Age appropriate chores for kids aren't always easy to find around the house until you have an idea what different ages can do. What is really important to understand is that kids can do far more than we realize. In fact, the youngest of children know that they can do things and ask to help all the time. It is the parents that stand in the way of them helping and becoming helpers around the house because of how we underestimate their abilities.
Age Appropriate Chores for Kids
I remember when my older two children were just 5 and 3 years old, and I was starting to homeschool. I felt overwhelmed by how I was going to get everything done and stay on top of the responsibilities of the home. It was during this time that I felt impressed with the insights to ‘give to my children what they can do and only keep on my plate what was required of me to do‘.
This has since been my guide when I have set up routines in our home and given out responsibilities to different ones in my family.
I knew right away the things that I needed to do because certain things required me completely. Things like planning homeschooling, meals, grocery shopping, and the like. However, there were so many things that I was doing on a daily basis that I didn't need to be doing but still was and wearing myself out at the same time.
Once I figured out a few things for our children to do, I started the 4-step formula to teaching them how to do the chores. What I found was that with my attention to training them and their excitement to be doing what I was doing created an atmosphere in our home that was amazing.
Within a few short weeks, each of our children has a handful of responsibilities that they knew how to do on their own without my further instruction or a watchful eye. Of course, I still evaluated that they did their chores diligently and thoroughly.
One of my favorite things, when I hand over a chore to my children, is letting them take complete ownership over it. They helped me pick out the cleaners, the new vacuum, and dusters. They were thrilled to be part of the process of making choices and took pride in their daily chore times in our routine.
Little by little, I was seeing that I was feeling less overwhelmed and more accomplished with each passing week. My children were happier because routines were formed in our home and they were helping by being an active part of our family unit.
Our home is nearly always cleaned because of this system of each person doing their own part of keeping our home neat. This doesn't mean we don't create messes because we do.
We live in our home!
However, what it does mean is that we all make the messes and we all help to clean it up. We have chore times in our daily routine where we each do what is expected of us. I find that this allows us to be more hospitable and enjoy impromptu visits from neighbors and friends.
As our children grew, their responsibilities grew with them.
As we added to our family, we passed down responsibilities as we did clothes. The older sibling taught the younger sibling how to do the job well. The joy of the younger c that he could do what the older sibling always did.
To us, house responsibilities are like a rite of passage to adulthood with one responsibility learned at a time.
Our system for chores really works and the more children we have had, the more I realize that motivation starts younger and younger in our family because of the work ethic that we teach.
At the age of 7 1/2, our youngest child has learned how to mow our lawn with our riding lawn mower! I was shocked when my 15-year-old and my husband agreed to let him learn the actual mowing part, but he has been driving the mower since he was 5. My 15-year-old has been mowing for neighbors and our property and theirs are actually pretty big, so he wanted a little help keeping up with it all. Our youngest was only too motivated to offer to help.
I wanted to help you identify some great age appropriate chores for kids, and help you start delegating around your home.
If you have children, you know how hard it is to keep their rooms clean, especially if they are younger children. When my older children were smaller, I couldn't believe how quickly they would mess up their rooms. I implemented some key things that help to teach my children to keep their room clean and recently, I had to remind myself of these things when our younger two children were falling into bad habits that were causing them to have a messy room.
How to Teach Your Children to Keep Their Room Clean
All parents would love their children to learn how to keep their room clean, but it may be hard to know where to start, especially if you think your children are too young. Young children can easily learn how to pick up their toys on their own, with early training.
In my own parenting, it is often when you have taught a habit that you relax and allow some slack and all the work has been unraveled. I know from experience, with all four of our children.
However, I know how easy it is to teach your children to keep their room clean with just some focused attention to five key things that will make it worth the effort to implement with your own children.
Each of the tips that I'm going to share with you are the exact things that we have used and recently implemented with our younger boys to get their own room disasters under control, so they can successful learn the important things necessary to keeping their room cleaned on their own.
5 Tips to Teaching Children to Keep Their Room Clean
Tip 1: Everything In Its Place
It is imperative that you start the teaching by giving everything in their room a place that it belongs. I love using cubeicals and fabric drawers to organize their toys in their room. I keep like things together, in one drawer. I color coordinate for children, so they know whose drawer is whose.
Once everything in its place, a child will be able to understand where something belongs and can be one step closer to keeping their room clean. Half the battle for a child is not understanding where things should go and how to keep them organized without having it demonstrated for them.
This type of organizing in their room helps them to play creatively for longer period of time and helps implement the next tip easier.
Tip 2: Put Things Back When You Are Done With It
By having their toys organized, they can have all their Legos out at one time and enjoy hours of play, but they know that they can't go outside without taking care of the Legos first.
I do allow them to take more than one drawer out at a time, like their army men with Lincoln Logs because they obviously can be played together. It helps them enjoy the play together but will also be easy to separate in their correct drawers.
Tip 3: Start a Morning Routine
“As your morning goes, so does the rest of your day.”
We all know this quote, and it works with teaching your children to keep their room clean. We have a set routine for the morning, which includes: making their bed as early as two with my help and by four or five, they can be doing this all on their own, take care of dirty clothes when they get dress and to open their curtains and blinds.
This starts the day with a clean room and will help them continue this focus through the day.
Tip 4: Implement a Clean Up Time Before Dinner
It is easy for us to call our children to dinner and they come to the table, while their toys lay on their floor. If you evening is anything like ours, they may not go back into their room until bedtime and then we aren't wanting to take that time to clean up because we are ready for them to be in bed.
This is a gold nugget tip that will revolutionize your child keeping their room clean.
I give them a 30 minutes time prior to dinner to start to clean up their room and then they can help set the table for dinner. If we miss this we really regret it and then it makes the last tip important.
Tip 5: Tidy Up Once a Week Together
Once a week, go into your children's room with them and do a five minute tidy up. There easily can be several things that haven't made it to its assigned place throughout the week, or made its way under the bed or in the closet.
Have your child dust their room and vacuum, while you do an inspection and help put the odds and ends in their right place. Always make mention that you found things that didn't belong where you found them. Point out things that when you put them in their right place to re-enforce their rightful place and to keep your children accountable.
The following week during tidy up time, if you find the same things out of their rightful place, hand them to the children and have them put them where they belong.
It won't take long before this tip won't be needed if you are consistent with implementing them.
If you are still struggling with these and you have been consistent, I would highly suggest getting rid of some of their things. You can either put them away for a while or donate them.
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I love the Charlotte Mason quote that states, “The more we do for a child, the less he will do for himself.” To me, this makes complete sense. As a Charlotte Mason educator, I love to use the natural stages of a child to introduce things that will be easy for the child to be successful. Chores are no different in a child's education and the stage of ‘mocking' or ‘repeating' has proven to be the perfect stage to introduce chores for toddlers and preschoolers.
Why to Delegate Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers
In my almost 19 years of parenting, I have experienced different personalities in my children but one thing is always the same. They want to be just like me or their daddy for a period of their life. During this stage of their life, they mimic everything that we do or say. This is a big learning stage for these children, but one benefit that this stage offers, if allowed to blossom, is building a strong self-confidence in the child. This aspect of a child, seeing that they can do or say almost everything that Mommy, Daddy and older sister or brothers do, does in fact build a confidence of accomplishment. In doing so, this makes them feel a part of the family and bonds grow stronger toward each other.
Here are 7 Household Chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers
These are the chores that each of my children learned in their toddler ages and as they grew, the responsibilities did, as well.
- Make Their Bed – My children's beds are not the best looking made beds, but they do it on their own. I love to praise them when it looks better than it ever has in the past.
- Take Care of Dirty Clothes – It doesn't only take once or twice for a toddler or preschooler to learn how to take care of their dirty clothes. In fact, my three year old has taken care of his clean clothes without being asked. He didn't put them in their right place, but I wasn't going to tell him and break his heart. He was so proud of himself!
- Feed the Pet – Taking care of the dog is my three year olds pride. He cries if someone lets the dog out and he loves to give him treats. He gives him food on his own and occasionally fills the dog's water dish, even though that chore is for his older brother.
- Help Take Care of Groceries – This chore is exciting for some reason, maybe because there is food in the house again. My three year old loves to take care of the toilet paper, canned foods and things that he can reach in the cupboard. We love his help!
- Wash Windows – My oldest was the first one to do this chore and that was when she was just a little over one! She loved to wipe the windows cleaned and learn how to spray the windows. Today, my three year old cries if he doesn't have a spray bottle and paper towels to help clean the many windows in our home.
- Wash Cupboards – The bottom cupboards are the perfect job for the little people in your home. I will invest in cleaning supplies that make this job easier and enjoyable for the toddlers and preschoolers in my home.
- Wipe Baseboards – I don't know about your home, but our baseboards can get dirty fast. Maybe because we have a dog? Giving the little people wipes to keep the visible baseboards ‘clean' is a great chore as well.
I hope these ideas for chores are great ways to build your toddler and preschooler, while helping you keep up with the house. Be sure to follow us our Toddler & Preschool Pinterest Board, for ideas like these!
What other chores do your have your toddlers and preschoolers do?
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