Kids love to feel like they’re contributing to the family, and having responsibilities around the house is good for their self-esteem and character. Doing chores together is a great way to teach them skills, and the time spent together is more fun than doing them alone. Teach your children how to do each chore before you have them try it alone, and give your kids the opportunity to learn different tasks regardless of their gender. Including diverse chores in the mix helps kids learn various skills, from household maintenance to kitchen wizardry.
Image via Flickr by USACE HQ
Spending time in the yard together is a great way to help kids develop a healthy lifestyle. Little ones can help pick up sticks in the yard while you are gardening, and as they get older, you can weed flower beds together, rake leaves, and eventually mow the lawn. If you have a vegetable garden, kids can spread compost, plant seeds, and pick ripe produce.
It’s best not to have young children take care of animals directly, but even children as young as preschoolers can learn how to feed dogs, cats, birds, or fish. As they develop more strength and dexterity, they’ll be able to wash pet bowls and give pets fresh water as well.
Save walking the dog for older kids who are strong and savvy enough to manage a frightened or aggressive dog in a tough situation. Changing the kitty litter is also a chore for older kids who can understand the need for careful hygiene, including washing their hands thoroughly. The right age for your kids to bathe or brush your pet depends completely on the size of your pet, the length of its hair, and whether it enjoys baths and brushing or not, so use your own judgment for grooming chores.
Simple Home Maintenance Tasks
Helping to take care of the house teaches your kids useful skills and builds self-esteem. From a young age, boys and girls can help you with simple HVAC system maintenance tasks such as changing the furnace’s air filters. Invite your kids to help you when you fix a leaky faucet, oil a squeaky door hinge, hang a picture, or spackle a hole in the wall so that they can learn how to use tools and deal with home repair tasks.
Food Preparation in The Kitchen
Learning cooking skills will serve your kids well throughout their lives and can help picky eaters open their minds to new foods. Keep young kids safely away from hot stoves and sharp knives by having them tear lettuce, measure flour, and stir mixtures such as cookie dough or pancake batter. As kids get older, they can gradually take on more responsibility in the kitchen.
Doing chores with your kids takes longer than doing them yourself, but it’s a great way to get a few chores done while you enjoy each other’s company. As your kids grow, the skills they’re learning will help them grow into becoming more responsible adults.