Chores teach a child that he or she is an integral part of the family.  Do not expect perfection.  Above all, do not succumb to the knowledge that you can do it better and faster.  Assign one chore at a time--Don't present your ten year old with six tasks to do on a regular basis if they are not consistently performing one.  A chore is a responsibility that frees you.  A child can help you with your chores as time permits.  this is a fine way to determine what chores can become your child's.  Below you will find a list of age-appropriate chores.  Start slow and teach thoroughly.

Young Toddlers:
Play, Consistency, Helpfullness

  • Pick up the parts to a toy or a small selection of toys.  Not a entire room's worth!
  • Throw  dirty diapers away.
  • Hold still for diaper changing and dressing.
  • pet the pet so it knows it is loved. (daily responsibility)
  • wash sticky toys with a damp rag
older toddlers:
Sampling, Exploring
  • Pick up the equivalent of a laundry basket's worth of toys.
  • Clear plastic dishes from table (expect spills)
  • "set" the table with plastic dishes & napkins
  • Wash small, non-breakables in a basin (Supervise!)
  • Check on pet's well-being and inform you of Pet's needs (more water, food is gone, needs love or playtime)
  • Sweep the stoop with a small broom.  (whisk or child-sized)
  • Straighten bed upon waking 
  • Finish stirring batters, washing vegetables
  • put laundry in a basket
  • Match socks
  • 'Fold' washcloths & napkins
  • Flush the toilet.  (prevents fear of the loud noise when potty training starts)
  • wash hands before meals and at bedtime
Work as fun, Accountability, Work Ethic
  • pick up room with some unsupervised time
  • feed or water pets
  • dust a piece of furniture with light polish
  • Make a simple sandwich
  • wipe off the counter and table
  • Make a simple fruit salad  (peel & slice bananas, section oranges, rinse and separate grapes)
  • tear lettuce
  • take out small garbage bags, if she can reach the can
  • sort recycling
  • cut coupons with safety scissors  (He'll recognize the pictures of the products you use . . . or he wants)
  • 'fold' towels
Manners, Self-sufficiency, Helpfulness
  • Prepare a small yard for mowing (pick up toys & sticks, move folding chairs to patio, etc.)
  • Tend a small garden (planting, supervised weeding & watering, harvesting)
  • Groom patient, non-longhaired pets
  • run the vacuum (for familiarity mostly)
  • sweep the walk
  • put toys away consistently
  • Choose appropriate dress
  • bathe self (except hair rinsing probably)
  • Continue learning cooking skills (avoid heat and sharp knives of course)
  • Send thank you drawings
  • choose gifts for loved ones
  • Grasp "No." thoroughly (without direct supervision)
  • say nightly prayers
learning bigger concepts
  • Cut coupons with accountability
  • keep on cooking (learn about: sharp knives--closely supervised, meal planning, nutrition content, Etc.)
  • Begin more intensive kitchen safety training.  (A child with some cooking skills will eventually decide to surprise you with breakfast in bed...)
  • learn about cleaning supplies (don't use the entire bottle of glass cleaner on one mirror, Don't mix cleaners, Ajax (white) powder turns blue when wet, Some cleaning supplies are dangerous, cleaning supplies make work easier ~ the point here is to demystify the potions under the sink...) 
I'll get back here and go on from this point...eventually :)  1/29/99

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