Chores for kids! For Toddlers through Elementary School...

I have a huge extended family.  I mean huge.  A small family dinner when I head to California is easily 30 people.  It's fun, messy, loud and chaotic and I can't imagine it any other way. Everyone, even the little kids had responsibilities in our family.   Because, as the hubs says, the aftermath of our get togethers qualify for FEMA relief.  I began to wonder how I would implement this in my own home. By reading beyond this point, you are agreeing to my updated privacy policy (here), and my use of commission based links.

little girl with parents

As I visited my friends and relatives I began to notice that most of the little kids had no responsibilities.  I was heavily pregnant with R3, and little things, like picking up toddler toys, was difficult. At this point the Honeybadger was almost two, and she was assigned kid pick-up things.  That's how it started at our house. I'm not saying it was every day, but definitely the majority of the time.  I was not going back to the toy area after bed to clean up after my sweet girl.

After a while we began to notice that she really enjoyed having jobs.  We added more as she got older:  putting her dirty clothes into the hamper, transferring the clothes from the washer and the dryer, and putting away my clean dish towels.  That one was a bit hard for me because I had to relinquish the neatness of my drawer, but she just got so much pleasure out of it.

At this point I began to hear from other folks about their kids' chores, and I began to wonder, am I making her do too much? Our Honeybadger was only three, but I wasn't going to stop because by this point her little tasks were a big help to me.  When R3 was old enough, we had him start doing the same things.  He has always been an excellent toy cleaner, and he and the Honeybadger use a lot of teamwork to put the towels away.  

One morning, as I was on my hands and knees cleaning up a mess, the kids began singing the "Sweet Nightingale" song from Cinderella.  I had to laugh, but after the meal was done, both of them wanted to play with the dust bin and broom.  You can believe that my next visit to IKEA included buying two new sets for them to play with!  Go ahead lovelies, sing "Sweet Nightingale" ALL you want.

Now that R3 is older, their jobs help share the load with me.  I love to see Honeybadger putting her own dishes in the dishwasher and R3 making his bed (with help).  Last year Santa brought them a little vacuum cleaner, and they love to play with it.  That kind of play is very helpful to me too!

my daughter vacuuming
My oldest, at four vacuuming!

The kitchen towel job is a joint effort now, she folds them, R3 puts them away.  My drawer can't close, so it looks like a hot mess, but it is a joy watching them work together to earn satisfaction from a job well done.  Am I the only one out there who does this?  Sometimes I feel like it.  Have a good day everyone!  Also, if you have any chore suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Now that the kids are older, they can do even more.  R3 and Clara (Honeybadger) are able to use the washing machine by themselves.  He is just learning, but she is pretty used to doing things on her own.  They have even graduated to pet care.  As you can see from the updated chart, they can really help a lot!

infographic for kids chores
Infographic with chores for kids

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