Some life skills needed for daily survival can be taught right at home every day. Here is a list of some daily chores for kids that help prepare them for life:
So far I have not ventured into the world of assigned chores per days of the week. Honestly, having 5 kids, I’m nervous that’ll be an inordinate amount of admin.
Me assigning children to chores to days, then each day keeping track or checking it off, etc.
My current method is this… “We have xyz to do, you do this, you do that, we all do this, then we play.”
However, there are some daily chores that should really be expected. Not assigned. And, of course, it’s wonderful to include the kids in helping around the house, but this isn’t exactly what I’m talking about here in this post.
I’m talking about the chores that literally everyone has to do… and children benefit training in and doing these independently daily.
After all, they will do them forever. May as well start at home.
Here are some chores (by category) that will help prepare them for life:
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Organization Type Chores
Make their bed
Some moms feel as though their room is a mess if their bed isn’t made so if this is you, it’s a great chore to give the kids. Standards don’t have to be so high, but a simple tidy of the blankets, pillows goes a long way.
Put their clean clothes away
Do you have a specific laundry day? Or do you wash throughout the week as needed? Whatever your washing routine is, having kids fold or put away their own clothes is a great life skill. You can put the kids’ clothes in a laundry basket by their door and allow them to put them away.
Carry dirty clothes to the laundry room/basket
This may be as simple as NOT letting your kids drop their dirty clothes on the floor. Nothing drives me more nuts than constantly pick up dirty clothes off the floor. Part of keeping laundry organized is having an assigned dirty clothes basket. So, teaching kids to put their dirty clothes where you want them is a great life skill to teach.
Pick up their room
Picking up a room every day means that messes won’t become catastrophic. Over time, kids learn to appreciate an organized room (where everything has a place). A room where things get put back in their assigned place each day. I promise you this is a 3 minute max chore when everything has its own place.
Putting away the dishes
Now, this is a helpful one. It could be that you’re hand washing and passing out the dishes to be put away, or having them empty the dishwasher. You know that this job will be one that has to be done… even when they are older. Every child will not do this every day, but some child can every day.
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Cleanliness Type Daily Chores
Pick up after themselves
After kids are done playing in an area, have them clean up that area before moving on to another toy or game. This keeps the house tidy and teaches a valuable life skill. I tell mine, “we finish what we start.”
This might be cleaning up their snacks, putting their backpacks away after school, or putting the peanut butter away after using it, etc.
Rinse off their plate/set in dishwasher or sink
This can start earlier than you think. In fact, this daily chore can be taught to very young children. It’s adorable to watch them scrape their plate off and put in dishwasher. The sooner the better…
Either have kids take the plates to the sink or put straight into the dishwasher, whichever you choose. This makes less work for whoever loads it.
Throw their trash away (or other trash they see)
If you see it, pick it up. Wow, imagine a world where everyone’s mom taught them this. My kids love to make grits for breakfast… and they love to leave the trash wrappers on the counter.
Does my head in. I have nearly got a few of the kids to where they throw them away daily, with a couple stragglers to go.
Wipe down surfaces after use
Wiping down the surfaces after lunch, snack, or a messy play time can be a great chore for children at any age to do. I know some very young children who actually enjoy this cleanliness chore. It’s fun for the little ones.
This is one I want to focus on more as some of my kids as they are crumb factories.
Read These While You’re At It
Self-Care Type Daily Chores
Brush their teeth
George Washington lost all of his teeth by the early age of of 22. This is mostly due to the lack of knowledge concerning personal hygiene during that time. We don’t have a lack of knowledge this day and age.
So, begin training kids about teeth early. I love The Tooth Book by: Dr. Seuss! Of course, keep a close eye on their habits, but you can begin training them early for good dental hygiene.
Our dental hygienists told the kids to brush to get rid of the Sugar Bugs. The kids liked this🐛.
I have found that personalizing the experiences kids have with their hair is key in fostering their daily hair habits.
So, if you have multiple children… get them each their own comb and put it in a special place in the bathroom. My oldest daughter has this down, my boys seem completely uninterested in how their hair looks but we are getting there.
Nobody likes dirty hands or fingernails. Teach children specific rules for when to wash hands (coming in from outside play, when you first get home, after using the bathroom).
Or even, before meals. This is important if the kids don’t wash every night.
Take quiet time when needed
I don’t know if it really counts as a “daily chore.” I think it’s more of a life skill. But it’s a super necessary one.
But it can absolutely be something done daily to prepare them for life. Depending on the personality of your child, taking some quiet time to decompress may be the best thing for them.
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As moms, what we train our kids on at home is a good indicator of the life skills they will accomplish in life. There’s a saying that goes “preventive is better than a cure.”
Let’s face it- there will never be a cure for housework… but we can train happy children through daily chores so they will benefit from the hard work it takes to be healthy.