Messy Yet Lovely

Getting kids used to doing chores from a young age is essential to make them grow as independent and responsible adults. 

A culture I admire for raising kids responsible by making them do chores from a young age is of the country, Japan. 

In Japan, children receive the training to do all kinds of chores from a young age from school. 

Their aim is to grow kids into responsible citizens. They train children to do age-appropriate chores in each grade. 

It can be hard to grasp for non-Japanese people to digest the fact that first graders have the duty to clean their classrooms, but it shows how parents limit the kids from doing age-appropriate chores. 

We underestimate kids thinking they are not capable of doing the grown-up chores. 

But the fact is, with a little training, kids can be taught to do many of the chores we think is impossible for them. 

HOW TO SELECT CHORES FOR KIDS ACCORDING TO THEIR AGE?

The following list is a rough guideline. What we should keep in mind is that the ability to do different chores varies for each child and even after training if they do not seem capable of doing a chore, there is no need to force them to do it. 

And also, don’t insist on doing it perfectly, because the intention of making kids do chores is not to make them achieve perfection, but is training them to share responsibilities around the home. 

And also, when they do a chore well, appreciate their effort and express gratitude for their service. 

Appreciation encourages them to keep contributing to the family chores and helps in boosting their sense of belonging and significance. 

So let’s see what the age-appropriate chores given to kids of different ages are.

THINGS TO NOTE BEFORE MAKING THEM DO CHORES

Kids need specific instructions and training to do chores. 

That’s where chore charts or to-do checklists can be of help. They do not necessarily remember what they are supposed to do every day. 

Therefore make a checklist of daily chores to keep them in the loop.

And also, they need thorough training to learn to do chores. Demonstrate to them how to do each chore, and explain the do’s and don’ts of it. 

Even then, their work could be messy and imperfect. They could also knock things down and create more work for you. 

But patience is key here and always keep your end goal in mind, which is raising them to be adults who maintain cleanliness and have the kindness to share responsibilities with others.

CHORES FOR KIDS AGE 2-3

Toddlers are highly independent creatures. Toddlerhood is the age where kids start to push limits to test their independence. 

During this age, they are good imitators as well. They notice every little thing we do and imitate it. And that’s why this is a good age to start training them to do chores. 

Though they can’t be of much help at this age, we can start training them to develop good habits.

One thing to note when training kids to do chores is being consistent. If they are expected to do chores only once in a while, they might not follow through with the tasks daily and therefore fail to make it a part of daily life. 

Age-appropriate chores for toddlers:

  • Pick up toys and put them in a basket
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper 
  • Clean paper bits using brush and dustpan
  • Put waste in the wastebasket
  • Help feed pets
  • Wipe up spills
  • Dusting 
  • Put books on the bookshelf
  • Pick up things from the floor and put them in their place
  • Carry firewood
  • Fold washcloths
  • Wipe cabinets

CHORES FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS (AGES 4-5)

Preschoolers love to help around and at this age, they are more capable of doing different chores fairly well. 

This is an age where we can start giving more responsibilities to them. The age-appropriate chores for preschoolers are:

  • All of the above chores
  • Clearing and setting the table
  • Water the plants
  • Weed the garden
  • Clean doors and windows
  • Help in making the bed
  • Help in drying the dishes and putting them away
  • Help in making food (simple tasks like assembling a sandwich, making lime water, etc)
  • Putting away the groceries
  • Sweep with broom
  • Help with a mop
  • Fold small clothes and put them away
  • Empty wastebasket
  • Match socks

CHORES FOR EARLY ELEMENTARY KIDS (AGES 6-8)

By this age, kids may show less interest in doing the chores that they are well-trained to do. They may want to explore new and more grown-up chores. 

But it is important to make chores a part of their life by creating chore charts and giving constant encouragement. 

Chores for kids aged between 6 and 8:

  • All of the above chores
  • Wipe counters (kitchen and bathroom)
  • Vacuum and mop with help
  • Hang out laundry
  • Fold and put away laundry
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Get mail
  • Help Rake leaves
  • Sweep
  • Wash produce and do simple cutting
  • Make simple snacks
  • Tidy their bedroom
  • Dust and mop
  • Make salad
  • Peel vegetables
  • Help with washing the dishes 
  • Help pack the lunch
  • Wipe mirrors

CHORES FOR ELEMENTARY KIDS (AGES 9-11)

By this age, they have more responsibilities at school and home. They have more to study and more homework to do. So helping them develop a routine to incorporate both school and chores will help to make sure they remain consistent with chores. 

Chores for kids aged 9-11

  • All of the above chores
  • Wash own laundry
  • Make scrambled eggs
  • Bake cakes and cookies
  • Help with preparing meals
  • Clean the bathroom 
  • Operate the washing machine
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Vacuum and mop
  • Help wash the car
  • Make own breakfast
  • Iron clothes

CHORES FOR KIDS AGED ABOVE 12

Most kids aged above 12 and teenagers can do almost any chores at home. If trained early on, by the time children reach teenage, they are used to doing chores at home and consider it part of their routine. 

Chores for kids aged above 12 and teenagers:

  • All of the above chores
  • Cook simple meals with supervision
  • Mow lawns
  • Babysit siblings
  • Wash car
  • Change bedsheets
  • Clean out fridge
  • Clean the garage
  • Do simple home repairs with the help

What do you think about the list of chores for kids? Let me know how you implement the chore system at home in the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

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