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If you’re anything like me, doing chores is something you don’t enjoy but needs to get done. With young children running in and out all day long, things can get messy.
I for one hate constantly cleaning up after the messes. I’ll be cleaning in one room while my almost 4 year old will be in the pantry taking out all the snacks he could find.
It just takes a lot of time and effort to be the only one in the house that cleans.
Children just need some direction in order to be the great helpers we all know they can be.
Chores for your children is a fabulous responsibility building activity that everyone should implement into their home.
The earlier you introduce chores for your children, the better. They should learn all about keeping their environment clean young! When they’re playing with blocks, they need to clean it up after they are finished and before taking out another activity to play with.
It’s good to teach your children that they need to finish the one activity and clean it up before they start the next one. This skill will carry through into young adult and adulthood. My husband could have used more of this concept because he starts projects and moves on to another before finishing his current project.
Age Appropriate Chores
Children who are between ages 3-5 can do some simple things to help around the house. It teaches them life skills and eases the burden that’s always on our shoulders as the mom.
- Set the table
- Dust the furniture
- Water the garden
- Pick up their toys and put them in the toy bin
- They can help with loading the laundry, obviously with your help
- Cleaning the baseboards with a warm and soapy rag
These chores are simple enough for them to handle but also helpful enough to take some of the stress from your shoulders. They may even have some fun with helping too!
Some of you might have some children who are older. Let’s say over 5 years old. These kiddos are able to do more with their chores and they are certainly capable. My children will complain about it and say they cant or its too hard. Do you think I believe that? No way!
They are capable but are just being lazy about it.
Here are some chores for your children who are a bit older.
- Fix the bed
- Fold and put away their own laundry. If they are 5 they might need some help with it.
- Load and unload the dishwasher
- Sweep the floors
- Clean the bathroom
- Help with the weeding in the garden
Now that we’ve got the lists of chores for them to do, its time to implement these chores for your young children. They might complain about it at first but once they get used to it and it becomes normal to them, it will get easier.
Something to keep in mind though, are you doing your chores too? We need to make sure that we’re being a good example to our kids and do what we want them to do. For example, fixing my bed, washing my plate, generally cleaning up after myself.
Telling them to do their chores is pretty hypocritical if we aren’t keeping up with our own chores too. Don’t you think? Also, let’s stop being negative about the chores we need to do.
I’ll be honest, I need to improve on this last point. I do complain and need to stop.
Making Cleaning Up Easier
Something to remember is a child is not going to clean as efficiently as you are. It will take them twice as long to fix their bed or put the toys away. In the beginning, you might need to be there helping which will take more time out of your day but it will be worth it in the end.
When you’re dealing with a child between 3 and 5, it’s important to not just tell them to clean their room but give them actual steps to follow. Here are some pointers to help you.
- Pick up the toys that are “animals” and put them in the toy bin
- Pick up all the pillows and put them on your bed
- Put all the dirty clothes in the hamper
- Pick up all the “yellow” colored toys and put them in the bin
See what I mean? They need more simple and specific explanations for things when they are super young. I’ve tried telling my kids to clean their room but they just stare at me like a deer caught in headlights. They have no idea.
Just be very specific with your kids about the chores around the house. Don’t expect too much in the beginning but keep at it because they eventually will get the hang of it.
Nowadays, my kids get up and do their chores on their own. Sometimes, I’ll still need to remind them to get it done.
If you’re stuck and unsure oh how you can make a cleaning list, then check out my Ultimate Guide o Cleaning Your Home, here.
What are some things that have worked in your home when it comes to chores for your young children? I would love to hear your thoughts.