If you’re a parent of small children, you might be secretly looking forward to the days when your kids can clean their own rooms and help out with the endless list of chores you need to accomplish around the house. But did you know that starting kids on age appropriate chores at a young age is actually beneficial for them all around?
Child psychologists agree that starting kids on chores early can have many benefits for their well-being, such as helping them develop fine motor and memory skills, teaching them responsibility, and helping them build self-confidence.
Encouraging the kids to get involved in household duties will make them feel important, useful and proud of themselves. Here are a few chores to start with:
A great way to get younger toddlers involved with laundry is to allow them to help sort it. They can match socks, or put like colors together, so it’s an exercise for their mind in addition to being a lesson on how to do laundry. Older toddlers can help put away clothes, while school-aged kids can learn to fold laundry and start watching an adult load and unload the washer and dryer. If they learn early on, by the age of 10-12, your kids will be able to complete the entire process of doing laundry without any help. And that’s a win for everyone!
2. Washing Dishes
A good way to start getting kids to help with dishes is by teaching them to scrape and rinse their own plates, from as early as 5 or 6. By the age of 7 to 8, kids can start helping with drying the dishes, assisting with loading a dishwasher and putting away dishes. By the age of 9 or 10, kids can load/unload a dishwasher or hand wash and put away dishes on their own.
3. Cleaning up Clutter
Teaching kids how to declutter is an important habit that will help them be mindful in adulthood when it comes to excess stuff. You can get kids involved in the process of decluttering by sorting through old toys, explaining the process of donating, or assisting them in selling some of their old toys in order to save up for something else.
4. Sweeping a floor
Learning to hold a broom and sweep dust into a pan are great exercises for fine motor skills, and it takes practice. By the age of 7 to 8, you can give kids a broom and teach them to patiently sweep the floor while staying beside them to help guide them. Before long they will learn to navigate and maneuver the tactics on their own.
5. Making a bed
Start by showing kids how to make their beds when they are toddlers, encouraging them to be creative when arranging their pillows and stuffed animals, which will help make it feel like an exciting activity. You might consider making it easier on your child by eliminating extra sheets, such as the top sheet, and choosing less complicated bedding. As they get older, they will be able to make their beds entirely on their own, and nothing makes a bedroom look quite as polished as a bed that’s neatly made.
Most parenting experts recommend that children start using a vacuum at the age of 10, when they are strong enough to push and maneuver it. However, some newer models of vacuum cleaners, such as hand held stick-vacs, are lightweight and easier to hold for younger kids.
A great way to start teaching your child how to vacuum is to sprinkle some baking soda on the floor and let them vacuum it up. Baking soda is easy to see, so they can tell if they’ve done the job well. Show them how to slowly move the vacuum in rows overlapping the row they already vacuumed and then switch directions.
Teaching them Life Skills
Are your kids helping with household chores now? If you’re hesitant, keep in mind that one of the best things we can do to prepare our kids for adulthood is teaching them how to look after a home. Chores prepare children for adults by giving them an awareness that they are one of the occupants of the home and that they need to chip in on taking care of it.
Written by: Stacey Wood