Chores That Kids Can Do

chores that kids can do from HousewifeHowTos.com
I’m often asked by harried moms for a list of chores that kids can do. Not surprisingly, these requests spike during summer vacation when so many kids view any unscheduled moment as cause to complain about having nothing to do. Mom, meanwhile, often finds that “vacation” means twice as much cooking and cleaning.

Personally, I have little sympathy for “bored” kids. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact: I think boredom is important because it gives kids a reason to think for themselves and explore their world. But I think it’s just as important they learn to help around the house, and that there’s no valid reason to be bored if there’s a chore that needs to be done. That’s an essential life-skill, and the earlier a child learns to earn playtime by first being productive, the better.

Besides, giving kids chores to do helps give Mommy a much-needed break.

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So I keep the following list taped to my fridge.

Make (or help make) the bed.
Pick up toys, books and games.
Pick up dirty clothes and put in hamper.
Take dirty towels to hamper.
Feed the cats.
Dust something.
Shake out the Welcome Mat.
Shake out the car’s floor mats.
Straighten sofa pillows.
Stack magazines neatly.
Strip bed linens.
Empty the bathroom trash can.
Wipe smudges off of doors.
Sort socks.
Set the table.
Straighten book shelves.
Dust mop the floor.
Wipe cupboard fronts.
Dust baseboards.
Sort the recycling.
Rake leaves.
Water container plants.
Fold kitchen dish towels.
Wipe down bathroom sinks and faucets.
Clean their room.
Make Mommy’s martini

Okay, that last one I’m not willing to trust my teenager with just yet, but my college graduate daughter should have it down any day now!

  • Sue

    I remember my Mom saying “If you are so bored, I can find something for you to do.”   Usually that something would be chores added to the ones already complete.  LOL

    Funny how history repeats itself and I did the same with my children and now with my grandchildren when they are here during the summer months.  Children learn quickly that when they chip in there’s lots more time for fun!

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      It took my son a long time to learn that lesson, but I’m sure glad he finally did. Of course, his real motivation came from wanting to earn money to buy video games, but then he realized I had more free time — and would play the games with him — because he’d helped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisha.yost Lisha Yost

    That’s a really good idea to have that list taped to your door. You can just tell your kids to choose 5 to do each day and that will take a load off of you (and it makes them feel like they get to choose which chores to do). Cool idea :)

    ~Lisha

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      It really does help, even though the chores seem like they’re not terribly significant. My son’s only been on summer vacation for a week, but thanks to his assistance my routines are going so much more quickly these days. (It’s also helped that he’s trying to earn money for video games, so he practically begs to do chores for cash now.)

  • Melissa TheHappierHomemaker

    That’s a great list! There are some on there I haven’t tried with my boys yet. Pinning!

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      Thank you, Melissa! My son will be doing several chores from this list today. That’s what he gets for waking up at 6 am then complaining “there’s nothing to do”. (Well, duh! I was asleep!!!)

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