As parents and caregivers, we want our little learners to grow into capable adults ready to tackle any challenge. We also want them to be accountable for their actions. Like most life skills, this starts at home.
There are many benefits to letting your children do chores, not least of which is that it teaches responsibility. Depending on your system, it also teaches your little one about consequences. If, for example, they choose not to do a specified chore, they might get a certain toy taken away until they complete it.
As always, it’s important to remember that the best way for children to learn is through a fun and play-based approach such as the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). When children are doing activities that cater to their strengths and capabilities, they retain that knowledge much easier.
Let’s take a look at some of the different chores that little ones can do based on their age.
Ages Two and Three
At this age, your child is watching you like a hawk and at times, trying to imitate you. Because they would probably be walking at this time, they will be able to do simple tasks like take their dirty nappies to the bin and even take their dirty dishes to the sink.
Picking up their toys and books is also a great chore. It’s important to praise your child afterward for their room or play area being neat and tidy. You could also show your little one where to put their dirty laundry and try and allow them to separate the clothes by colour.
In addition, get your child used to decision-making by allowing them to choose between two outfits every day.
Ages Four and Five
At this age, we can get creative and whip out the crayons. Get your child to help you draw up a chore chart and put it up in their room or even on the refrigerator.
If you’re so inclined, this could be a great time to introduce rewards or even pocket money. They could get stickers for every chore completed successfully. A certain number of stickers equals a certain amount of pocket money or a special reward.
We want our children to do chores out of their own free will, but this can be difficult, even for adults. By allowing them to choose which chores they’d like to complete, you’re giving them the power to decide how many stickers they’ll get.
In addition to the previous age group’s chores, your child can make their bed and sort their laundry by colour. You can even show them how to do the laundry in preparation for when they’re older.
They can set and clear the table before watching you pack the dishwasher or do the dishes. In the case of the latter, they can wash the plastic items. This is also a great time to give them some leeway in the kitchen. They can help you ice cupcakes, make a sandwich, and even prepare their cereal.
Ages Six and Seven
The chore chart and reward-based system can still be used at this age to great success.
In addition to all of the above-mentioned chores, your child can now take on the responsibility of looking after family pets and doing the laundry. They can even hang up some of the smaller items.
They can also choose their own clothes, get dressed by themselves, and take on more responsibility when it comes to their personal hygiene. Allow your child to help you prepare easy meals as well as pack and unpack the dishwasher.
Sometimes, we may feel that we want our little ones to remain children forever, but the more we can help them become independent, the better chance they have of becoming well-adjusted and functional members of society.
Get in touch with us today if you’d like to know more about our EYLF approach or if you’d like to find a childcare centre in Sydney.