Participating in Household Chores: How Much Can My Child Do?
From our friends at Black Bear Academy
As any busy family knows, the chores associated with keeping a household running can seem never-ending! The good news is that your child can help! Empowering your child to participate in household chores is a great way to enhance his or her fine motor, gross motor, speech and language, and sensory regulation skills. Performing tasks for the good of the family is also important on a social/emotional level. Allowing your children to take ownership over a set of chores will help build their confidence and pride in contributing to the family. Many children enjoy being a “special helper” or performing chores disguised as “secret missions.”
See below for a sampling of chores appropriate for children (with supervision) at a variety of developmental levels:
1 Year Old:
- Begins to imitate parents completing household chores, including wiping a table or dragging a toy vacuum across the floor.
2 Years Old:
- Picks up toys with verbal reminders.
- Puts his or her dirty clothes in hamper with verbal reminders.
- Carries items from place to place.
3 Years Old:
- Helps remove sheets from bed, helps make bed.
- Waters plants using a spray bottle.
- Dusts baseboards using a cloth.
- Dries plastic dishes, cleans up small spills using a towel.
4 Years Old:
- Prepares simple snack for him- or herself (pours crackers onto plate).
- Washes his or her hands.
- Sorts clothes by color (light/dark) for laundry.
- Refills pet’s food and water bowls with supervision.
5 Years Old:
- Cleans up play area neatly.
- Makes a simple sandwich for him- or herself.
- Sets table, clears table, loads dishes into dishwasher with supervision.