It dawned on me one day, several months ago that my 4 year old needed to begin taking on some responsibility in some simple chores around our home. Not in hopes that it took a work load off of me, rather to begin teaching her responsibility…and teaching her to take care of things around our home. So then one day in a few years she’ll be able to take on more responsibilities which will take some work load off of me!
Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be? We begin sharing responsibilities around the home, working together…like a well oiled machine!
I of course wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted her “chores” to be…so we started slowly and worked our way down my little mental list! A few things I took into consideration when I began making this “mental list”….
- Short attention spans: 4 year olds have short attentions spans so I knew the tasks didn’t need to take long! Her attention span wouldn’t allow her to hang with a chore for a long time…hey I’m an adult and I feel the same way some days!!!
- Family/ Group chores: Incorporate her chores that involved more of the family so it didn’t feel so daunting to her…more of a fun family activity – yet in my mind a great little chore!
- Expectations: Keep expectations low low low…give her and myself a lot of grace with these tasks. Nothing will be done the way I “want” it to or the way I’d do it – but I’m not expecting perfect, she’s learning, she’s growing and she’s taking on responsibility!
So without further a’do here are the chores and ideas we incorporated into our
Simple Chore Ideas for a 4 Year Old
1 – Help Fold Clothes: We started with her folding only the washcloths. A simple square fold…nothing hard or daunting. Before you know it she was folding all of the washcloths, bath towels, hand towels, dish towels and dish cloths for the kitchen too. Then we graduated into a matching game of matching socks and folding those!
2 – Hang up her clothes: If her clothes needed hanging up rather than folded she was then able to do that and place them in her closet.
3 – Put her clothes away: Whatever clothes we don’t hang up she was then able to put those clothes away in their designated drawers.
4 – Set the table for meals: She is able to get everyone a drink, set the plates at the table along with our silver ware. She also helps me set certain (not hot) foods for our meals on the table.
5 – Organize the Silverware: After each dishwasher run she can take the basket of silverware and organize that back into our drawer. A great skill on matching and organizing!
6 – Help round up the trash: When it’s trash round up time she can run to the rooms where we have trash cans and bring those to me or her dad as we get ready to take out the garbage. A GREAT help!
7 – Vacuuming and Sweeping: These two were very sporadic and wasn’t really a “forced” chore…rather encouraged her to try or help from time to time.
Remember to keep it light and make it fun if you can! Make it a game…have fun and laugh with your kids…even help them from time to time with their chores…I’ll admit there are still times I just naturally will do one of her chores for her…not realizing it…then she notices and thanks me – which is pretty sweet!
What are some chores you do with your kids? As we are entering the “5 year old” stage my brain is churning on new chores to add that would only help her attain more life skills…I’ve got some ideas but I’d also love to hear what you do with your kids.
P.S. I haven’t attempted a chore chart…although I think it would be fun – that’s on my list to achieve in the next few weeks…anyone else do a chart?
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