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9 Chores Your Kids Can Help with ...

By Jennifer

You need help around the house, and you have, at your disposal, a small army of pint-sized helpers, eager and willing to pitch in. But where to start? Which chores are appropriate for which kids, and which should you do yourself? Grab a feather-duster, a bottle of Windex, and a dust-cloth, gather your kids, and let’s get started! Here are 9 chores your kids can help with.

1 Making the Beds

Age appropriate at: 4
As soon as little Jane or Joe is old enough to sleep in a big-kid bed, start showing them how to straighten their sheets and blankets each morning, then, when they turn four, start requesting that they make their own beds in the morning. At first, you’ll have to go behind then once they’re at school and re-make the bed (without lumps from their pillows and plushies), but soon they’ll be pros at bed-making. Then they can graduate to stripping, then re-making their beds with clean sheets, once a week.

2 Gardening

Age appropriate at: 4
Though some kids younger than four are actually able to pull weeds, I wouldn’t recommend it, since many of them can’t tell “weed” from “begonia” quite yet. But once they’re four, it’s time for them to start helping in the garden. Make it a learning game by asking them to choose the reddest tomatoes or the longest green beans…

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3 Dusting

Age appropriate at: 4
Give little Jane a dust cloth and set her to dusting! At age four, this is still fun, especially if you give her a feather-duster instead. And four-year-olds are remarkably talented at dusting, too… for some reason, they love it!

4 Vacuuming

Age appropriate at: 8
Most vacuum cleaners are hard to navigate for a child younger than 8, and some children may not be able to do it until they’re ten. If you strive for even, perfect vacuum marks in your carpet, your child may never do it as well as you, but it’s still fun for them to try… and the dog hair won’t wait! Let them try it and see how well they can do.

5 Dishes

Age appropriate at: 8
Whether you have a dishwasher your child can load or unload, or whether the dishes need to be done by hand, by the age of 8, a child can definitely start helping out with the dishes. When my daughter was six, one of her chores was to unload the silverware (but not the knives) from the dishwasher, and she’ll soon graduate to putting away the cups and other plastics.

6 Recycling

Age appropriate at: 8
If you have a bin for plastics, glass, aluminum, and paper, this is an excellent chore for children at age 8. He or she can sort the recyclables, and even help take them to the curb (if you have curb-side pickup) or dump them in the big bins at the city recycling center. This is another one children seem to love doing — for them, it’s not even really a chore!

7 Laundry

Age appropriate at: 8
My little one helps me sort the laundry, put it in the washer, add the soap, and even choose the cycle and start the washer. Then, when the cycle is over, she takes out the line-dry items, puts the rest in the dryer, and folds the dry clothes when they’re done. She even puts her own clothes away. Granted, she’s only doing socks and dishtowels, but as she gets older, she’ll do more and more of her own laundry.

8 Windows

Age appropriate at: 8
Like 4-year-olds love to dust, 8-year-old love to wash windows and mirrors with Windex. Sure, they tend to over-do it with the cleanser, but they have a lot of fun with it, and since I hate doing windows, this is a chore I’m happy to assign.

9 Cooking Dinner

Age appropriate at: 12
Finally, once your children are well into their tween years, they can start making dinner for the family one night a week. This can be a lot of fun for them, if they like to cook, or it can be completely miserable, if they don’t. If they don’t enjoy cooking, you may want to assign another chore instead, but if they like it, this can be a real time-saver for you, and a real treat, too.

These are just a few of the chores your children can learn to do, and as they get older, you can start assigning more of them, and some of the more difficult ones, so that when they’re adults, they’ll know how to wash a load of whites, cook chicken, and vacuum those straight lines we adults adore. Which of these chores do your children do, and when did they start them? Please share!

Top Photo Credit: rebeca :)

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