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If you’re a little OCD like I am, perhaps allowing the kids to help with chores around the house is a scary thought.
But there’s a time when holding your children back from learning to help with chores becomes overbearing. In fact, it does them a disservice in the long run.
Take me for example. I grew up in a house full of nine children and somehow I ducked out of my fair share of cooking. Today, I struggle through the very basics of making soups, cooking meats properly, and often slapping together sandwiches (just kidding on that last one).
When moms avoid teaching kids to complete chores, it reflects on their futures more than they know.
So without further ado, here are some chores that kids need to start learning young.
17 Chores for Kids
It’s never too late to start teaching your kids how to do chores. Consider using a cleaning checklist to keep yourself on track. Because if we’re being honest, sometimes having the kids involved can derail our plans if they’re not already established.
1. Washing the Dishes
I used to dread teaching my son to do dishes because of the watery mess waiting to happen, but it wasn’t all bad! After only a few hard lessons, kids can quickly learn to keep the water in the sink where it belongs.
Grab a washcloth, dish soap and an apron and get sudsy!
After conquering the initial shock of the loud noises that come out of the big bad vacuum. Kids can quickly learn to clean the floors. Keep a close eye (or hand on) small children because working with any electric machine can be dangerous.
3. Collecting Dirty Laundry
Just because there’s a laundry basket in the bathroom, doesn’t mean the stinky pile of clothes needs to camp there for a week. Have your children bring the dirty laundry straight to the washing machine on a daily basis. At the very least, you can ask them to bring the clothes over on laundry day.
4. Folding Laundry
Now you’re probably thinking I’m crazy to suggest a child could fold laundry, but bear with me! Instead of setting your children down with a full laundry basket, give them the unmatched pile of socks and make a game of it. The one who matches the most pairs of socks in ten minutes wins!
5. Taking out the Trash
Nothing smells worse than a full trash bin festering for a full week on end. Kids can smell, too, you know. Encourage your child to empty all garbage cans throughout the home every 2 to 3 days. Then, as soon as the main trash bin is full, have them help remove it into the garage until garbage day.
6. Cleaning the Toilets
If you’re not making the mess, then why be the only one to clean it up? Toilets can be the worst areas to clean when you have little boys around the home. When your son reaches a responsible age, grab the toilet bowl cleaner and gloves and teach him how to make it sparkle.
7. Feeding the Animals
Whether you have a family pet fish, cat or dog, making sure he’s fed daily is a chore in itself. Teach your kids the importance of their own daily meals and how to consistently feed your pet the correct amount of food. Fresh water should be provided as well.
8. Organizing Toys
Throwing toys into a toy bin is one thing, but spending some extra time organizing the toys is another. If he can get it out, he can put it away. Spend time showing your child the importance of keeping toy sets organized. What good are Legos if they aren’t kept together in one tidy spot?
9. Prepping Food
Perhaps start small and encourage your children to prepare their own sandwiches for lunch. But as they grow, learning to prep and cook food is an important talent for both girls and boys. Your children will appreciate the lessons when they first go to college or move to their own apartment.
Plenty of outdoor chores are suitable for tiny helping hands. Don’t forget to work on that green thumb and teach your children to take care of the garden. Weeding, planting, watering, and even mowing with the proper supervision are just a few things that kids can help with upon reaching an appropriate age.
11. Keeping Surfaces Cleared
And last, but not least, kids can help keep your countertops and side table surfaces cleared of unnecessary clutter. For some reason, every flat, elevated surface in our home is a clutter magnet. The kids are fully capable of clearing their own things from surfaces and tucking them neatly back where they belong.
12. Watering Plants
If you have plants in your home, chances are they need to be watered on a regular basis. This is a perfect chore for kids, as it gives them a chance to learn about plant care and responsibility. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce them to how to water plants like succulents properly.
13. Loading/Unloading the Dishwasher
Dishwashers are a lifesaver, but they can also be confusing to use. If your child is old enough to operate the dishwasher, they can definitely help out with loading and unloading it. This is a great way to teach them about proper dishwashing techniques.
Dusting is one of those chores that always need to be done but is often overlooked. Kids can help out by dusting surfaces in your home, such as furniture, lamps, and shelves. This is a great way to teach them about cleanliness and proper dusting techniques.
Sweeping and mopping are two more chores that children are usually enamored with. And they’re both important in keeping your home clean and tidy. Kids can help out by sweeping floors and mopping up spills. This is a fun way to teach them about cleanliness and proper floor care.
16. Poop Scooping
If you have a pet, chances are you’ve had to deal with their poop at some point. And while it’s not the most pleasant chore, it’s definitely something that needs to be done on a regular basis. Kids can help out by scooping up the poop and disposing of it properly.
Baseboards are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning, but they can actually be quite dirty. Kids can help out by dusting and cleaning the baseboards in your home. Give them a small bucket of water and a sponge and have them see how fast they can complete one room. Just make sure to save mopping for after this chore so that you can easily mop up any spills!
Kids Can Help Clean, Too
Try to involve your children with household chores starting at a young age. If you have to rewash a few dishes or vacuum the floors a second time, that’s okay! Children quickly learn your standards and need only to be taught how to properly clean the home.
Keep in mind that children mature at different rates, so some may be able to handle certain tasks sooner than others. And as always, safety is paramount. With close supervision and a little patience, your kids will be helping out around the house in no time!
What chores do you have the family help with in your home? Share in the comments!