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As much as I’d LOVE to be a mom who has an elaborate cleaning routine and a spotless house, it’s just not part of my DNA!
Neat-freak or not, everyone likes a clean, tidy house. But with three kids, a full-time work-from-home job, volunteering, staying physically active, managing a household, blah blah blah, honestly… chores are pretty low on my priority list.
It recently dawned on me that the three tiny humans who also live in our home CAN and SHOULD be helping out a little more than they have been, so I reached out to my Instagram followers to see what they do for kids chores and my mind was prettttty blown over how much help I’m missing out on!
Big thanks to my partner, Bosch! They provided us with our kitchen appliances and almost 8 months in, we are still OBSESSED! You’ll see the 100 Series Dishwasher throughout this post but if you want more details on the oven, fridge
Now, let’s get down to business…
Reasons Kids Should Do Chores
- gives them an opportunity to take pride in their
work grantsthem a sense of responsibility makesthem feel needed and important to the family (which they are, of course!)
- teaches them how to do household tasks
Will we give an allowance for chores?
From what I’ve read, giving an allowance in exchange for chores isn’t recommended for small children because they aren’t really motivated by money.
How do I get my kids to do chores?
Ok, having a list of tasks is great but how do you get your kids to actually DO what’s on the list?! I have a
- Use language like “when/then” – “When the dishes are put away, then you can turn on the TV.” This is WAY more collaborative/less demanding
then“do the dishes before you can watch TV”. No one likes to be bossed around!
- Be REALLY specific – sometimes kids are resistant to listening because they aren’t 100% sure of what you’re asking. Instead of saying “clean up the playroom”, break it down for them: “put the stuffed animals in the toy bin, the markers belong in the drawer, etc” – you get the drift. By breaking down the tasks, it’s much clearer what you expect.
- Go for progress over perfection – it really doesn’t matter if the bowls aren’t stacked perfectly, just be thankful they’re not still sitting in the dishwasher.
- Make it fun – play good, upbeat music to encourage them to move quickly or ‘beat the song’
- SHOWER them with praise – seriously, if you think you’re really pouring on the compliments, double down and offer more. Kids LOVE to be praised both directly and indirectly – think, me talking loudly to Chris so the kids can overhear, “I am so proud of Cooper for putting his clothes in the hamper! WHAT A BIG BOY!!!” – makes their day.
Toddler Chores for Kids Ages 2-3
The best thing about kids this age is that they’ll do pretty much anything if you frame it right… meaning it’s really easy to make chores into a game, to amp them up, and make them feel like a BIG KID getting to help with X, Y or Z!
For this age especially, keep it very simple. One or two steps to the chore, max. For instance, Emmy can follow an instruction like “put the pink cup in the drawer” but not “put all the dishes away”.
- Put toys away
- Stack/put away books
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper
- Put trash in the garbage and recycling bins
- Grab diapers and wipes
- Wipe up spills
- Stir recipe ingredients in a bowl
- Feed pets & fill water bowls (supervised)
- Unload plastic cups/plates/bowls from the dishwasher
- Help get clothes from washer to dryer
Preschooler Chores for Kids Ages 4-5
Preschoolers (kids ages 4-5) really vary in ability so obviously modify your expectations based on your child and family’s needs.
Kids ages 4 and 5 can do any of the above chores, plus:
- Make their bed
- Tidy up their bedroom
- Water plants or flowers
- Set and clear the kitchen table
- Grab own snacks
- Sort dirty laundry by color
- Match socks
- Sort underwear
- Dust large objects (nothing fragile)
- Clean windows and mirrors
- Choose outfits for the week
- Bring stuff in from the car
- Replace toilet paper rolls
- Help shovel snow
- Help rake leaves
- Put simple groceries away (depending on your food storage set-up)
- Bring in mail or newspaper
- Use a hand-held vacuum
- Pour a bowl of cereal
- Swiffer the floor
Young Elementary Chores for Kids Ages 6-7
To be honest, Quinn is in this stage and isn’t as enthusiastic about pleasing us and contributing, unless we make it a competition… think “who can clean up the most toys off the floor” or “beat the timer to put away your backpack”. Whatever works!
Kids ages 6 and 7 can do any of the above chores, plus:
- Hang laundry
- Fold laundry
- Put away laundry into drawers
- Empty some glass dishes from the dishwasher
- Help pack lunch
- Empty lunchbox at the end of the day
Older Elementary Chores for Kids Ages 8+
We’re not quite to this stage yet, but I’ve scoured the web to research what older elementary aged kids are capable of… here’s what I found!
Kids ages 8+ can do any of the above chores, plus:
- Load the dishwasher
- Help with meal prep – cutting, buttering bread, making salads, etc
- Take out the trash
- Mop floors
- Dust smaller/more delicate objects
- Make their own lunch
- Make toast
- Empty out backpack daily
- Write thank you notes
- Learn to use the washer & dryer
As you can see, my kids LOVE helping with the dishes, which is a score for me!
Here are a few of our favorite things about our Bosch 100 Series dishwasher:
— if you want to see it in action, I have a series of videos highlighting each of my favorite features HERE —
- you can put plastic anywhere in the dishwasher, not just on the upper rack
- the 3rd rack is an awesome spot for flatware, sippy cup lids, bottle parts, basically anything small
- it’s SO quiet! Bosch literally makes some of the quietest dishwashers on the planet
rackmaticfeature on the second row – it’s a height-adjustable rack that can be moved up or down depending on your height needs for each row
- I love the extra wash/rinse/dry features – speed wash and extra dry are just a few!
- the stainless steel finish helps guard against fingerprints which is HUGE with three young kids running around!
- most importantly, it cleans our dishes without having to pre-wash them – just scrape the food off and put them in the dishwasher – all about the time savings