Printable Chore Chart for Kids
Parents from all regions and cultures of the world remain divided whether they should or should not hand out chores to their children. Some parents believe that kids must rather do schoolwork or extracurricular activities than sweeping the floor.
However, child psychologists urge you to think otherwise because delegating household chores to children has profound benefits to you, to your family, and your kid. In this article, you’ll learn the whys and hows of giving chores to kids.
Kids Doing Chores
Research shows that delegation of some household chores to children brings positive effects on their mental and physical health.
According to experts, children tend to develop a strong sense of self-fulfillment as they complete the tasks handed out to them. It boosts their self-confidence and encourages self-reliance. It also allows them to make their own choices that consequently hone their decision-making skills. Ultimately, chores make children more competent and responsible giving them better chances at succeeding in life.
Interestingly, a study conducted at the University of Minnesota revealed that individuals who perform household tasks as early as 3-4 years old achieve many academic and career goals by the time they reach their mid-20s. They also develop strong and reliable connections with their family and friends; thus, encouraging feelings of happiness, contentment, and peace.
Allowing your children to do chores not only benefits your children but also your family dynamics. As a parent, it is your responsibility to instill in your kid the importance of teamwork, unity, and consideration in a family. By requiring their participation in routine household tasks, they feel that they belong and that they are needed. Kids also get a clearer picture of how a family needs to work all together to thrive.
Lastly, doing chores can keep children physically active. A healthy practice of reasonable cleaning activities can serve as regular exercise for kids. The tasks can also be a fun activity you can share with them. The best example of this is car washing which creates memorable moments for many families.
Age Appropriate Chores for Kids
The greatest misconception about kids is that they are too dependent and helpless. But the truth is, they are more capable and reliable than how they are usually perceived.
According to experts, parents can delegate simple tasks to kids as young as two (2) years old. Doing so will help their mental and emotional development as they grow. The chores could also become your bonding moments that will encourage positive feelings and a stronger relationship.
But never forget to assess and observe your kid. Children often grow at a different pace. Make sure that they are physically and mentally ready to handle chores because if not, they can feel negative emotions such as pressure and frustration.
Good Chores for Kids
Getting your kid involved in chores is sometimes a tricky project. The secret though is to select age-appropriate tasks. You must consider the age and abilities of your kid. Assigning tasks that are too difficult may doom your kids to failure, thus discouraging them from participating. Most importantly, you have to carefully assess the safety of the task. You certainly would like to stir away from any form of danger.
Introduce the whole concept of doing chores to your children by sitting them down, explaining and demonstrating how the task is done. You could also tell them the importance of the task and why it matters to your household.
While it’s understandable that they will experience difficulty at first, it’s better if you perform the chore WITH them until they get a good grasp of it. However, always remember to give them enough learning space to do the chore on their own.Kids-Chore-Chart_1
Chores for Kids by Age
Here are some of the recommended chores for each age group. Remember, this is for typically developing children, our kids may progress at a slower pace.
2-3 years old (Toddler)
- Picking up and placing toys in storage bins.
- Sorting their clothes by color.
- Carrying a small plastic bag and allowing them to pick up trash.
- Peeling of fruits like banana and orange.
- Wiping off little spills with a cloth.
4-5 years old
- Making their bed
- Watering indoor plants with spray bottles
- Setting and clearing the table (Note: Make sure that your dishes are lightweight and unbreakable like plastic.)
- Vacuuming or sweeping the floor.
- Cleaning ad dusting their toys.
- Preparing simple meals like a sandwich.
6-11 years old
- Helping in grocery shopping
- Preparing more complicated meals. You can also teach them baking.
- Feeding pets
- Taking out the trash
- Folding clothes
- Watering the garden
- Must be given routine tasks like sweeping floors and cleaning their room.
12-19 years old (Teenagers)
Teenagers can continue doing their childhood chores. However, some kids can also take on more difficult tasks. It can be a great way to teach responsibility and executive functioning skills, ADLs, etc. in a low-risk environment.
- Washing their laundry
- Car washing
- Preparing and cooking meals
- Maintaining the lawn
How Many Chores should a Child Have?
There is no universal rule stating the exact number of chores your kid must have. It usually depends on your parenting style, household type, and your child’s skill sets.
However, it’s recommended to have them perform tasks for about 20-30 minutes a day to keep them active. This is also an optimal amount so that they do not feel too entitled but also not too burdened. Again, you may have to vary this for your child.
You should also consider that when they start school, more of their time will be dedicated to schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Then, I let them focus on routine tasks like making their bed and cleaning their room. This way, they have the freedom to do it at their schedule and pace.
Should you Pay your Kids for Chores?
There is an ongoing debate whether it’s healthy paying your kid to do chores. To look at this issue deeper here are the pros and cons of paying your kid to do chores:
PROS of Paying kids for chores:
- It teaches them the value of money.
- They learn how to save and spend their money wisely.
- A good way of demonstrating the concept of consequence and rewards.
- It helps them understand the importance of contributing through time and effort.
CONS of paying kids for chores:
- Children often lack the motivation to do the chores, and this teaches extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards.
- Kids misunderstand the true purpose of doing the chore because they are too driven by monetary gain.
- They may be led into thinking that every request must come with something in return.
Parenting is a complicated job. There is no easy way of raising kids. However, simple practices such as letting them do household chores can help them become the best versions of themselves. The most important thing is that you are beside them every step of the way. It’s a great way to teach skills in a low risk environment and it allows for much repetition.
I know that I personally get trapped in the “it’s faster if I do it myself” mode, but, we have to ready them to leave the nest.
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