Chores for Kids

We recently began giving our daughter Rosie (4) age appropriate chores.  Not only have these chores been helping her feel proud and accomplished, but they really add up to being a big help for mommy by the end of the day.  

So, what exactly are age appropriate chores?  Well, naturally that will depend a little on each child.  We have explored and discovered, with a bit of trail and error,  which chores were the right fit for Rosie's developmental level.  Here are the chores that are working for us.  This is an especially great list for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger school age children.

Chores for Kids
A FANTASTIC list of chores for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger school age children.

Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

  • Pick up toys and books and put them in their proper place (you must first assign clear places for your child's things)
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper - Rosie is responsible for doing this after bath, in the morning, and before bed
  • Wipe the table after snack and dinner- not only is this an easy task for Rosie but she LOVES doing it!
  • Dusting- make it fun!  I purchased a bath hand puppet at The Dollar Tree for Rosie to use when dusting.  We created a fun game by saying the monster puppet was catching all the dust.  Rosie loves going around and getting the dust bunnies. 
  • Unload the groceries- after a grocery trip I let Rosie hand me items out of the grocery bags.  As she hands them to me I put them away.  This keeps her busy and saves me from bending over (Hey, I'm not as young as I used to be)
  • Help set the table- While I set out the plates and glassware I give Rosie the forks and napkins.  She loves helping me set the table.  Just be sure to only give young kids safe, unbreakable objects. 
  • Let them help you make the bed- do this chore together and squeeze in a little bonding while you work.
  • Wipe cabinet fronts- For this "chore" I give Rosie a bucket of soapy water and a rag.  She loves playing in the sudsy water and wiping everything down.  The water ends up all over the floor, but that only helps me in the long run.  While she plays I clean the other parts of the kitchen.  Then I finish by cleaning the floor using the soapy water that was spilled.  Rosie's playing really does help with the cleaning, and she has a blast and feels so proud afterward!
  • Put dishes in the sink after meals-  Rosie is responsible for putting her own dishes in the sink after meals (she handles safe dishware only of course)
  • Water plants- for this chore I fill a measuring cup with the appropriate amount of water for each plant and then Rosie delights in pouring it into the pot and feeding the plant.
  • Sweep-  Rosie has a toddler size broom and dust pan so we can sweep together.  While this is one chore that generally creates more work for me she loves helping and sweeping so it is worth it.  Besides that, it keeps her occupied.
  • Help sort whites and colors- not only is this great for Rosie's basic color recognition, but it helps me get the laundry in the wash quicker.  While I do have to quickly check over her sorting it is still saving me time and getting her involved.
  • Sort clean socks-  turn a mundane task into a fun matching game and let your little one match clean socks.  
  • Wipe the windows- For this chore I give Rosie a spray bottle of water and a rag.  She loves spraying the water and wiping the windows, and it actually does clean them at least a little.  Yes, I have to go back over her work but this chore keeps her busy while I complete other tasks and fills her with a sense of pride and accomplishment. It is totally worth the streaky windows!
  • Bring the newspaper in-  we get the Sunday paper.  On Sunday mornings I open the door with Rosie in tow, and she grabs the paper from the porch and proudly brings it in and delivers it to her daddy. 
  • Push the buttons- If there are buttons that need pushing let your tot do it - elevators, dishwasher, microwave, washer, dryer, even the coffee maker.  Toddlers LOVE buttons.  This chore that isn't quite a chore is still teaching little ones to follow directions.  It also teaches them that they are capable, they can do it, and when possible, you will let them.
  • Help in the kitchen- there are so many ways toddlers can help in the kitchen from stirring to pouring to washing fruit.  

A Few reminders:

  • Start with one or two chores- it is important to only start with a few tasks at a time.  You definitely don't want to overwhelm your child or make them feel pressure.  The main point in chores for young kids is to the child with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  You want them to feel capable, not overwhelmed.  We started with one or two chores from this list and have slowly added more over time.
  • Keep it fun- be sure to keep tasks fun.  You surely don't want to turn them off to lending a helping hand, after all.  They are still so tiny.  There are tons of ways to make all of the chores above fun.  Rosie loves monster puppet dusting and the sock matching game.  

A Handy List of Chores for Parents
especially great for toddlers!
A FANTASTIC list of chores for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger school age children.

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