Chores for Children that Teach

Friday, April 23, 2010 Aimee Larsen 2 Comments

Chores, that word is a dreaded, nasty little word to my boys.  I often wonder if housework is even programmed into little boys hard-wiring.  So, I've added a really cool tool for my oldest to add a few incentives to the dreaded deeds.  Cooper likes to use My Job Chart.  It's been the best FREE way to entice him to do a few extra chores around here.  

Chores teach responsibility, respect and independence.  I've also found that you can toss in some math, language and science by giving chores a fun twist.  Here are a few of my ideas and if you have ideas, please link up and share.  We can use all the new ideas we can come up with around here.

Laundry: My babies love matching socks with me and sorting their clothes.  Each child has a small flexible basket that they can put their own undies and socks into.  All they have to do is sort them by size.  Matching socks is a 1:1 skill that will come in handy many times.  We look for similarities in the socks first, size, style, color, logo's, etc.  They can do all this while I fold and stack.

Toy Clean-Up: This is the easiest of all.  My boys love for everything to be a contest.  So, they each practice counting how many toys they can toss into the toy box.  Then we practice stacking and sorting.  

Setting the Table:  Counting out forks, spoons, cups and plates is a good way to practice counting.  They can also set out placemats and napkins and condiments, etc.  Counting, counting, counting... Spills?  Let your little try different methods for cleaning up to see which materials soak up best.

Dish washing: Practice addition as you let your child put plates and cups into the drying rack or dishwasher.  Helping them fit bowls and mugs into the rack also sharpens spatial relations and reasoning.

Water Plants:  This is a greenery lesson, in and of itself.  It's Environmental Science 101.  Kids can learn how plants eat, drink and make their own energy.

Window Washing:  Oh, what fun it is to pull the squirt on the bottle and spray.  Then to wipe up the drips.  Both are helping to refine motor skills, both fine and gross.

Feed the Pets: What better way to teach your child about measurements and conservation.  How many scoops of puppy chow will fill the bowl?  Will this large scoop over fill kitties tiny bowl?

Take out the Trash: Another environmental lesson.  Let your little one sort your recyclables and keep a tally of the amount of waste that is being saved.  They are also learning the importance of cleaning up after themselves and strengthing gross motor skills.

These are helpful chores children of any age can participate in. 
What chores do your children do at home?  Share with us ideas on other ways we can teach our children through chores.


  1. We a few months ago started chores for the kids with an allowance as well. We went back and forth about this. We didnt want to "pay" them to do stuff that they really should be doing anyway. So, what we came up with is this. They are resposible to keep their rooms clean, and their laundry put away and that gets no money reward its just their job as part of the family. However, we came up with "extra" stuff that they could do to earn money. Riley is resposible every evening for washing all the dinner dishes and putting them in the diswasher and starting it. Zander is resposible for taking out scrapes, and than taking out garbage, and taking cans down for garbage day and bringing them back up. He has more to do quanity but Riley's takes longer so it evens out fairwise and we have let them switch sometimes. So, at the end of the week we give them 5 a week. We give them 4 dollar bills. Two quarters for tithe, and to quarters for saving. We feel its very important to teach this lesson of tithing of saving. The other money the four dollars they can do whatever they want with. Zander has high goals of buying the newest ds that has come out, 160 purchase so lofty goal but I told him he could do it if he just keeps saving. When their savings when it grows to be a good amount we will open them a savings at the bank. so, thats our experience. I will try to blog about it later. I never did even think to blog about it, but I guess it would be good to share what we are doing. Everyone likes to know what kind of things work and what doesnt lol......Good luck to your little men as well

  2. I guess you could say we have our 2 year old do chores. We aren't as consistent about it as we should be. I love the creative ways you make it seem fun for them to be doing all of these things. I think we may try a few of these ideas and see if we have more "fun" while cleaning the house. At the moment he just loves helping us put forks in the dishwasher or vacuuming the floors.


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