Implementing Chores for Young Kids + How to Make Chores Fun

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Who truly enjoys completing chores? Not many people can answer, “Me!” to this question. Implementing chores for young kids often verbalizes how we (adults) actually feel internally when we have to do chores. Regardless, it’s a great habit to start and teaches them important values, plus it takes some stress off of you mama!

Values That Chores Teach Kids

Having your children complete chores helps you out, but it also teaches them some important life lessons.

Chores help kids learn responsibility, self-reliance, and they teach them some basics that are needed to keep a household running efficiently. They also teach a child to respect their belongings and take care of them, which is a lesson that has hit out home hard this week!

Chores for Young Kids

Patience mama.

One thing you’re going to have to let go of… perfection. It’s not always going to be perfect, but it’s going to be good for them (and you). If they fold a pair of pants and it looks like a wadded up ball, teach them how to do it properly and let it be. They will get better!

Preschoolers

It’s never too early to start! Chores for preschoolers may include:

  • Picking up their toys before bed
  • Putting their dirty dishes in the sink after a meal
  • Brushing their teeth morning and night
  • Feeding family pets
  • Dust

Using a sticker chart, or something similar, is extremely helpful for preschoolers. You could take the sticker chart a step further and offer a small prize, special snack, or different reward if they receive all of their stickers for the week! Up until last year, I used a hanging chore chart like this one.

Since preschoolers are not typically fluent readers, using a chart with pictures helps them understand what their responsibilities are for the day/week.

Elementary Age Children (5 – 12 years)

Have your kiddos continue picking up after themselves like they have been practicing. Gradually add more chores as you deem appropriate. As they get older, it is also a good idea to add complexity to their chores.

Some ideas for elementary age children may include:

  • Loading/Unloading the dishwasher
  • Putting away their clean clothes
  • Making their bed and cleaning their room
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Wipe down counters

Ease into things! My kids are now 5 and 6, Kindergarten and 1st grade. At the beginning of the school year, they were required to put their clothes that I had folded where they belong. Starting this month, they fold them as well!

Here are my kids (5 and 6 years) current chores:

  • Clean their rooms thoroughly (once a week).
  • Fold and put away clothes
  • Feed the dogs twice a day
  • Take recycling to the proper trash can outside
  • Wipe down bathroom counters

Make Chores Fun

Chores are something everyone has to do, and it’s okay to make them fun. If I have loads of laundry to fold, I enjoy turning on Netflix and folding to whatever show I am watching at the time. We find ways to make chores fun as adults, so it makes sense that we do the same thing for our kiddos.

Let Them Watch TV

If my boys choose to fold their clothes in their bedrooms, I allow them to turn on their TV and watch a show while they fold and put them away. I do it, so what’s the harm in them doing it too?

Turn On Some Music

As they are picking up their rooms or around the house, put on some of their favorite tunes so they can sing and dance as they pick up.

Make It A Game

Hide small trinkets or candy around the house in places you are expecting them to clean, dust, or pick up. As they complete their chores they find fun little prizes!

If you have more than one kid, you could also give them a time limit to see who can get the most done in the set amount of time.

Reward Them

Rewards come in all shapes and sizes. Receiving stickers on a chart can be a great way to reward your kiddo. Other options include:

  • an allowance
  • picking what’s for dinner
  • picking a weekend activity
  • movie night… their choice!
  • a special dessert

Really, you can get as creative as you want!

Implementing chores for young kids is a great idea for everyone. As busy moms, we tend to get overwhelmed our plates are more than full most days. Let your kiddos help! In the process, they will learn some great values.

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8 thoughts

  1. I love all these ideas especially the rewarding part. I think it’s important that we instill these important values to our kids from a young age. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Great post. I am having a hard time enforcing chores with one of my daughters. She throws fits and makes it almost not worth it. I’ll try your tactics. Thanks!

    1. I still go through that sometimes, especially with my 5 year old. I try to walk away and let him have his moment… or several. Other times I’ll stick around and tell him I’ll help him get some of it done. It’s a process. Find what works for you guys. It won’t always be that way. Just stick with it!

  3. I can truly appreciate this! I had chores as a kid up until I got married and left the house. My husband as well; so our children will be doing the same!

  4. I love This! Totally agree with kids gettinf involved and doinf choose quite young and having a sense of pride and love and responsibility abour their home. It never makes sense to me when parents do every thing an me then suddenly when the kid is a teen they want them to start doing chores and looking after the home. I used to get my too boys incolved in cooking, dishes and all sorts ans now they are much older it’s just the norm to them and they are well prepared for independent living xx

  5. Independent living yes! I have my 4 year old unload the silverware from the dishwasher too and he does a fine job! I love giving him a chart where he can put stars up and he loves it too because he knows it leads to a movie on Friday!!!!

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