Help your preschoolers work around the house with these 8 chores!
Guest Post by Aileen Clark of Aileen Cooks
Teaching preschoolers to help with chores is so important. I recently read an article about chores for kids “coming back.” The article suggested that kids these days don’t do chores, unlike the way most of us were raised in previous decades.
This article seemed so wrong to me. I feel all kids should be doing chores. It teaches them to contribute to their family and builds a strong work ethic. I believe doing chores helps mold our little people into contributing members of society.
Chores don’t have to start when your kids are older – in high school, or even middle school. My kids are 4 and 2 (plus a newborn) and they help with chores in some capacity on most days. My preschooler has shown more and more interest in helping us around the house, so we are constantly coming up with ways to include him in the day-to-day care of the house and family. I even created a printable chore chart to make it more fun.
Here are some ways your preschooler can help with chores:
Folding Towels and Cloth Napkins
I have a whole pile of white towels we use for cleaning and making homemade mop pads. They get washed each week and my son is in charge of folding them.
You can have your child use an old sock over their hand to dust surfaces or give them a microfiber towel. Either way, kids love to wipe and I hate to dust. It’s win-win.
Most 3- to 4-year-olds will have enough strength in their hands to squeeze a spray bottle. Teach them how and put them to work on cleaning your windows or appliances. I once had my kids clean my entire kitchen with a spray bottle and towels. They did a great job – so can your children! If you’re nervous about them using chemicals, you can make your own natural cleaning products.
Both of my kids know how to load/unload our washing and dryer and start them. We are teaching our older child to separate laundry by color, too! He is at that age where he gets really excited about learning, so this is a great way to build on that.
Yes, I consider cooking a chore. It contributes to the family and our kids need to grow up with the ability to feed themselves. Your preschooler can cut fruit and vegetables with a butter knife, make their own mini pizzas, pour juice or milk, and cook eggs in a basket (with help).
Setting the Table
Both of my kids love getting their own utensils out for dinner. If you set up an area on a low shelf with their plates, bowls, and cups, they can set the table completely independently. Clearing the table after dinner is also another perfect job for little hands.
Preschoolers are the perfect age for learning how to match socks. Make them a pile and put them to work! It is also a great opportunity to discuss colors and same/different concepts.
Kids as young as 18 months can help carry light, non-breakable items into the house. They can even be taught to put away pantry items.
Encouraging your children to do chores does take extra work. They will need your help to “help.” It takes patience and possibly more time to teach them in the beginning. If you invest time in them now, it will save you time in the future.
How do you include your children in household chores?
Aileen Clark is a stay at home mom of three living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs at Aileen Cooks where she shares family friendly recipes, kid-friendly activities, and her cooking with kids series.
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
These are great ideas. I completely agree that children should learn to help with the chores. My kids do most of these on this list. In the past, when we had a more light-weight vacuum, they also loved to push the vacuum cleaner around. I would also add that unloading the dishwasher is another great option.
Hy husband still can’t match his socks, so well done for your kids!
This is a very important article. Teaching kids to do home chores is a great way to get them to be organized and diligent in their private lives. My daughter knows to properly do all of the above-listed chores except cooking. After all, she’s still too young to make her father his favorite spaghetti bolognese 🙂
My wife can get experience from you 🙂
Yes! Thanks for the reminder to involve my kids in chores more! Feeding our dog is an easy one — my 5 yo does the food and my 8 yo does the water (since that can be a little trickier/messier). Also, helping with grocery lugging when we get home from the store — they love getting to pick what they get to carry, and show off their “big muscles”! ? I’ll have them put away silverware from the dishwasher, and definitely sweep up when they’ve spilled something (my 5 yo uses a small handheld broom instead of the big broom). Your ideas are good ones to add to the list!