For a lot of families, kids doing house chores is a tradition. This is because getting kids to participate in house chores has many benefits. Chores play an important role in teaching children essential life skills while also making them feel important and needed. Plus, it reduces the workload that parents have. When you introduce chores to your kids from an early age, they will learn responsibility and proper work ethic. These lessons will prove useful to them for the rest of their lives.
Kids can handle various chores around the house. However, this depends on a number of things. Top of the list is your kids' ages. Their physical ability, maturity level, and personal interests will also come into play.
Right from toddlerhood, children can help around with the simplest chores. Introducing your kids to these chores from an early age will help ease the transition to more complex tasks as they grow.
Here is a closer look at some of the chores kids of different age groups can comfortably do. The chores have been categorized from ages two to eighteen.
Ages 2 and 3
At this age, children develop the ability to handle several behavioral responsibilities. They are also at an age where they find imitating whatever their parents or older siblings do exciting. Although their input may not be as helpful as we would like, toddlers are almost always eager to help around with chores. It is therefore important to encourage them as it will keep their excitement and habit of helping alive.
They will, however, need guidance and supervision most of the time to complete the chores. Doing simple chores will help them create positive habits, which is exactly what you want. Here are some of the chores your toddler can do:
- Help in making their bed
- Help in feeding pets
- Mopping small spills
- Picking up their toys and books
- Putting clothes in the hamper
Ages 4 and 5
Kids at this age are still fairly motivated to help their parents. This is because they are still learning by copying what their parents and older siblings do. Preschool-aged kids can do some chores without supervision. Most of the chores they can complete without supervision are the ones they began doing when they were toddlers and the ones they are naturally talented at.
You can also start introducing them to new chores gradually. Many kids at this age love rewards hence, having a system in which your kids are rewarded for the completion of certain tasks is an important motivation. Some chores that are appropriate for kids at this age include:
- Making the bed with minimal or no supervision
- Setting and clearing the table with supervision
- Bringing in light groceries
- Getting dressed with little help
- Sorting clothes for laundry
Normally, school-aged kids have reduced enthusiasm for house chores. Fortunately, they are more capable of handling more responsibilities without supervision. They are also capable of handling tasks that are more complex or physically difficult.
Most kids this age have an overwhelming desire to be independent and will tend to rebel against the idea of chores. This, however, can be handled with patience and by guiding your kids to be self-sufficient in their responsibilities by using chore charts. Some appropriate chores for kids in this age group include:
- Cleaning their bedrooms with little or no supervision
- Taking care of pets
- Loading and emptying the dishwasher
- Taking out the trash
- Putting away their own laundry
Most kids in this age group are capable of handling many tasks on their own and can complete chores without having to be reminded constantly. They also appreciate a set schedule and are more likely to get upset when given unexpected work.
It is, therefore, a good idea to have a chore chart for kids in this age group for a smooth transition. You can also reward them with allowances when they complete certain tasks. Rewarding them with money at this stage will also give you an opportunity to teach them how to save and budget for things that they want. Here are some of the chores that they can do:
- Helping to wash the car
- Taking out the trash
- Babysitting younger siblings with parental supervision
- Helping to prepare simple meals with little or no help
- Loading the dishwasher with no supervision
- Cleaning the bathroom
Kids in this age group are capable of handling almost every chore in the house. They can complete these chores without any supervision. Most kids in this age tend to be independent.
It is, therefore, a good idea to involve them when preparing a chore schedule as they are more likely to get upset when you prepare a chore schedule without hearing them out first. Some of the chores for this age group include:
- Cooking more complex meals
- Babysitting with little supervision
- Doing yard work
- Doing pet chores including walks
- Cleaning out the fridge
- Ironing clothes
- Mowing the lawn
- Helping with simple home or auto repairs
By the time your kids are in high school, they can complete almost any household chore you can, as long as they have been guided properly. This is the best time to prepare your child for the eventuality of having to establish their own homes soon.
Kids this age also have a tight schedule of their own. It is, therefore, important to consider your child’s schedule and commitments at school and adjust the chores accordingly. Some chores for this age group include:
- Responsibility for maintaining the car they drive
- Preparing meals
- Doing their own laundry or the family’s
- Deep cleaning the kitchen and household appliances
- Purchasing their own clothes
- Grocery shopping alone
- Babysitting younger siblings independently
Most kids can do a lot more than their parents might think. However, it is very important to remember that different kids mature at different rates. Some kids might be able to tackle advanced chores quite early while others might have to wait a while.
As a parent, you are in the best position to evaluate your child’s abilities and supervise the chores you assign them. The best way to do this is by starting with simple tasks then introducing them to more challenging chores as they master the basic ones.