Chores are a great way to teach children about responsibility and work ethic.
Sharing chores in the family teaches kids the importance of helping out and supporting each other. Chores also help kids develop independence-skills and a sense of feeling proud about making a contribution to the family.
Although young children may not be able to do chores to your standard, kids eventually learn how to do the job properly. The key is to start as early as possible with simple tasks and then build upon what they can do. While it may take double the amount of time to complete the chore at the beginning, it will save you heaps of time in the future.
Remember to be patient, don’t jump in as soon as you realise they are doing it wrong. Kids learn and master skills by practising, so don’t give up, consistency is extremely important for success.
Family chore charts are a great way to set everyone into the routine of completing their jobs. Assign age-appropriate weekly and daily chores to each member of the family.
For younger children 2 to 3 chores should be enough, as kids get older assign more chores. However, remember to not overload kids with chores, they need to have free time too! If your child’s motivation to participate in chores is low, you may want to introduce a reward chart (Get in touch if you would like more information on how to use reward charts effectively).
Before you assign a specific chore, be aware of your child’s skills and be realistic of to what extend they will be able to perform the job.
Teach each required step and provide assistance and supervision the first few times your child attempts to complete the chore. Be specific with instructions, don’t be vague. Once they master the chore, give them the opportunity to work on their own.
Below is a guide of age-appropriate chores for children of different age groups. This is only a guideline – adjust according to your family’s needs and to the abilities and maturity level of your child.
Ages 2 to 3
- Pick up/put away toys and books
- Put dirty clothes in laundry basket
- Wipe spills
Ages 4 to 5
- Help with making own bed
- Help with feeding pet
- Vacuum using a hand-held vacuum
- Water indoor flowers/plants
- Wipe tables and other surfaces
- Help with bringing in groceries
Ages 6 to 8
- Help with setting and clearing the table
- Hang out and sort out laundry
- Help with making and packing own lunch
- Take bins out
- Clean bathroom and kitchen sinks
- Keep bedroom tidy
- Pack up own schoolbag
- Put away groceries
Ages 9 to 11
- Load/unload dishwasher
- Make own snacks/breakfast
- Help with basic food preparation
- Mop floors
- Fold and put away laundry
- Water the garden
- Clean bathrooms and toilets
- Clean microwave oven
Ages 12 and older
- Clean bathrooms and toilets
- Clean fridge and freezer
- Wash windows
- Clean mirrors
- Cook simple meals
- Operate washing machine and dryer
- Change own bed sheets
- Wash family car
- Take pet for a walk
If you would like help with setting a family chore-chart or would like to know what chores are appropriate for your child, feel free to get in touch!