Household Chores That Kids Can REALLY Help With
Teaching kids about responsibility, helping and why it is important to be a contributing member of the family or a team are vital life skills to instill. Chores can come into play as a way to teach those lessons in a hands-on way. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes, giving children “chores” can add more chores to your plate as an already-busy parent. Don’t give up, though! Our bloggers are here to share ideas for household chores you can give children where they can really be of help. Next time you’re looking to teach your child about responsibility and are looking for a helping hand around the house, consider some of these great children’s chores ideas.
Household Chores for Kids
“As one with older children (10 and 13), one general tip for parents is to start to accept the help from the kids as soon as they show interest. Because they will! The kids may start to mimic your movements, use it as a teachable moment. The reality is that they just want to be with you, so take advantage of it! Even though it may be a pain – and take you three times as long as it would if you did it yourself – use this is as the opportunity to get them involved. The more you say “no,” the more that “no” is going to stick! There are many household tasks that tie right into everyday learning. For example – sorting laundry. To start, separating whites; light colors; dark colors before you put them into the machine. And when the laundry is fresh out of the dryer, have the kids sort by size and/or type of clothing.” – Melissa
“Our focus right now is teaching our son to simply clean up behind himself. In the evening, he enjoys watching a TV show before bed, so before the TV is even turned on he must clean up his toys from the day. Whether it takes 3 minutes or 20 minutes, he works hard – with a lot of encouragement – to get the job done. I will make it a race, or ask for a certain color to gamify it a bit, but most of the time it really depends on the day what works to get him to do it. Also, right before bed, he puts his water cup and any bowl or plate from his post-dinner snack in the sink as he walks to his room. Honestly, the reason why we haven’t introduced glass cups and plates to him is because of his arm… he gives them a good toss! Recently he has been getting into vacuuming. Most of the time it is just him with the hose attachment picking up pieces item by item. It takes a while, but he seems to enjoy it.” – Aili
“Our kids clean up their own toys, deliver utensils, food, glasses of water, etc. from kitchen to dining table. Each one of these tasks are age appropriate (2-4 age range) and helps them develop responsibility, as well as their ability to organize and sort and be careful carrying and walking. We also let the kids do what they want to do when we parents are doing the actual “chore:” help take the snow off the cars, use the vacuum cleaner, wipe up spilled water, and unload grocery bag.” – Naoko
“Kids like to help and feel important, so I try to make a really big deal about my son helping with anything… I try really hard to build some extra kid-friendly steps into the routine (especially with cooking) because he gets so excited to help. It makes things take exponentially longer but he’s so happy that it’s worth it. He helps to set the table every night (placemat, plate, napkin, fork, dishes/silverware/cup as well), helps to “prep” the food to cook dinner (example – I snap off the ends of the asparagus and he picks them up and throws them into a bag. Then he’ll pick up all the asparagus and puts it into a pan, “helps” put the oil and seasoning on, and occasionally, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll have him help me stir the stuff in a pot before the pot gets too hot). He also helps by cleaning up toys before bed (I largely thank his child care for this skill), vacuuming (we have a dust buster in the kitchen that he helps clean up the floor after meals), and loading the dryer with wet clothes that I hand him. He helped rake leaves last fall – we got him a tiny rake and a paper bag to bag up his own leaves and he’ll help pick up sticks in the yard and put them all into a big pile.” – Amy M.
Editor’s Note: Bright Horizons e-news also offers more ideas for age-appropriate ways that kids can help with household chores.
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