Children learn by example, so it’s important for us to show our little ones how to keep all areas of our home tidy. Once a child has put in the effort to keep their own areas clean, they will feel a greater sense of pride and be able to better enjoy the space. It also teaches responsibility and team work when you delegate various tasks to your children to help with chores throughout the house. Spreading out many jobs between several people will allow for completing them much faster.
Toddlers can help around the house — and it gets them into the habit of cleaning up after themselves, perhaps even building the habit to just do it after completing an activity, finishing a meal or spilling a drink. They will occasionally need a little more assistance and direction to complete tasks.
My three-year-old, Solara, loves to have our Echo Dot play the “Clean Up” song while she helps me with chores. As long as she is cleaning, the song HAS to be playing, so put it on repeat!
- Place toys & books into a basket
- Wipe up spills
- Clean off highchair/seating area with a baby wipe
- Take dishes to sink after meal/snack
- Pick up dirty clothes & put in basket
- Pick up trash & throw away
- Clean up after activity time
- Water plants
- Fold washcloths & small towels
- Wipe table
- Carry mail/small packages inside
- Empty silverware from dishwasher to drawer
- Stack magazines/paper
My little boys, Chevy (9) and Charlie (7) both have chores on our weekly chore chart. They are capable of doing tasks that take a little longer than a toddler might be able to do. They are also able to be trusted putting away breakable items such as glass cups or sharp items, such as knives.
- Unload/Load dishwasher
- Fold laundry
- Wash windows
- Wash car
- Clean trash & sundry out of car
- Do laundry
- Clean off table
- Clean off counter
- Make their bed
- Pull weeds
- Collect & bring in mail
- Rake leaves
- Keep bedroom tidy
- Help make and pack lunches/snacks
- Put away groceries
- Sew buttons
- Sweep/Mop floor
- Clean windows
Preteens & teens (10+)
It’s great to get teens and even preteens into the habit of having a little more responsibility and strong work ethic to prepare them for their first job. Making sure chores are done properly and to the best of their ability shows that they have pride in their work.
In addition to all the previous chores listed, preteens and teens can do the following:
- Cook meals with supervision
- Clean kitchen/bathroom
- Change bedroom sheets
- Iron clothes
- Babysit younger siblings
- Mow the lawn
- Take out trash and put bins on the curb
Oftentimes, parents are working outside of the home, so if an older child can help with prepping dinner or unloading the dishwasher, it makes a world of difference to the busy parents.
- A responsible and trustworthy older sibling’s duty could be to oversee their siblings’ chores, a bit like a manager over retail associates. It introduces a real-world situation for a preteen/teen to practice people skills in a different way.
- They can use these skills to become entrepreneurs and start their own small businesses doing babysitting, lawn mowing, or dog walking for others in the neighborhood. Earning allowance for chores or money doing side jobs helps them learn how to manage money.
Whether working in the home or for others in the neighborhood, we have to teach our kids to have respect for a job well done. This helps them to not have to redo chores at home and helps them gain more business in the neighborhood.
What chores do your kids do? How do your little ones help out around the house?