Teaching Independence with Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids
Teaching children responsibility should begin at a young age. Independence breeds confidence, and we all want our kids to grow up to be confident adults. However, many parents unknowingly keep kids from doing things they are perfectly able to complete for themselves. This is often because they are unaware of what their child is capable of. This results in a generation of entitled children who have difficulty holding a job.
Here is a breakdown of age-appropriate chores and tasks children can complete beginning as early as a toddler.
Toddler Appropriate Tasks and Chores
- Put their toys away after playing – use bins to keep toys organized.
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper
- Dust furniture
- Bring their dishes to the sink after they are finished eating
- Clean up accidents. Toddlers are quite capable of helping clean up messes when they happen. You will need to assist them in the job, but let them learn to be responsible for helping clean up their messes.
Preschooler Appropriate Tasks and Chores
- Feed the family pet(s)
- Set and clear the table
- Sweep the floor using a hand broom (brush) and dustpan
- Put clothing away in drawers after being washed
- Make his or her bed
- Hang up towels after using them in the bathroom
- Water plants using a small or child’s watering can
Elementary School Age Appropriate Tasks and Chores
- Cleaning his or her room
- Making their school lunch. Children can help when they are younger and move towards being entirely responsible for preparing their school lunch as they grow older. Keep food you are comfortable with them eating in the house so you can trust they are making wise mealtime choices. By guiding them through this process in the early years, you will instill an ability to make good choices
- Unload the dishwasher and put away dishes
- Run a load of laundry and help fold clothes properly
- Clean toilets using a brush and toilet cleaner – appropriate for older elementary age children due to chemicals in cleaner
- Vacuum the floor
- Walk the family dog and picking up after him or her
Middle School and Up Age Appropriate Tasks and Chores
- Set and wake up to an alarm clock
- Mop the floor
- Mow the lawn and other yard work
- Make dinner for the family once per week from a menu they created and with items they helped shop for.
- Change their bed sheets
- Wash windows
At Rainbow Pediatrics, it is our goal to keep kids healthy and happy. Raising independent children who feel confident that they can contribute to their family is one of the best gifts a child could receive. If you have questions about how to implement age-appropriate chores into your household, talk with your pediatric provider at your child’s annual wellness examination.