Tag Archives: Getting Kids To Clean

Age Appropriate Chores for Your Toddlers and Preschoolers

Baby boy with vacuum cleaner

No longer an infant, our toddlers and preschoolers seem to grow and mature, right before our eyes. While many are shy and reticent as they approach their second birthday, most become much more curious and outgoing by the time they reach the age of five.

During this time, they will not only grow physically, they will also master fine motor skills, learn to think and reason, develop a well-rounded vocabulary and become more socially and emotionally mature.

Challenging kids with age appropriate tasks around the house during the toddler and preschool development  years is a great way for parents to help them master new skills and develop the self-confidence that will help them become successful as adults.

For the Two Year Old

The second year of life can be frustrating for your toddler because their emotional development and communication skills are not yet as advanced as their thought patterns. Children of this age enjoy chores such as picking up toys and placing them in baskets or bins and wiping surfaces with a damp cloth.

For the Three Year Old

Three year olds typically know more than 200 words and are beginning to speak and understand more complex ideas. Colors, shapes and textures are increasingly interesting to this age level and they can become quite adept at household chores that include sorting, stacking or simple folding techniques, such as folding washcloths. They can also master more complex tasks, such as using a small watering can to water flowers or put food into the family pet’s dish.

For the Four Year Old

By the age of four, children are much more physically adept and are able to easily memorize songs, stories and basic knowledge such as the alphabet, numbers and colors. They understand the concept of matching objects by color, such as pairing socks and like to help perform simple cooking chores, such as tearing lettuce for salads, peeling hard boiled eggs, stirring batters and rolling out dough.

For the Five Year Old

Five year olds are able to carry on complex conversations and express multi-faceted ideas and are beginning to have a good grasp of right and wrong. In addition, this age group is much more social and is beginning to develop caring relationships with siblings and playmates. Their more advanced physical capabilities, along with more mature thought patterns will allow them to excel at more difficult tasks such as measuring ingredients when cooking, loading the dishwasher correctly and assuming responsibility for specific daily chores, such as pet care, checking the mail or picking ripe produce in the garden.

In every age group, parents should be patient and expect an occasional tantrum or display of stubbornness. However, by keeping the sessions challenging and fun, both you and your child will reap the benefits.

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Turn Household Chores Into a Fun Learning Activity for Kids

5-Tricks-for-Keeping-a-Surprisingly-Clean-Home-with-KidsOne of the most important parts of parenting is teaching our children how to be resourceful and self-reliant and taking care of the family home is a great way to hold these lessons. If you would like to help your child develop these beneficial skills and garner some help with the household chores in the process, the following tips may be just what you need.

Forming a Clean Team

Children are often eager to help Mommy, but have no clue how to perform many common household chores. By forming a cleaning team with your child, they will be able to mimic your actions to learn how to correctly perform the task, and you will both benefit from the interaction of working together.

When working out the details for your home cleaning team, remember that children of different ages have different attention spans, as well as different skill sets. To maximize the lessons (and the amount of housework that gets accomplished), plan frequent, short sessions and make them as enjoyable as possible by using some of the following suggestions:

  • Use age appropriate, upbeat music and mix up the genres to make it fun. For example, consider breaking out some 80s disco tunes for your teenagers and alphabet songs for the toddler crowd.
  • Incorporate physical activity into cleaning chores to get a clean house and a fun workout by practicing your dance moves with your kids while mopping the floor or scrubbing walls.
  • As the kids become more proficient with their tasks, create a lottery to assign the chores for the week. This adds some excitement while making sure that no child is stuck with the same chores again and again. To do this, write each chore on a slip of paper and have each child draw them from a fishbowl. Keep track of the completed chores on a dry erase or chalk board and award a prize each week to the child who successfully completes all their tasks – even your prizes can be family oriented, such as a trip to the movies.
  • Institute a nightly scavenger hunt to find and put away items that have been strewn about through the day. To add excitement, set the kitchen timer for five or ten minutes and have all
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Using Household Tasks to Raise Responsible Kids

When kids help with household chores, the benefits are far greater than it might seem at first glance. In addition to learning the proper way to load the dishwasher or sort laundry, being given age-appropriate responsibilities around the house helps kids become more confident and self-assured adults. Here are some helpful tips parents can use to teach kids the importance of taking part in household duties.


Make Them Non-Negotiable

Just like parents have to make sure that tasks like grocery shopping, meal preparation and other chores are done, kids of all ages should have a few non-negotiable tasks they must accomplish each week. Even though the actual chores assigned to each child may only take minutes per day, these tasks help teach kids life skills, such as time management, responsibility and accountability, which in turn make them better able to succeed with larger obligations, later in their lives.

Parents can assist kids with this by insisting that the assigned chores are completed before voluntary or recreational activities are allowed. Create a calendar or chart that lists the daily assignments, and teach kids to check it daily and mark off tasks as they are completed.

Many parents choose to hold scheduled chore times such as thirty minutes after dinner or one hour on Saturday morning when the whole family works together to complete necessary household and lawn care tasks.

Make Sure Chores are Age & Skill Appropriate

While kids should never be tasked with chores beyond their physical or mental capabilities, most kids enjoy being given greater responsibilities as their skill levels increase. Here is a list of kid chores by there age group to get you started:

  • Toddlers through age 4: This age group loves to follow older siblings and parents around and imitate their actions. Folding washcloths, wiping surfaces and picking up toys are great first chores for this age group.
  • Ages 5 through 7: Motor skills and agility are more developed in this group, making them well-suited at matching socks, folding towels and t-shirts, making their beds and doing simple cooking chores, such as stirring cookie dough, washing vegetables and making sandwiches.
  • Ages 8 through 10: This group is excited to learn and becoming more responsible. Good task options for them include loading and unloading the dishwasher, pet care, weeding the garden or flower beds, setting the table and more advanced cooking skills such as peeling carrots and potatoes and assembling salads.
  • Ages 10 through 12: This group has a more developed maturity level and better problem solving skills as well more physical strength. They are well suited for vacuuming, operating the dishwasher, washer and dryer and taking out trash and putting away groceries.
  • Teenagers: These soon-to-be adults have the skills and maturity to handle many of the same daily household responsibilities as their parents, such as cooking, lawn care, cleaning bathrooms, washing floors and changing sheets.
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