kids age appropriate chores

It wasn’t until this Mother’s Day, just gone, that I realized that my six year old could wash the dishes! I heard the water running and some clanging of pots in the kitchen, and to my surprise saw my young son standing on a stool beaming back at me, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom!” My first response was, “Thank you!” My second response was, “Why didn’t I know you could do this?” or more importantly why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?!

On departure of his position from The Montessori School of Maui this summer, my friend’s teacher to her three year old daughter sent his parents a pdf entitled, “The Relationship of Responsibility and Independence to the Total Development of the Child”. In this parting article he lists age appropriate chores with the possible and reasonable responsibilities for children of different age groups. He adds that, “At any age it is important to discuss these responsibilities with the child and allow choices when appropriate.”

Below are a few eye openers I would like to share:

Responsibilities for a 2 and 3 year old
– Pick up unused toys/books and put them in the proper place
– Place napkins, plates and silverware on the table
– Clean up what they drop and clear own place at the table.
– Simple hygiene: brush teeth wash and dry hands and face,   brush hair, undress self, dress self with some help
– Wipe up own accidents

Home Responsibilities for a 4 year old
– Setting the table- with good dishes too
– Put the groceries away
– Follow a schedule for feeding pets
– Help make beds
– Help do the dishes or fill the dishwasher
– Preparing simple snacks and lunches
– Get the mail
– Hang socks and washcloths on a lower line and fold laundry

Home Responsibilities for a 5 year old
– Help with meal planning and grocery shopping
– Make own sandwich or simple breakfast and clean up
– Make bed and clean own room
– Scrub the sink, toilet and bathtub!!!!
– Clean mirrors and windows
– Separate laundry into piles of whites and colors
– Fold clean clothes and put them away
– Take out the garbage

Home Responsibilities for a 6 year old (all of the above +)
– Water plants and flowers
– Peel vegetables and cook simple food (hot dog, toast)
– Be responsible for own minor injuries
– Help hang clothes on a line

Image Credit: Meredith Richmond

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