Indoor chores are simple for any age. If your children are old enough to stand at the sink then they are also old enough to learn to help. There are many small simple indoor chores even toddlers can help with daily. The trick is making any job fun and encouraging them along the way.
We have a few rules at our house. One of them is that we all strive to be respectful. That is a work in progress some days, because my kids are now 11 and 13 and they often argue a lot. But even when they do that we are clear that when someone hurts another person’s feelings they need to find a way to say, or show, they are sorry. Another rule is that everyone needs to help out around the house.
Families help each other. That’s the rule. I repeat that often even still with a teenager. You don’t always help expecting compensation. Sometimes you fold that laundry because you need a clean shirt. Sometimes you fold it because you like to fold things and you want to help. And other times you do it because Mom and Dad made dinner and fed you and drove you to martial arts ten times this month. Helping is expected. It’s part of being a family.
Chores are often easy to do and can be started at an early age. Even toddlers can manage some things, like putting the silverware on the table or tidying their rooms. There are several easy tasks that kids of all abilities and ages can manage.
This is a post about getting your children involved in the household chores. While it is better to volunteer to help without being asked, sometimes you have to be able to ask for help in order to get it.
Sometimes the ask is simple and kids help easily. Other times you have to get creative. Sometimes the language matters. There are days my kids won’t respond to the term chores and there are days where they enjoy the idea of having indoor chores to do. Kids are funny that way.
If it is a day when doing chores sounds ominous and dull, then I reframe it as helping. Most kids like to help. From a small age my kids enjoyed helping with certain things. Helping makes you feel needed and important. That’s powerful for small children.
If you are looking to get your children more involved in doing household chores here are some ideas. There’s a Chore Chart at the end of this post that you can print out easily too. Just click on the PDF link at the bottom of the post and it will appear in a full sized image. Then print it out and you can use it for your children. Happy Cleaning!
Five Indoor Chores Most Kids Can Do:
Even toddlers can stand on a chair and play in warm soapy water. Give them a cloth and show them how to wash and rinse some dishes. Obviously keep the sharp and breakable things out of the sink. Safety first. My one daughter has always loved washing dishes. Sometimes I let her do this because it calms her down. The warm soapy water is great for her as a sensory experience. I wrote about that once. Dishwashing as an easy sensory activity that helps provide calming feedback.
2. Tidying up their toys:
We used to play a game where we had a basket or a toy box (sometimes that’s a Rubbermaid container) and we played basketball to get the toys cleaned up off the floor. When Ainsley was very small that worked top get her playing along. Now, I’d love to tell you that it is now effortless and ingrained in her routine. It is not. I again this past weekend went into her room and had her play ‘basketball’ with me. Hand over hand also works when very small. You pick up the toys with them and put them away in baskets or bins.
3. Laundry Folding:
Folding towels is the place to start. My husband and I sometimes disagree a bit on this. I could care less how it is folded. If you are trying your best to help fold it and it saves us from doing the folding then away you go. I used to let Ainsley fold towels at a very small age. Maybe 3-4. Now she still likes that part. She also really enjoys the sock matching part (that’s good because nobody else in this family likes matching the socks.)
This is one I would keep simple. You know those feathery types of dusters. Give your child a duster and show them how to dust the surface of things like tables. I would supervise this or let Ainsley dust a table that had no breakable things on it. When kids are teens they can handle dusting around the breakable things.
5. Feeding the Pets:
Helps to teach responsibility. They need reminders often. Ours still need reminders, but keep the food near the pets where the kids can reach it and give them a scoop so they can easily measure the right amount of food and they learn to feed their pets. Pets are part of the family too.
Use this indoor chores chart to help. Click through to this PDF link and print for your kids. Print on heavier paper or card stock. You could even laminate it and have them use an erasable marker on it. This isn’t a reward chart but it can show what everyone did to help and that can be very gratifying.