use of a knife or fire. Let him do simpler tasks such as fixing a simple school lunch that does not involve any dangerous activity such as cutting or cooking. Let him prepare a simple sandwich, or make a healthy fruit salad snack or put their snack in their box after you prepared it. If your child is a little grown up, you can let him prepare some lunch for school, by providing him access to knives and fire. Make sure you do not leave him unattended.
Take Out The Trash: Teach your child how to seal the trash bags and take them out to wherever they need to be placed. If you live in an apartment building, you may have to throw the trash bag down the chute, and if you live in an independent house in a neighborhood, you may have to take it out and place it along the driveway. Make sure your child knows where to place the trash bin. Also, if you have to separate the dry and the wet garbage, show him which trash bag goes where.
Cook Basic And Simple Recipes: Teach your child how to read through the instructions and cook simple recipes at home. He can start with recipes that are appropriate for school lunches and then move on to prepare breakfast as well as smaller dishes for main meals. In order to be able to cook, teach your child how to read the recipe properly, understand the measurements, collect all the ingredients and be organized before they start the actual cooking. You can also ask him to plan a recipe list for the entire week and assist you in shopping for groceries and ingredients for the same.
Help With Cleaning The House: Depending on your child’s age, you can assign them cleaning tasks around the house, such as sweeping, dusting, mopping or vacuum cleaning. You can assign a particular task to one child and another to his sibling based on their age. One child can dust the furniture and sweep the floor while the other can mop the floor or vacuum the house and the furniture. You can also assign your children different areas of the house that they have to clean. For instance, your children can clean their own rooms, their share of the cupboards and shelves and such. In addition, you can allot spaces to your children, such as cleaning the bookshelf, the TV unit, the computer desk, the kitchen counters, and the sitting area, depending on their age.
Water The Garden: Show your children which plants need watering at what interval and help them do the same. You can also teach them how to look out for weeds and remove them to help the plants grow better. Once they are able to take out the weeds, show them how and where to dispose them of and how to keep the garden clean. Depending on your child’s age, you can also ask him to help out with digging the garden and planting new plants.
Polish The Shoes: One of the main tasks that your child should be able to do now is to polish his shoes. Show him how he can clean and polish shoes, especially his school shoes. Once your child is able to do that, you can ask them to help out by polishing others shoes, such as yours or your partner’s.
Iron Clothes: Make sure you let your child do this only under your constant supervision, as even a small mistake can cause some serious burn injuries to your child. Do not give him ironing chores while he is still young. Wait till he is, at least, ten years or more. Only when you are sure that he will be able to handle the job, should you let him take this responsibility. Show your child how to use an iron by setting it at the right temperature. Show them how to read the various cloth mode instructions, such as cotton, silk and so on. Teach them to set the temperature at the right mode before using it. Your child should also know how to hold the iron box properly so that the hot part does not face or touch him. Once your child has completed ironing his clothes, show him how to let the box cool before unplugging and storing it safely.
[ Read: Tips To Teach Life Skills For Kids ]
4. 13 Years And Above:
Iron Clothes: Make sure that your child follows all the points mentioned above. Start them off with smaller and easier clothes, such as their basic tees, shirts, skirts and such. You can slowly ask them to move on to bigger clothes and even your clothes, only if you are absolutely sure that they will be able to do this safely.
Take Care Of Their Bicycle: If your child rides a bike, show him how to take care of it and keep it well-conditioned. Teach your child how to fix flat tires, fill air into the tires and take care of any oiling issues.
Shop For Weekly Household Groceries: Let your children take care of household items that need to be purchased. He can prepare a list of grocery by taking stock of the items that are already at home or that need a refill, and do basic shopping at the store. If you are not comfortable with letting your child shop on his own, you can accompany him to the store and teach him the nuances. Show them around the different aisles and explain to them how to look for the required item at the right aisle. Teach them to read the label, look for the best-before or expiry date and buy what is most appropriate. You can also teach your child how to look for alternatives in case they do not find the specific commodity from the list. Another crucial thing that you can teach your child in the process is to check the products and compare prices, as well as look for deals and understand what can work best.
Prepare A Meal: By now your child should be able to rustle up simple meals and in some cases, even elaborate ones. Let him cook one meal in a week and plan the recipe on his own.
Clean The Fridge: Set up a weekend chore where your child will take out the contents of the fridge, sort what should stay and what needs to be thrown away, and clean up the fridge.
Things To Remember While Assigning Chores For Children:
Before you decide on the chores that you want to set for your children, do take care of the following in mind to make it easier for both your children and you:
1. Appreciate The Effort Your Child Puts In:
When you set your child to a chore, do not insist on its perfection. The idea here is to make sure that your child puts his most sincere effort and the best of his abilities to carry out the task. Your child may not be able to do it in the best possible way, and the results may be far from brilliant, but remember that the effort of your child more important than the final result. If you are only looking for perfection, you may unknowingly instruct your child too often, making them lose interest in the job, or, you may end up doing it yourself instead of letting him do it.
2. Start Them Young To Get The Best Results:
Your darling will always remain a ‘little one’ for you and you may hesitate to task them with even simple chores. But no age is too early to begin with a task, as you can assign him with a simple chore that suits his age. In fact, sometimes, your child may even surprise you with how much he enjoys doing a particular chore or how well he does it. Your child will learn a lot as he works on the chores, and starting off early will provide him with a practical learning experience. Postponing it to a later age will actually put the kid off the habit of doing chores and he may find it difficult to pick it up at a later stage.
3. Follow It As A Routine:
When you set your child on a chore, make sure that you include it as part of their routine. Your children will learn to be responsible towards his job and will know when to work on it and how. If you do not set them on a routine, they may not remember to do it each time, or can also expect you or someone else to do it for them.
[ Read: Tips To Make Cleaning Fun For Kids ]
Handing out age appropriate chores for children is a great way to make them responsible, independent and confident. Make sure you supervise them in the early years and let them handle the chores independently once you are sure they will be able to take care of themselves and the tasks you have given them.
Moms, do you engage your children with some age-appropriate chores? Do you have any ideas on any chore charts for kids? Tell us here.
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