- Go potty
- Get dressed
- Brush Teeth
- Comb Hair
- Make their Bed
Once they finish those things we move on to household chores. Their biggest responsibility is helping me with the laundry-with a family of five its one of my most time consuming chores. Mondays are our biggest laundry days-we strip the beds first thing in the morning and wash all the linens as well as the clothes. I follow up on Wednesdays and Fridays with clothing as needed.
The boys are responsible for taking their own laundry baskets to the laundry room and carrying them back to their closets after they are sorted (I sort for now-can’t have the laundry turning pink!) They also help pour the detergent in the machine and push the buttons. Once the laundry is washed they are responsible for folding and putting away all the towels, washcloths, and napkins. They also put away their own clothes after I fold them.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I feel its extremely important to teach our children to contribute to the family. By performing tangible actions to help the family it builds confidence, as well as refines motor skills-folding, sweeping, cleaning-all of these require intricate hand eye coordination.
Here are some other chores your Preschooler can be responsible for:
- Sweeping-a child size broom is very helpful for this, but also a small dustpan and hand broom can work well. I bought a real (not pretend-play) child broom here and picked up a small dustpan set at Walmart. Actually sit and TEACH them how to sweep into a pile, how to sweep the pile into the dustpan. I know it seems like second nature to sweep but for little hands it is a big task requiring many skills-help them to succeed by showing them repeatedly and being patient. This Montessori album has very specific instructions that can be useful in teaching sweeping.
- Dusting-a feather duster or a rag and dusting spray are all the supplies needed. Again, teach them how you want them to dust and don’t expect perfection…patience is key!!
- Unloading the Dishwasher-My boys have been responsible for putting the silverware away since they were two…they enjoy it and its very helpful to me too!
- Feeding a Pet-Any two or three year old will happily care for pets! My boys feed our dog Bear each evening and eagerly give him treats during the day (which may contribute to his weight problem!)
- Vacuuming-While I don’t task the boys with vacuuming the house regularly they do enjoy vacuuming their rooms occasionally and using the attachment to do the corners and edges of the carpet. They started doing this at three, but you may want to see how well they can handle a vacuum since they vary widely in size , weight, and maneuverability. I usually go over the room quickly after them for larger areas.
- Watering Plants-The boys love caring for their plants…I’ve taught them to check the soil first and we talk about how much water different types of plants need so that they don’t over water. Each boy has their own house plant in their room (easy to grow succulents!)
Here is a great printable that you can customize to keep track of how your child contributes to the family. I printed ours out and laminated it so we can reuse it each week.
Incidentally, I don’t reward my boys with money for doing their chores. I make it clear that I expect them to do their part for our family. If they see a special toy they want they usually ask for extra tasks to earn it-like setting the table for a week, etc.
What do your children do for chores? Do you pay an allowance? If so, what age did you start?