There’s always lots to do to take care of your home. Involving your kids in some tasks is a great way to begin teaching kids responsibility at home. It also builds your child’s self-esteem and will help to the complete your list of household tasks.
There are a several things to do as you give your kids tasks.
- Tell them about the task
- Explain how to complete the task
- Show them how to do the task
- Then walk away and let them do it
These are very important points to remember. If you follow your kid around supervising them as they do the task, you will end up doing most of the work and that defeats the purpose. Also, when you do most of the work you will give your child the impression that you don’t sincerely believe they are capable of doing the task. The tasks that are listed below are all chores that must be done around the house and that kids can do. So, why not let them do these chores for you!
5 fun 10 minute tasks for teaching kids responsibility:
Pairing socks & putting them away
Pairing socks takes time. Give your child the task of pairing socks. If you have lots and lots of socks to match up, you can set the timer for 10 minutes and ask them to stop when the timer goes off. If it’s just one load of laundry, there probably won’t be too many socks to match together. So while you fold the laundry in 10 minutes, your child can be with you pairing socks. Then the two of you can put the laundry away.
There’s little worse than overflowing wastebaskets. Have your child go around the house and empty the small wastebaskets into a large garbage bin. I line my wastebaskets with small trash can liners. If you do that, too, ask your child to replace the liner once they have finished emptying the wastebaskets.
Do your plastic containers have lids? If the lids and containers are all mixed in together, ask your child to sort them. They can match the lids with the container so that it’s easier for you when you’re saving leftovers.
This is also a good chore to do with water bottles and tops. Those tops and bottoms can also get mixed up.
Your child may come across a bottle or a container that either has no lid or top or no bottom. Give them permission to toss them. This helps reduce clutter in your kitchen.
Shredding paper can be a little like eating peanuts – bet you can’t eat just one! If you have a pile of papers to shred, give them to your child. Once again set a timer for 10 minutes if you have lots and lots of papers to shred. When you keep the task short, they will be happy to do it again for you. If you overwhelm them with too many piles of papers to shred at one time, they will be reluctant helpers.
Making their bed
Teach your child how to make their bed and then let them do it. This is a habit to build as it instantly gives the bedroom a neat and tidy appearance.
Teaching kids responsibility at home lets them know that every member of the family, no matter how young or old, contributes to an organized and tidy home. Decide how many chores or tasks to give each child depending on their age and your comfort level. The end result, though, is that when you give kids responsibility you do more than simply take a task off your list, you build your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact to Diane for a free 30-minute phone consultation.
Love this list!
My 3 year old grandson loves to do his chores around the house.
Thank you, Jonda!
The tasks you describe for kids to do are terrific, but even more, I love your instructions for how to help them DO the tasks. My favorite one is how, after you describe it, “walk away and let them do it.” That empowers them without feeling like their parent is micro-managing. And in turn, it builds confidence and self-esteem.
When our girls were young, I used to pack for them when we went away. In stages, I taught them how to do it on their own. At first, I made a list, had them select their items, and lay them out on the bed. After more time passed, I asked them to make a list and show me. After I reviewed it with them, they selected their items and put them on their bed. I taught them how to use packing cubes too. Eventually, all I needed to do was cue them it was time to pack, and they did the entire process by themselves.
Thank you, Linda! I love the steps you took to teach your girls how to pack. I think when we break things down and let children (people) practice the small steps – adding to them incrementally – lessons are easier to learn.
When my children were 12 or 13, each one had to learn how yo cook one meal. Kept it simple but learning how to use a stove and oven properly is important. To this day, each of my children make a meal once a week or evey other week. They also had a repertoire of meals when the went off to university.
They were pretty surprised some of their roommates had no idea how to cook!
That’s a wonderful idea and a great way (as you said) to build a repertoire of dishes to make. There are 30 somethings that aren’t completely comfortable making even a simple meal. Guess they didn’t have to cook at home!
These are great chores for children/preteens/teens. They may need to be reminded of when they have to do it if they do not do it every day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you, Sabrina.
Oooh, these are great. I always tell parents that organizing and restoring order are skills that most children need to be taught. These are very doable suggestions. Definitely going to be sharing. 🙂
Thank you, Seana!
This is such a clever post for teaching children about organization. I love the tips on matching lids and socks. It encourages shapes and sorting, a skill builder! Even a preschooler can start doing this.
Giving children tasks to do at home makes them feel part of something bigger. A pod, a team, pride in their home. At the same time, they’re learning.
That’s right, Ronni. And, when they get older they realize that doing chores is just part of taking care of the home and family.
I love how doable thee tasks are/ Many a checklist for what kids “should” be able to take on seems overambitious to me but these bite-sized chores are just right. I used to pair socks when I was very young and as you suggest, I liked doing it because it felt like I was working alongside my mom.
Thank you, Lucy. Nothing is overwhelming when taken in bite sizes!
These are all great tasks suitable for kids, and even the tiniest ones can match socks — and fold washcloths! And I’m amazed how many grownups don’t know that carrying the big trash bag, room by room, and emptying the little ones into it saves so much effort! These little tasks make chores so easy, nobody will be tempted to fuss!
Yes, Julie! I am consistently surprised by what some grownups don’t know when it comes to managing household chores/tasks.