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.
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.
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.
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.