Helping out with household chores is an ideal way for children to learn responsibility, develop a sense of self-worth, and feel useful. According to a recent study by Brown University School of Medicine, children who did chores around the house had higher persistence – and had increased levels of emotional wellbeing and happiness.
Here are 12 suggested household chores that preschoolers can help with around the house.
- Feed the family pet
- Put away their toys after they are finished with them
- Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket
- Begin choosing their own clothes
- Get dressed on their own (with assistance if needed)
- Help with setting the table
- Help with making their bed
- Wipe up small spills
- Put away clean clothes
- Mix, stir and add ingredients when you are preparing food (away from hot surfaces)
- Water plants and flowers indoors or in the garden
- Sweep small areas with a dustpan and hand broom
When your preschooler is beginning to help with household chores, keep the following tips in mind:
There are many small household chores your preschooler can help with, but introducing several at once may overwhelm him. Instead, start with one or two tasks, and ensure your child has a grasp on the basics.
Have fun with it
Turning chores into an entertaining game is one way to hold your preschooler’s interest. For example, you can play together with your child’s stuffed animals as you both make the bed. Remember that this is new to your child, so try to always make it a positive experience.
Adjust your expectations
You know that life with a preschooler can be messy. While a 10-year-old may sweep up a spill without any issues, a preschooler may not be as thorough. Don’t scold your child for a chore that may not have been done perfectly – rather, thank him for his help. This will show him that he is useful, and he will be more inclined to help around the house in the future.
Supervise when necessary
Some preschoolers are more independent than others, and some need more guidance than others. It’s recommended to supervise your child when she is learning a new household chore, but you may be able to adjust that level of assistance depending on how well your child takes to the task. Of course, safety and security are foremost, especially in the kitchen and garden, and around cleaning agents.
Children of any age can help with everyday household tasks. Your curious preschooler will enjoy learning something new, and will also develop a sense of self-worth and responsibility. Start small, supervise, don’t expect perfection, and have fun with household chores. With these tips, your preschooler will build a strong foundation for future independence and self-sufficiency.