Involving children in household chores is a great way for them to contribute to family life. Some children have household chores or jobs they’re responsible for every day or week. Other children help out when their parents ask them to. Either way, getting children involved benefits everyone.
The secret to getting your children involved in chores is asking for contributions that you value and that suit your children’s age and ability. A chore that’s too hard for a child can be frustrating or even dangerous and one that’s too easy might be boring.
Even young children can start to help out if you choose activities that are right for their age. You can start with simple jobs like looking after their own toys or rooms. These send the message to children that their contribution is important.
It’s also important to think about chores or tasks that get children involved in caring for the family as a whole. For example, get them to help with setting or clearing the table. Jobs like these are more likely to promote a sense of responsibility and participation.
Children can help out around the house in many different ways. For example, they can simply go outside to play when the grown-ups need to do big jobs in the house. Some families will often ask older children to help with younger children – amusing them, distracting them, protecting them.
Here are some ideas of household chores for children of different ages:
- Pick up toys and books
- Set placemats on the dinner table
- Set the table for meals
- Help with preparing meals (under supervision)
- Help put clean clothes into piles for each family member ready to fold
- Help with grocery shopping and putting away groceries
- Hand you wet clothes to be hung out to dry
- Check the post box for mail
- Water the garden and indoor plants
- Take care of food and clean water for pets
- Clean bathroom sink
- Wipe down kitchen benches
- Help wash and hang out clothes
- Help fold dry washing
- Put away crockery and cutlery
- Do some dusting
- Take out rubbish
- Help with meal preparation and serving (under supervision)