Do you feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do around the house? Enlist your children to help with our chore lists for kids that They Can Do Themselves!
Chore Lists for Kids That They Actually Can Do Themselves
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 chores kids can do that just take a few minutes here and a few minutes there to really help out around the house.
There are chores appropriate for kids of all ages. Toddlers can follow along to help. Grade school-aged kids can work alongside you to learn. Teens can be given a chore to do all on their own.
No matter what you pick from the chore lists for kids, there is a stage that every kid can help at. It will take time for them to perfect the skill needed but they have to be given the opportunity to try. Chore lists for kids teach responsibility.
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!
Easy Chore Lists for Kids to Help Around the House
One of the easiest jobs on our chore lists for kids is to pick up after themselves.
Pick Up After Themselves
Nothing drives me more bonkers than finding stuff everywhere that it doesn’t belong! If kids are able to get it out, they are able to put it away. A rule we have is you can’t get something new out until you have put away what you are playing with.
Clean Their Room
Let your kids be responsible for tidying up their room. They need to make sure drawers are pushed in, laundry is in the hamper, 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 before they even start?
Try a 15-minute timer. Set a timer for 15-minutes, and have them 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.
Make Their Beds
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 the #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 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 do instead is I give them 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, make their bed and it looks pretty good all on their own!
Toddlers can even make their bed
Let your toddlers help make their bed so they start learning. Let them help
- Pull the blankets up
- Place the blanket on the bed
- Place the pillow where it goes
- Place stuffed animals on the bed
Laundry is actually my favorite chore! But that is because I have taught my kids how to help.
As toddlers, teach them to always put their clothes in the hamper. It doesn’t get washed if it is not in the hamper. (As newly-weds my husband also had to learn this rule).
Once a little older they can learn how to sort lights from darks before washing. They can also get the laundry out of the dryer and sort it.
After they master these steps they can begin folding and putting it away. Having you there folding with them will help them see how different things get folded.
They will not get folding and putting away perfectly for a while, but practice makes perfect.
Let’s face it, it stinks to have trash duty. This chore starts by teaching that all trash goes in a trashcan.
Little ones can follow along with you, or an older sibling in gathering all the trash in the house, including rooms and bathrooms. Another kid can actually take the trash out to the cans.
While another kid, probably a little stronger, takes the cans to the street. My grade school boys are able to bring the cans back in after the trash has been collected.
If your kids are too little to help with taking the trash out, have them help wash the inside trash cans.
Set the Table
Setting the table is a great task to add to any chore list for kids.
I love that it teaches life skills where everything goes. The person in charge of setting the table is in charge of
- Getting placemats
- Napkins (not just thrown on there)
- Water for everyone
A set table will show everyone that dinner time is important. Some of the best conversations between family members happen around the dinner table.
If conversations are lacking try out these family conversation cards to get the conversation going!
Clear the Table
Each member of the family clears their own plate. They scrape any food into the trash, rinse and place it in the dishwasher.
This helps kids learn self-reliance. They don’t expect someone else to clean up after them or that they need to clean up after everyone else.
Having everyone responsible for their own plate shows that it’s not one person’s job. Everyone contributes for a faster clean up.
Emptying the dishwasher is a great chore for kids. Even little kids can help empty the dishwasher.
Little Kids can:
- Unload the silverware
- Put away plastic cups and plates
- And any other non-breakable / non-sharp objects
As kids get bigger they can begin unloading more things if not the whole dishwasher. If you have dishes that go up high that they cannot reach getting a small step stool can help them reach so they can put them away.
Sweep the Kitchen
Kids may not get every dust bunny while sweeping. But if you make sweeping a daily chore you won’t have them anyway.
Let them improve their gross motor skills. Before you know it they will get better at getting into those nooks and crannies.
Turn on their favorite song and see if they can finish by the time the song is over. It doesn’t have to be rushed. I know I am happier cleaning when I listen to my favorite song.
Chore lists for kids, especially older kids should include cleaning the bathroom. Have them
- Scrub the sink
- Clean the toilet
- Scrub the bathtub/ shower
- Wipe the mirror
- Sweep the Floor
The best way to teach your kids to clean the bathroom is to do it right next to them the first few times. Teach them how to get the nooks and crannies and all your “bathroom cleaning secrets” to make it not smell.
Then after they have learned let them try it on their own. It probably won’t be perfect, but over time they will improve their bathroom cleaning skills.
Can younger kids clean the bathroom?
Yes, younger kids can help clean with supervision. I think it is so important to teach kids when they are young how to work around the house. This helps instill lifelong learning into them.
Begin by giving them a baby wipe and let them scrub baseboards or the counters. Grab a small broom and let them help sweep.
Younger kids will love being a part of the cleaning process especially if it means spending time with you!
I know you are probably trying to figure out how meal planning belongs on a chore lists for kids, but in our house it does! 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.
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! Chore Lists For Kids that They Can Do Themselves! What chores for kids would you add to the list? Share in the comments.