With five people in our family, there’s a lot that needs to be done each day, and I literally could spend every spare minute cleaning. But I have learned that I just can’t do everything…and I shouldn’t either!
The verdict is out that chores are good for children! Children learn great life skills from chores, and it also helps them feel like contributors to the family. So don't feel guilty asking them to lend a hand. You are teaching them great life skills, even if there is grumbling and complaining. One day they will appreciate knowing how to do their own laundry and how to clean up before company comes over.
Science tells us that children who have chores have better self-esteem, are more responsible, and can even handle frustration and delayed gratification better.
There’s no need to wait until they are older either. I actually love introducing chores to my children when they are toddlers because they actually like it and feel like big helpers. My youngest is two-years-old now, and she can't wait to help unload the dishwasher with her big sister and brother. And they love telling her where to put all of the dishes that they can delegate to her.
I can remember the first day my mother taught me to wash the dishes. To me, it was like we were having a bubble bath in the sink for them. I even asked her, "Why doesn't everyone love doing the dishes?!?"
Now I know better.
I learned that even though doing dishes is not something I enjoy, having a clean kitchen is totally worth it.
It may not feel so helpful at first when we start teaching chores to our children, but eventually they will get the hang of it. And as a mom who has two less loads of laundry to fold each week, I can tell you that alone is worth it!
Chores for Kids
Chores for 1-2 Year Olds
Put toys, books, and stuffed animals away
Take dishes to the sink
Help move clothes from washer to dryer
Simple dusting (baseboards, stair rails, low shelves)
Put clothes in hamper
Hold dust plan for someone sweeping
Chores for 3 -4 Year Olds
Sweep using small broom
Wipe up spills
Simple folding (washcloths, hand towels)
Vacuum with hand extension or handheld vacuum
Sort and put away clean silverware
Pick up bedroom
Chores for 5 -6 Year Olds
Wipe bathroom counters
Fold pants and shirts (use a cardboard template to help)
Vacuum bedroom or other small areas
Prep simple food for meals
Set the table
Clear the table after meals
Empty trash cans around the house
Sweep the porch
Chores for 7 -8 Year Olds
Pack school lunch
Bring in Groceries
Help cook meals
Load and unload the dishwasher
Clean the bathroom
When it comes to laundry, here is an laundry awesome hack for helping kids easily fold clothes by themselves:
As as I said earlier, my children have helped me do two full loads of laundry with their combined team effort, and they only work on it a few minutes each day. What works for us is to have them fold the number of pieces of laundry as their age. So my eight-year-old folds eight pieces a day, my six-year-old folds six pieces a day and my three-year-old folds three pieces a day.