Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Age Appropriate Chores For Kids




So much GOOD can come from letting your kids do chores around the house!

As a mom to 4 kiddos I see chores as a teachable moment - they weren't born knowing how to wash dishes, vacuum or make their bed - they can learn these valuable skills from YOU!

Chores teach kids how to have a good work ethic, how to help serve others, a useful skill, and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Why would you want to keep them from learning such valuable lessons?

Daily Responsibilities 

In our family we start teaching with daily responsibilities and work our way towards chores. Daily responsibilities teach the child how to care for themselves - this is a simple hygiene routine. When I tell my kids to go do their 4 things, they know exactly what that means: hair, teeth/face, bed & dressed.

This routine starts when they are young - about 2 years old. (Too young? Nope!)

Of course a 2 year old will need help with their "4 things" but teaching them and getting them used to this is the point.

Jobs

Before I get to the list of chores there is one more "job" I expect my kids to do. These jobs aren't chores or daily responsibilities but are still jobs that I expect my kids to do (without being told as they get older). These jobs include putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, clearing their place after a meal, hanging up their wet towel after a bath/shower and putting away the stuff they got out when they are finished with it (crafts supplies, toys, games) - get the idea?

 I call this picking up after yourself. I don't really think picking up after yourself should be a chore but rather an expectation that a child knows he/she should do.

I'm trying to teach my kids that this is how you show respect to the other people living under the same roof as them.


OK, so what are chores?

Chores

Chores are tasks that need to be done on a regular basis so that our home - inside and out - is well maintained, clean and organized.

Before I get into a list of what I think are age appropriate chores let me give you a few ways to get your kids doing chores with minimal complaining and whining!

1. Do the chore with your child   

I've learned that if I start out doing the chores with my kids, side by side, talking, laughing, asking questions the time flys, the chore gets done and we both enjoy it. They also learn from my example and what my expectations are for the chore assigned. (No one wants to go back and re-clean a toilet!)

After you do this a few times and the kids catches on then cut them loose and let them do it by themselves.

2. Assign a Chore Partner

Sometimes I pair up the kids and we have a competition to see who can get their chores done the fastest (no cutting corners or slacking though). The winning team usually gets a little prize or treat to make it worth it.

3. Mix It Up

Kids thrive on routine but after awhile the same ole same chore just gets a little boring and that is when I know I need to mix it up a little. After a few weeks of assigning chores to each of my kids I like to re-assign them new ones.

I do however make it a point to ask them which chores they prefer and try to give them the ones they like doing.

4. Chore Trading

Kids love to barter! So why not let them barter with their chores. My kids get pretty creative so sometimes I make sure I witness the agreed upon barter so no one ends up crying "no fair" after the chores are traded.

My 7 year old son is an expert chore barterer - he knows which chores his older sisters hate and will trade one of his easy chores with them PLUS have them pay him $$ on top of the trade to do the chore they hate. This kid is going to make a $$ killing this summer!

5. Brag About How Well Your Kids Do Their Chores

Somewhere along the line my kids learned the art of eavesdropping...and they got GOOD at it. So to take advantage of their listening ears I've learned that telling family, friends or even my husband when they are within earshot what a good job one of them did on a chore boosts their ego and gives them a little pat on the back. Kids love compliments and recognition (who doesn't, right?)! 

OK, now onto the age appropriate chore list - are you ready? Some of these chores within the age categories may shock you but remember our children are not helpless - they are HELPERS!

 Age Appropriate Chores For Kids
click HERE for printable

Now I know this list is not all inclusive and there are probably chores at your house you could add or delete (maybe you live in a warm climate and don't get snow?). These are just to get you started! And please remember - Don't spare your kids from chores, they need to do them, it is for their own good! 

I'm a very visual person so keeping track of assigned chores can be a challenge for me - so I created this cool printable to help me stay on top of the chores and who I've assigned them to. As a thanks for reading my blog I'm including this printable for you for FREE! 

click HERE for printable version

Remember - teach your child how to do the chore first (might take a few practice trials) and then let them go do town! Have fun with chores & your kids!

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