Chores and Kids

As you no doubt have guessed by now, I firmly believe my kids should do chores. To make sure they are able to help as much as is age appropriate here are some things we’ve done in our house to make it possible.

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DISHES

1. We use mostly plastic dishes. This means they can set the table, and they can put away their own dishes.

2. There’s a cabinet that is at their level that has most of the kid dishes. The kids are in charge of putting away anything that goes in there.

3. The kids can put away silverware, they do not put away sharp knives, but a butter knife will be very hard to hurt yourself with. It takes a lot of skill, even I haven’t managed it yet.
* Caveat to this, if your kids put away your silverware, that does mean that you won’t alwyas be able to find stuff.

GROCERIES

I try very hard to ensure that groceries are packed at the store so they’re not too heavy. When we’re unloading everything, anything that is light enough for the kids to carry is put on the ground for them to come get.

I usually do the grocery shopping with the kids, this does mean it takes MUCH longer. But, they can also fetch things off of shelves that they can reach, and are usually quite happy to help me get mushrooms or bananas.

CLEANING

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You’ve all seen my kids doing lots of cleaning, and mopping, and general picking up. Here’s things I have them do:

1. Mop. I got our mops here. I regularly drool over their other items, and have a lengthy wish list there. Having my kids mop the floor does mean that it is usually fairly wet afterwards, but I can run my big mop over it afterwards and get the worst of it off.

2. Sweep. I want to get some more brooms for the kids, probably from the above site. The ones we have right now I don’t really like. I saw an idea from a featured site Totally Tots to tape a square to identify where they should sweep to. I’m going to start trying that idea, because I think it will be a big help.

3. Folding clothes. I showed the boys how to do this and Batman loves to fold clothes now. He’s horrible at it. They end up looking more like they’re wadded up, but he loves to do it, and it lets him feel like he’s helping Mommy.

4. A corollary to that last one, putting away their own clothes. All three of them, even Princess are responsible for putting away their own clothes. This is one I have to check up on, because they have a tendency to get distracted and not finish putting them away. But otherwise, they do pretty good. As long as you don’t mind them not always getting it in the right drawer.

So, that’s the chores my kids do. A lot of why I have them do all of this is because I want them to grow up realizing that is part of life, and it must be done. Also, I had more than a few friends in college who didn’t know how to load a dishwasher or cook, or do laundry. It was truly frightening.

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15 thoughts on “Chores and Kids

  1. I am impressed with what your kids can do already. I was one of those kids whose mothers did practically everything for. At least I could handle money, since my only chore was grocery shopping 🙂 I did well by marrying an extremely practical man, and I hope that under his guidance Anna will be more practical than I am.

  2. Impressive! Remind me, how old are they?

    We don't use plastic dishes, but Meghan helps me unload the dishwasher…plates, bowls, silverware , then I put it away.

  3. that's great! i have my almost 3 year old help out with lots of chores! @ this age, she actually likes helping, so i figured i should teach her when she's excited about it. that way, later on when she isn't interested, she can't use *that* as an excuse! although, i'm sure she'll find something else. 😉

  4. Wow! That's awesome! My 5-year-old makes her bed, puts her clothes away, sets the table and keeps her things picked up. Your post has inspired me to do more!

  5. Great list! I've recently been 'graduating' my 3 yr old to some of his older brothers chores (putting away silverware, folding washcloths) and finding new things for my 6 yr old to do.

  6. Thank you for stopping by my stART post, it has been wonderful to come by and visit your blog.

    I always take our three year old and one year old grocery shopping. My three year old is a great help – she enjoys looking out for items on our list and helping to put everything into the trolley.

    Doing age appropriate chores has so many benefits and most toddlers love to help. It's the perfect age to embrace that enthusiasm and get children involved.

  7. You are an inspiration. I know that I say “oh just let me do it” too often. I need to take it a little slower and let the boys help more. I know that it will pay off in the long run. Thanks for the tips.

  8. You are an inspiration. I know that I say “oh just let me do it” too often. I need to take it a little slower and let the boys help more. I know that it will pay off in the long run. Thanks for the tips.

  9. You are brave with the mop the floor chore. I firmly believe in chores for kids, after all they live in the house and make the messes too. But I have not done the mop the floor with my 4 year old. I think it would just be a big mess for me. How old are your boys?

  10. I was that person in college who couldn't do anything! I'm trying to make sure my kids aren't like that. I do have to admit that I stopped letting them mop my floors though because they got so wet and one of them fell and it was awful. Do you use chore charts or anything?

  11. Oh, I love this post! I LOVE chores for kids!! I think all kids should have chores and I just have to say again, LOVE this post!

    I have to add, I haven't let mine mop the floor either–I'm sure you've figured out by now, I'm way too anal for that one:-).

  12. I loved reading about what kids in other homes are doing for chores. M has a few, but I feel like he's ready for more… when did you have your kids start putting their own clothes away? M is three and he could do it, but I'm worried about taking the drawer locks off his dresser… he's a climber and could open them to climb up… anyway, great post!!

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