Checklists & Schedules | Oct 28, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Age appropriate chores for kids that want to help mom

We’ve all heard the saying 'many hands make light work', but how does this apply to getting your children to help with chores around the house? I mean let's face it, toddlers may want to help, but in reality their 'help' (no matter how adorable) can end up slowing things down and making even more of a mess. Then there's preschoolers – the good news here is that they're usually still fairly motivated to help. We then move on to the older groups from elementary school age onwards, where enthusiasm may start to wane but the introduction of pocket money in exchange for chores (or as we like to call it in the parenting world: bribery) can teach the importance of a good work ethic and effective money management.

So, when do we start introducing chores to our children? When assigning tasks, there are several factors to keep in mind. Yes, age is important, but also think about their maturity level, physical capabilities and interest in the task at hand when designating responsibilities. Our sample list of age-appropriate chores for kids is broken down by age group and can be used as a handy guideline when creating your own 'to-do' lists for your little (or not so little!) helper.

Toddlers 

 Toddlers love to help with chores. Usually, their handiwork is more adorable than helpful, but keeping their excitement levels high is worth the extra effort.

 Wipe up any small spills

  • Put toys away

  • Put shoes away

  • Sweep or vacuum with toy broom or vacuum cleaner

Preschoolers

 Kids at this age are ready to take on additional chores and are usually able to help out without constant supervision.

  • Clear and set the table

  • Feed pets

  • Tidy up messy rooms

  • Straighten up pillows and cushions

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Elementary school

Here's where enthusiasm may start to diminish, however, most school-aged children have an keen interest in independence so the introduction of a chore chart or schedule with visual rewards will help keep them motivated.

  • Load the dishwasher

  • Hand wash some dishes

  • Rake leaves

  • Operate the washer or dryer

  • Collect trash from small trash cans

  • Light dusting

  • Make snacks for school lunches

  • Help with vacuuming

  • Help wash the car

  • Put dirty clothes in the laundry hamper

  • Set the table

  • Clear the table and wipe it

 woman-loading-cupboard

High Schoolers

Most teenagers can help with any chore in the home, providing they've been shown what to do. However, teenagers can often have a busy schedule with homework, extra-curricular activities and other commitments so it's important not to overwhelm or overload them.

  • Vacuuming or mopping the floors
  • Do their own (or the family's!) laundry
  • Wash bedding and make beds

  • Wash windows

  • Clean out the refrigerator and other kitchen appliances

  • Cook meals or school lunches

  • Prepare grocery lists and help with the weekly shopping

  • Deep cleaning bathrooms

  • Deep cleaning the kitchen

  • Tidying the kitchen after meals

  • Dusting

  • Heavier yard work

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Top Tips for Cleaning With Kids

Make sure you don’t expose your children (or yourself) to any harmful cleaning chemicals by using only natural cleaning products. It’s also a good idea to double check any ‘natural’ claims made by products by using resources such as the EWG’s ‘Guide to Healthy Cleaning’ or checking to see if the products have third-party certification to back up their claims. The last thing you want is to succumb to cleaning product greenwash!

Also, don’t expect perfection from your children and give them time to learn. Expecting a task to be done to your standard will often lead to conflict. Take their help as a chance to get some relief from your chore list - but also as a chance to spend more time with each other, and as an opportunity for learning.

But if your wish is a home that sparkles from every crack and crevice (without spending hours cleaning), drop the hint for a gift - a professional natural home cleaning service voucher from AspenClean.

Not only will you be treated to a clean home, but you’ll also be gifted with time to spend with your family.

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