When we were kids my sister and I were always expected to help around the house. If we had to go swimming, we were expected to pack. If we wanted to go again the next day, we were expected to unpack and put the clothes to dry.
Somehow kids these days have a greater sense of entitlement. There always are eager people to help; to pamper them.
The school my children go to have a very interesting summer break assignment. It encompasses an interesting list of age-wise chores for them to do.The fundamentals of this “home work” rests on the belief that no job is big or small and that kids must learn to assist and execute independently all jobs that are assigned to them.
The joy that I see in my kids when they have successfully managed to fold a napkin into crooked folds or the glee when they separate peas out of a pod is amazing.
So why make kids do household chores?
In my opinion, it helps with letting the kids learn important life skills, responsibilities, respect for people and working together as part of a system. At older ages, it helps the mind to plan and allows them to manage time.
While there is no accurate age really to begin or end these chores, but this guide helps a parent to understand the preparedness of the age at which the kids are most likely to execute these tasks.
Here’s an age-wise list on what chores that kids are capable of doing.
Ages 2-3 years
- Put away toys
- Brush teeth
- Put the clothes in a laundry basket
- Stack books on a shelf
- Wipe down the front of refrigerators and doors
- Help set the table
- Fetch familiar things such as diapers and napkins
- Stir batter in a bowl
- Throw things in the bin
- Water plants
Ages 4-5 years
- All previous chores
- Clear table
- Set the table without help
- Help in gardening
- Dry dishes
- Serve water to guests
- Clean windows
- Sweep with a small broom (kids sized ones are available in the market)
- Make beds
- Sorting of clothes and grocery
- Fold towels and napkins
- Mop the floor
- Help in peeling potatoes, extracting peas and corn
- Getting dressed
- Preparing simple meals like sandwiches or cereal in a bowl
Ages 6-7 years
- All previous chores
- Load the laundry machine
- Pack own bags
- Make small snacks
- Take care of pets
- Rinse dishes and dry them
While you go along remember to:
- Keep it simple for the kids: The children may not be able to process complicated instructions and procedures. So keep it simple. Start with one simple chore and take it forward to bigger and more difficult tasks.
- Take time to show them: Slow down and take time to show your kids how to do it. Remember how you teach them now will last with them.
- Let perfection go: You may find that the job done is not by your standards but if it matters, your child has probably put in all his efforts in getting it correct.
- Shower them with praise: Praise your child and make chores fun and exciting. Work with them and give them lots of positive re-enforcement.
- Hang in there! You may feel like giving up but hang in there! Training a child to do jobs needs a lot of patience and repetition. So hang in there.
- Have fun: If you make it sound like a job, your child will take it as a job. So have fun as you go along. Sing. Laugh. Play and enjoy it alongside each other.
- Scaffold Skills: You can’t reach age 6 and decide to use this chart as a starting point. Building skills is a step by step process. Start with the small steps and build these as you go.
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler Learning
If you are reading this article on our website and have an Android phone, please download our APP here for a more personalised experience based on your lifestage.