Monday, March 15, 2010

Kids Can Do Chores

Kids Can Do Chores
Put 'Em to Work!
By Danielle Bean
When we talked about chores on Monday I promised you some lists.

First, I’ll share my simple chore chart. I’ve never been much of one for charts, but I find that a little bit of organization keeps us on track throughout the school year. You can see my kids’ Monday-Friday chore assignments here.

This simple system ensures that the older kids pitch in with the necessary stuff (meals, laundry, clean up) on a regular basis and the jobs are distributed fairly. I have separate lists that describe, in step-by-step detail, what each of these jobs involves. No excuses for cutting corners!

The rotating chores I assign on this chart are for ages 7 and up. We do deeper cleaning once a week on Fridays and I leave the weekends open to more flexible schedules.

Some of my kids prefer certain jobs over others and swap assignments with one another. I don’t interfere. As long as everyone knows the basics (working the laundry machines, basic bathroom clean up, etc.) I don’t have a problem with their wheeling and dealing. It keeps them content and they’re practicing the fine art of negotiation.

And now, to inspire any doubting moms out there, here’s the list of age-appropriate chores that ran in Faith & Family a few years ago:

A 2-year-old can

—throw things away.
—follow directions like: “Put the blocks in the wagon,” or “bring Mommy the wipes.”

A 3-4-year-old can

—dust furniture.
—make a bed by straightening sheets and a comforter.
—put clothes in the hamper.
—put dirty dishes by the sink.
—feed a pet.
—put away clean silverware.

A 5-6-year-old can

—set the table.
—run a small vacuum cleaner.
—take sheets off beds.
—clear the table after meals.
—wipe up small spills.
—help sort laundry.
—wipe countertops and tables.
—walk a dog/clean a litter box.

A 7-8-year-old can

—sweep a floor.
—run a large vacuum.
—put away clean laundry.
—bring in/put away groceries.
—cook simple foods.
—wash and dry dishes.
—load a washer/unload a dryer.
—supervise and instruct.

A 9-10-year-old can

—make a simple meal.
—load the dishwasher.
—wash windows.
—empty garbage.
—pre-treat laundry stains.
—mop a floor.
—rake leaves and shovel snow.

An 11-13-year-old can

—mow the lawn.
—clean out the refrigerator.
—clean the bathroom.
—do laundry.
—change beds.

Care to add to our list? What do kid chores look like in your house?

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