Do you sometimes wish your kids would help out more around the house? You might think they’re too young to be given any kind of job or responsibility. But children of all ages can learn to help with household chores. In fact, getting involved in cleaning is one of the best ways for kids to learn about how families work as a team.
At pre-school, most children learn to pick up their toys after playtime, or put their mats away after a nap. Continuing these practices at home will not only help keep your home in order, but teach kids about the importance of contributing to family life.
Let’s look at why it’s so important to get children involved in household chores, for the benefit of your whole family.
Why it’s Important to Teach Children About Cleaning
Getting kids involved in cleaning benefits everyone. With each family member playing a role in keeping the house tidy – no matter how small that role is – your home will feel far less stressful and chaotic. This means you have more time to relax and enjoy life together as a family.
Sharing housework also helps the family unit to work better, as it reinforces working as part of a team. In many families, the majority of housework still falls primarily on mothers, whether or not they are at home or employed full time. One person alone, regardless of who that person is, should not be responsible for cleaning the house. And when children and partners are involved in cleaning, it shouldn’t be for the sole purpose of “helping Mum out.” Making the home a nice place to be is important work, and everyone is responsible for playing a part in that.
Cleaning also teaches kids about responsibility, helping to build healthy habits. You might be surprised to see how positively your children respond to housework – many kids love the idea of chores and checklists, taking pride in completing their tasks and knowing what’s expected of them at home.
Simple Household Chores for Kids of All Ages
Wondering what household chores you can start getting your kids involved in?
No matter what age your child is, there are things they can do that will help them feel competent, responsible and as though they are contributing to family life. Children can start helping from as young as 2, with simple jobs that are suitable for their age and skills. Teaching kids to look after their own possessions, like books and toys, is a great way to start the ball rolling.
Also think about chores that show an element of caring for other members of the family. This could be something as simple as setting the table, with a nice place setting laid out for each person. Doing this reinforces your child’s positive contribution to the family as a whole.
Take a look through our list below for some ideas of chores your kids can do around the home. Remember to thank and reward each child for their contribution, showing them that their help not only makes you happy, but reminding them that they are an important part of the family.
2 to 3 Year-Olds
- Picking up toys and books
- Putting dirty clothes in laundry baskets
- Setting placemats on the table for breakfast or dinner
4 to 5 Year-Olds
- Setting the table with placemats and cutlery
- Helping to put away groceries
- Helping to fold dry washing and sort into piles
6 to 8 Year-Olds
- Watering the garden and indoor plants
- Wiping down kitchen benches after cooking
- Sweeping up the floor with a dustpan and brush
Author: Kerrie-Anne Chinn
Freelance Copywriter & Editor, working with ethical companies to create positive change.