I know, we just told you to say “YES” to the mess. and we completely implied it when we said it. but we also want you to find big and small ways to say “YES” to provides of help. and your toddler might just be that potentially untapped source for cleanup help around the house. We compiled this list of age-appropriate chores that work in our houses. Please add your ideas in the comments.
As a guideline of thumb: Do not do for your child what they can do for themselves.
As a measure of reality: Outsource the chores you hate first.
Laz is cleaning his stairs to earn a LEGO set
As soon as a child can walk, he can start participating in cleaning tasks. little ones take such terrific pleasure in imitating adults that it is quite easy to convince them to help out. These life skills are ones that everyone should master eventually ”“ it’s simply to your own benefit to get them started early.
Here is a basic list of age-appropriate chores that children can learn at different stages. maybe your child is even much more advanced!
Wiping up a spill
Putting clothes in hamper
Putting toys back on shelves or containers
Throwing trash in garbage can or recycling bin
Dust busting with small handheld vacuum
Sweeping with a child-sized broom or dry cloth mop
Clearing plate to kitchen counter
Sorting clean silverware into drawers
Emptying dishwasher for areas in reach
Using a sponge to wipe table
Straightening chairs and tidying table tops in common rooms
Setting the table (I have a small laminated photo of the job done right!)
Emptying trash from rooms to outdoor garbage
Making bed and “cleaning” bedroom (tips on how to get a kid to clean a room!)
Lavanderia! (My pal Sabra has 3 elementary age sons who do all their own laundry, if that sounds too advanced, introduce the concept with these baby steps)
Carrying and sorting dirty laundry into loads
Pushing the best buttons on the machines (almost there!)
Sorting clean socks
Putting away laundry (it might be a wadded up mess, sigh)
Planning meals with help
Cooking part of the meal
Packing lunch boxes (probably with help)
I have older children and some chores are simpler depending on personality type, preferences, and time of day. remember that you’re teaching the child to be a responsible adult — not just shirking your own house work — and be happy of these successes.
Putting away dishes, setting the table
What about money tied to chores?
The matter of allowance and incentives is a whole different matter. I expect certain contributions as being members of the household while allowing a child to earn much more money for additional jobs. I keep allowance separate so I don’t pay for regular chores but I’ve given a few dollars to my child for shredding confidential documents.
Please share in the comments if you’ve succeeded in getting a small child to do big helper jobs around the house.