Do you feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do around the house? Enlist your children with our list of 12 Chores for Kids They Can Do Themselves!
12 Chores For Kids They Can Do Themselves
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Do you feel like you are the only one that ever cleans and picks up around your house?
I know I DO!
There are days where I feel like from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed I am running around the house like a crazy person doing laundry, making beds, scrubbing toilets, sweeping the floors, along with about 100 other tasks.
I have always struggled with finding the balance between my kids helping around the house and my kids having fun. Between going to school all day, homework, and extracurricular activities.
I have always felt like there was very little time for kids to be kids so I have done 99.9% of the housework, until one day when I DISCOVERED there are many things kids can do chores that just take a FEW MINUTES HERE AND A FEW MINUTES THERE to really help out around the house!
Are you like me and do too much for your kids?
Do you want to teach your kids responsibilities with the limited amount of time that you have?
Whenever I think about how little time we have with our kids, as parents, I think about how people say you only have 18 summers with them. Doesn’t that kind of put things into perspective? They really do grow up way too fast!
It is so important to teach our kids to be responsible now so they can be responsible as adults! We TEACH THEM RESPONSIBILITY by giving them chores (or in our house, we call them jobs) to do to help the household run effectively!
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Raise a Confident Child with Good Work Ethic
Here are 12 Chores for Kids that take less than 15 minutes that your kids need to be doing to help around the house!
12 Chores For Kids They Can Do Themselves
Pick Up After Themselves:
One of the easiest chores for kids is to pick up after themselves. Nothing drives me more bonkers than finding stuff everywhere that it doesn’t belong! Chase is the worst! I think Chase thinks that the area by the front door is an extension of his bedroom and the playroom is just one giant laundry basket for his dirty socks! What is it with boys and leaving their socks everywhere? (We had better get that under control so his wife doesn’t go crazy picking socks up constantly!)
No matter how old your kids are they can pick up after themselves. If they use it, they need to put it away or clean it up!
Make Their Beds:
Make your bed! Each member of the house should make their own bed. I remember the first time the boys made their beds… the sheets were not pulled up, the comforter was on sideways, and the blanket they sleep with was a big rolled up ball thrown in the middle of the bed!
I so badly wanted to go and FIX IT, but I didn’t because #1 rule of kids doing chores is don’t go behind them and fix it or they will never learn.
If we fix it and tell them they are doing it wrong…they will figure we will do it…or they will feel like why should they even try if it’s always going to be wrong.
What I did do was I would take them in there and give them some helpful tips… it’s easier if you find a corner of the sheet and pull it up… Lay the blanket on the ground and put the corners together… These tips after a while helped because now they head into their rooms and make their bed and it looks pretty good all on their own!
Toddlers can even make their bed… Teach them young! Talie and I will go to her room and I will tell her step by step what I am doing; she tries to help where she can. Then she puts the pillows on the bed and all her animals.
If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed.
– William McRaven, US Navy Admiral
Did you see this commencement speech by Admiral McRaven? He talks about the importance of making your bed each morning and what it teaches you. Check it out below:
Go make your bed!
I do all the laundry in the house. The older kids have been taught how to if they need to in an emergency or if they want something washed not on laundry day. Yep! You heard that we have laundry days: Mondays and Thursdays.
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The kids are responsible for getting all their laundry down to the laundry room before school; if it doesn’t make it there, it doesn’t get washed! After it is washed I will fold it and then they are responsible for taking it and putting it away. If the kids are home and I need the laundry moved from the washer to the dryer they will do that as well.
The kids take turns emptying the kitchen trash as needed. Trash day is Friday so on Thursday Chase is responsible for collecting all the trash around the house and taking it outside and then Colby takes the cans to the corner. After the trash has come, he brings the cans back up to the house. This is another chore for kids that even younger kids can help with.
Set the Table:
The kids take turns setting the table by week. They are responsible for placemats, plates, silverware, napkins, and filling glasses with water. Talie will help whoever is setting the table.
A set table will show everyone that dinner time is important. Some of the best conversations between family members has happened around the dinner table.
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Clear the Table:
Each member of the family clears their own plate, scrapes the food into the trash, scrubs it with the scrubber and puts it in the dishwasher. You are probably thinking certainly a toddler doesn’t do this, but they can and should!
You can assist them in carrying it over to the trash and help them scrape it clean. Then help them scrub it with the scrubber. Trust me! Your toddler will love this part! Then you can show them how it goes in the dishwasher.
The kids take turns emptying the dishwasher as well. They are responsible for putting everything away. If they can’t reach where something goes they get a stool or ask for help. Even little kids can help sort silverware or put plastic cups away.
They are responsible for tidying up their room. They need to make sure drawers are pushed in, laundry is in the basket, and their dresser is clean. I also have them vacuum their floor.
Does your child feel overwhelmed by their room and stuff everywhere? Do they not know where to start and are ready to give up?
Try a 15-minute timer. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and they need to clean their room for 15 minutes. When the 15-minute timer goes off, they are finished. This helps break down the job in a more manageable way.
All the older kids are in charge of a bathroom in the house. They scrub the sink, the toilet, and the bathtub. They clean the mirror and the floor. The first time they “cleaned the bathroom” was awful! As I walked in and you could still see the pee stains on the boys’ toilet… I REALLY WANTED TO CLEAN IT MYSELF at that point, but I resisted.
Instead of doing that, I pointed out everything that needed some more love, and they were so annoyed with me because we went back and forth for over an hour with things that needed to be cleaned again, but now they have gotten it and can clean a bathroom in about 15ish minutes that looks pretty good and smells fresh!
I know you are probably trying to figure out how meal planning is a chore, but in our house it is! Every Sunday we sit down as a family and figure out what we are going to eat. Everyone has a say and we decide on our meals as a family. If you say, “I don’t care.” That means you aren’t allowed to complain that week with what we have!
Meal planning teaches kids to plan and to budget. If they say we want steak then they know we have to eat spaghetti a different night so that we stay within our grocery budget.
Meal planning also opens the door for older kids to practice their cooking skills. Young kids can help with the cooking and meal prep too!
Kids need to help take care of the yard, not just play in it! There are weeds that need to be pulled, sidewalks that need sweeping, gardens that need to be watered, lawns that need mowing, etc. The kids need to learn these jobs so when they live on their own one day they know how to do things!
Taking Care of Pets:
If you have pets, the kids should be feeding them, walking them, and cleaning up after them! Poop patrol is never fun. While it teaches kids to take care of their pet, it also teaches them how we take care of the yard, so that everyone can enjoy being outside. Taking care of a pet also teaches them to care for and be responsible for something other than themselves.
There you have it! 12 Chores For Kids that Take 15 minutes or less!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!