Since writing the Goal Setting for Children article, I’ve been inundated with CANDo emails asking about what are suitable, age appropriate household activities for children. Here goes…
When parent’s first decide to involve their children in household chores, the stumbling block often comes in deciding what are appropriate activities to put on their list.
I’ll give that the choices are a bit limited with a toddler or preschool child but, there are options. Starting off this young will also give you a head start. Why? At this age, getting kids to do household chores is easier. Chores are still viewed as “fun” and “play”. The child’s role models and society haven’t yet jaded their viewpoint.
Even if you didn’t start young, start now. Involvement in household activities will help develop your child’s home life skills, self-confidence and help teach them accountability.
So, in answer to all the questions I’ve received, below are a few examples of age appropriate chores. It’s not exhaustive but, it should give you some ideas:
Toddlers 2 – 3 Years
- Starting to dress themselves
- Picking up toys
- Helping tidy their room
- Putting away at the end of the day
- Fetching nappies
- Pulling up weeds
- Helping to wipe up spills
- Washing and drying plastic plates, etc.
- Helping to fold towels
- Putting dirty clothes in the basket
Preschool Children 4 – 5 Years
- All the above plus…
- Dressing themselves
- Choosing their own clothes
- Bed making
- Tidying their room
- Clearing and setting the table
- Helping wash the car
- Washing bicycles and toys
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher
- Putting shopping away
- Washing and drying dishes
- Watering houseplants
- Putting laundry away
- Sorting laundry (darks, lights, coloureds, etc.)
- All the above plus…
- Making, stripping and changing beds
- Preparing school lunches
- Making simple meals (toast, beans on toast, salad, chopping vegetables, etc.)
- Vacuuming and washing the floor
- Cleaning shoes
- Using the washing machine
- Taking out the rubbish
- Shovelling snow or raking leaves
- Garden work
- Cleaning bathroom/kitchen completely
Older Children and Teens Age 12 – upwards
All of the above. In fact from the age of about 12 years onwards, children are quite capable of doing the majority of household activities that adults do provided, and this is a huge caveat, that they have been taught how to do it properly by an adult and then observed to demonstrate competence.
Lazy, pampered kids that wile away the hours on computer games, XBoxes, the internet, in front of the TV or obsessing about their looks, SMSing friends, etc, will grow up as adults that are lazy, pampered, wile away the hours on computer games, etc., etc. Need I go on?
Don’t kid yourself that you’re doing them any favours by giving them an unfettered “childhood”. You’re neglecting to teach them things they need to know.
Lazy kids make for lazy adults so keep them busy and make your own household activities opportunities to involve them and teach them valuable home life skills. They’ll need them for the future. Through their efforts, you’ll also be teaching them to take responsibility, be accountable and building their confidence – they really should and CANDo it!
What household activities does your child complete and have you seen it impact on any other area of their life? We’d like to hear about it on a CANDo email.