June 27, 2013

Chores for Young Children

Miss S cleaning her bedroom window
Young children love to help with household chores.  They like to emulate mom and dad.  Chores are wonderful for teaching life skills, family responsibility and providing a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Here are a list of chores that my girls aged 7 and 3 do to help around the house.

1.  Make their bed.  Miss S does a lovely job at this and lines up all her cuddly toys neatly.  Miss C pulls up her cover.  At this stage, that is good enough.

2.  Pick up / put away toys.  They each have toy bins and drawers in their bedrooms where cuddly toys, art supplies, games/puzzles and other toys are expected to be kept.  Miss C has a toy box for her cuddly toys and a drawer for her other toys.  It is simple and makes clean up easy for her.  Miss S has a toy box and three other drawers where she keeps her other toys and art supplies.  She has a system and it works for her.  

3.  Put dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.  They each have a hamper in their room and are expected to put dirty clothes in it.  If the clothes are left on the floor and are therefore not in the hamper, they do not get washed.  

4.  Set and clear the dinner table.  Miss C helps put out the napkins.  Miss S puts out cutlery and condiments.  When dinner is done, Miss C helps carry items back to the kitchen.  Miss S scrapes plates and puts them in the dishwasher.  

5.  Collecting the mail.  Miss S puts the key in the mailbox.  Miss C turns it and opens the box.  Miss S collects the mail and then hands a flyer or other piece of junk mail to Miss C to help carry back home.  This way she is helping, but we do not mind if she loses the mail or drops it in mud or a puddle.  

6.  Watering the flowers and plants.  They each have a watering can and love to help water the flowers, although most of it ends up on themselves!

7.  Grocery shopping.  Both girls have to find certain items in the store.  When we return home, they help to put items away in the fridge and pantry.  

Other chores Miss S helps with:

Cleaning her bedroom.  She makes her bed, cleans the window, dusts the furniture and then I help her vacuum.

Feeding her fish every evening and then assisting me when I clean the fish tank.

Sweeping the floor after dinner around the dining room and kitchen.

Folding and putting away her clothes.  Miss C is not ready for this yet as she just bundles them into a big ball and stuffs them in the drawer!

Chores that we will start implementing over the summer are:

Taking out the recycling

Washing dishes (with supervision and starting with tupperware / non breakable items)

Helping with dinner prep


Other chores Miss C helps with:

Dusting the furniture in her room

Cleaning our patio window.  We use either all water or a mix of water and vinegar in a spray bottle, so it is safe for her to use.

Unloading the dishwasher.  She puts the spoons away and then hands me all the cups.  

Helping with the laundry.  She loves to put the wet clothes into the tumble dryer and is great at colour matching socks and folding washcloths/dishtowels (with a little help).

Chores that she will be learning over the summer are:

Sweeping (with a dustpan and brush)

Putting clean clothes away in her drawers

Setting the table (cutlery/condiments)

Remember not to expect too much from your child. Having a young child "help" takes much longer than you just doing the chore to your high standard.  The end goal is not just to accomplish the task, it is to teach them how to do the chore, to take responsibility as part of a team (your family) and setting them up with a great work ethic for when they are out on their own in the real world.   

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