‘Chores can be a fun learning experience for children when you get the basics right.’
Learning responsibility is a substantial part of Montessori education. While we account for how our syllabus can best prepare children for the future and demands of life, we also want parents to participate by becoming collaborators at home.
Part of giving your child the best upbringing and future is teaching them how to be responsible and participative members of society. One way to do that is to understand and implement age-appropriate chores for kids.
But, what are the ideal tasks for children of different ages?
We know the subject of chores, and getting kids to do them can be a pain point. However, chores can be a fun learning experience for children when you do them correctly.
Read on for our suggestions on assigning chores appropriately.
The Role of Chores in Child Development
Chores may be a bore to children, but they are also an opportunity to learn life skills. When parents assign tasks early on, it can help develop confidence, make kids feel important, help reduce their workloads and create a happy home environment for everyone.
Research shows us that chores build responsibility, work ethic, and self-discipline, which are essential in later years.
The top three developmental attributes that children build are empathy, responsibility, and self-esteem.
One of the crucial things children learn from doing chores is empathy. They learn to see things from another person’s perspective and to understand how their actions affect others.
Empathy is necessary for healthy social interaction and for developing relationships. As they take part in chores, they build awareness of the needs of others because they understand what it takes to work.
Chores also help children learn responsibility. They understand that they have a role to play in keeping the household running smoothly.
Finally, doing chores can give children a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem.
Ultimately, they feel good about themselves when they see that they can contribute something positive to the family unit.
Child psychologists say assigning age-appropriate chores for kids will make them live happier life.
How to Identify and Assign Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids?
Children are capable of taking their fair share of work. Even toddlers can help in the tiny, most simple tasks around the home.
Most parents shy away from the subject because it is almost impossible to get the children to help with chores without complaining and having to follow up to ensure it is completed.
Children look for two things — to feel needed and capable.
With this perspective, as a parent, you can frame tasks to show the kids the importance of chores as an aspect of a family membership.
How Should You Assign Chores to Kids?
The first thing to note is that age-appropriate chores are about assigning children tasks within their capacity in terms of age, time, and strength to accomplish.
If you have children at home, you will realize this may change each school year.
Secondary factors for assigning tasks are grade and maturity level.
Before we dive into who to assign what chore, here are things to remember:
- Younger kids may need you to make the chores fun as they learn to do them.
- They will do a horrible job at first. Do not be rigid, angry, or panicked.
- Be patient with them as you teach them.
- Do not give in to the complaining. Instead, maintain a positive attitude and reinforce their work with affirmation.
A Simple Guide for Age-Appropriate Chores for Every Age Group
The key to assigning chores is matching tasks with the child’s development. Identify the age and the average time a child in that bracket can spend doing it.
We have compiled a list of tasks appropriate for ages 2 and upwards and the duration below.
Average Duration on Chores per Age Bracket
- Young kids between 2-7 – Approximately up to 10 minutes a day doing chores.
- Older kids between 8-11 – Approximately 15 minutes a day doing chores with interspersed activities that may take longer.
- Tweens and teens – Approximately 30 minutes a day with interspersed ones that may take longer.
Now, let’s see how to match chores with age.
Age-Appropriate Chores for Toddlers (2-3 Years)
When choosing tasks for toddlers, focus on the skills they develop at this age. Therefore assign those that require one or two steps and supervise as they do it to encourage and cheer them when they complete them.
- Delivering items
- Feeding a pet
- Picking up toys
- Watering plants
Age-Appropriate Chores for Kindergarten Kids (4-5 Years)
Children at this age learn through observation and want to help. Their hand-eye coordination has improved, and their ability to follow instructions.
Taking a step further, kindergarten children can do the following:
- Put away clean dishes
- Help bring in light items
- Assist in setting the table
- Match socks
- Watering plants
- Dust with cloth
Age-Appropriate Chores for Elementary School Kids (6-9 Years)
Elementary children start to exhibit more independence. The child in this age bracket can start doing chores with less supervision than the previous ones.
The typical ones to assign them will include:
- Doing dishes
- Keeping their room clean
- Folding laundry
- Clean tables and floors
- Empty trash
Age-Appropriate Chores for Pre-teens (10-13 Years)
This group can handle tasks independently without reminders. They can be held responsible for their duties. They can take on these tasks without adult supervision except for occasional check-in.
- Clean the car
- Use the washing machine and dryer
- Prepare easy meals
- Babysit younger kids
As for teens or highschool going children, they can take on any task you give. It is a good age to start preparing them for the eventuality of living on their own.
By assigning age-appropriate chores to children early, you are helping them learn vital life skills that will benefit them in the future.
It may seem like a hassle to constantly be nagging your kids to do their chores, but it is actually one of the best things you can do for their development.
Montessori education takes this concept further by providing specific exercises and activities that prepare children for independence in adulthood.
Consider enrolling your child in a Montessori school if you want to give them a head start in life.