Cleaning house with kids: sounds like a recipe for disaster? But the reality is, household chores are often tons of fun when through with kids. In fact, household chores are one of the simplest ways to show your child responsibility and teamwork. And by encouraging them to do their part, you’ll also be teaching them time management skills that will last them for life!
This article is about the benefits of household chores for kids and how they can be made more enjoyable. We’ll also go over some ideas on what tasks your child could do with supervision.
The Benefits of Household Chores for Kids
- Household chores help teach children responsibility and what it means to require care of themselves, their environment, belongings, etc.
- It can help build kids’ self-esteem as they learn how to do something independently or add an achievement to their job list
- Household jobs give your child a sense of personal accomplishment and enable them to be part of the family
- It is an excellent way for kids to practice math skills, like counting or adding up change
- House chores help teach children about how the world works
- Household tasks can give your child something productive to do when they’re bored instead of spending their time watching TV or playing video games
How to get children involved in chores and have fun
- Assign age-appropriate, kid-friendly chores to your child.
- Chores for children can be rewarding or fun by providing an incentive; such as a sticker chart with rewards. Tasks children may perform at home should follow their age guidelines and your supervision rules.
- Household jobs that are easy enough might not require supervision from an adult; it’s important to know your child’s strengths and abilities.
- It’s important for you to steer by example; your kids are more likely to imitate if they see that household chores aren’t a punishment, but rather necessary and important.
- Household chores for kids can be more enjoyable when they are broken up into smaller tasks. Giving your child a job to do every week or day is also great for their sense of responsibility and self-worth.
- Time should be allocated in advance so that it’s on the family schedule, not just skipped over when convenient (i.e., “I’ll do that tomorrow”)
- Assign a soundtrack to household chore time, or play games that teach math skills while doing tasks like folding laundry.
It’s important for both parents and children to have fun during household chores; this will make household chores less stressful and more fun for everyone in the family.
Suggestions for suitable chores for children of different ages
Ages 2 to 3 years old:
- Help tidy their own toys
- Put away clean laundry after it comes out of the dryer
Ages 4 to 6 years old:
- Giving kids chores in their own room can be a great way to introduce them to household work and make the experience more enjoyable, such as picking up toys, making their bed, and picking up clothes
- Help with household chores in the kitchen like setting the table
- Dusting furniture
Ages 7 to 8 years old:
- Children can also do simple tasks around the house, like wiping down tables or organizing bookshelves (with supervision).
- Children should be able to do a majority of household tasks on their own, including chores such as dishes (with adult supervision), taking out the trash, sweeping or mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, and picking up clutter.
Ages 9 to 12 years old:
- Can perform household chores without supervision, like washing dishes or vacuuming the carpeted area.
- Watering plants
- Fold clothes that are already in a basket or hamper
- Make their beds each day
Ages 13 to 18 years old:
- They can do cooking food on their own with supervision from a parent. Cooking is not for kids younger than 13 years old; they should only be in the kitchen to help with simple tasks like stirring.
- Some tasks that they may need assistance with are ironing clothes or mowing the lawn. For these more complicated household jobs, an adult should be present to supervise them while they work.
Household chores for kids are a great way to teach independence and responsibility. Make sure you have an open discussion with your child about household tasks, so they know how it will help them in the future, such as giving them good habits or making their room easier to clean.