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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that needs doing around the house?
With three active boys, a large house, and two pets with personality, I was in a permanent state of overwhelm.
I just couldn’t keep up. If I managed to organize meals and deal with the dirty dishes I would fall behind on the laundry. There’s nothing quite like performing sniff tests on kids socks to see if they can be worn for one more day.
If I managed to keep up with the laundry we would be reduced to eating peanut butter sandwiches for supper.
I needed help!
I needed help. I dreamed of having a maid, but couldn’t afford one. I fantasized about becoming super organized, but I just couldn’t get there.
After much trial and error I finally found my secret weapon. Three pairs of hands to help! They belonged to my boys. Yup I discovered 5 easy chores that even very young children can do.
5 Easy chores for kids (yes even yours)
Your children might not be old enough to cook supper from scratch (yet), but the good news is that there are 5 simple things they can do to help. These easy chores may seem like small things, but they will make a huge difference for you. Ready to find out more?
1. Laundry love
I clued into this one when I realized that the clean laundry I delivered to my boy’s rooms didn’t actually get put away. The clean clothes often ended up on the floor only to be put back into the dirty laundry basket when they cleaned their rooms.
I was rewashing clean laundry? SAY WHAT?
At this point each one of my boys got a lesson on washing their own clothes. Let’s face it putting on laundry is not that hard. Just walk them through the process a first couple of times and they will quickly get the hang of it! Even young children can do this and older ones can help younger siblings.
- Use laundry soap pods if you are worried about your children using too much laundry soap.
- Use dry erase markers draw helpful arrows on your machine to remind your children what settings to use.
2. Dish Duty
Most children are quite capable of dealing with their own dirty dishes after each meal. Show them how to scrape their plates and stack them (plus utensils and cups) in the dishwasher. The only thing left for your to deal with are the pots and pans.
Don’t have a dishwasher? Simply fill a sink with warm soapy water and have each family wash their dirty dishes as they finish.
This cute kid standing on the chair washing dishes is my youngest. In those days he actually enjoyed doing dishes. Alas the enthusiasm didn’t last, but it does go to show that even preschool children can do this task.
Children can also unpack the dishwasher as well. I saw this helpful hint on Pinterest
“If they know where something goes, and they can reach it, then it gets put away (including silverware). Anything they can’t reach gets stacked on the counter.” Anna Luther
3. Food preparation
Are you tired of throwing away half eaten lunches?
When your kids are home do you feel chained to the kitchen, because someone is always hungry?
Guess what? Your children are quite capable of making their own snacks and lunches.
Cozi has a post with a great list of snacks children can make themselves. Again older children can help do the prep work for the younger children.
Working Mothers Against Guilt has written a wonderful post to help get your kids packing their own lunches.
“Depending on your child’s age, you might need to help prepare some of the foods you place in the lunch-making station, such as sliced fruit or hard-boiled eggs. But older kids can certainly contribute, such as using a slicer to make and bag up apple slices or spreading sun butter on bread for a nut-free PB&J sandwich.”
The great thing about children packing up their own lunches is that they tend to eat whatever they pack. That is a definite win – you’ll also spend a lot less time in the kitchen and more time doing the stuff you enjoy.
4. Quick tidy
Have you ever noticed how clutter seems to breed clutter? You start off with a clear surface. Then someone leaves one tiny item on it. Before you know it several drinking glasses, some art supplies, and the inevitable dirty sock has somehow joined the party.
Am I the only mother that found dirty socks left EVERYWHERE?
It doesn’t take long before you have a big mess.
It can really make a difference to have a quick 15-minute pick up every day. This is one of those easy chores that every family member can do. Set a timer for 15 minutes and send your children off to go pick up anything that is out of place and put it away where it belongs.
- Delay evening screen time until after you have done your clutter clean up. It is a great motivator.
- Younger children may find it useful to have a small box to help carry the stuff they pick up.
- Use music to get everyone moving. It really helps kids stay on them on track and focused. Choose your children’s favorite songs and create a playlist. Play it loudly and let the house fill with music.
- Why not join in and show the kids how it’s done? Sing along as you pick up any clutter and show off your best dance moves while dealing with the dirty socks.
5. Clean sweep
Use a microfiber broom that uses washable cloths like this one (affiliate). Challenge your kids to run through the house with it and see how much dust and pet hair they can pick up. Obviously this will only work on floors with a hard surface, but it is one of those simple chores you can easily delegate to your children. It’s not hard to do and is amazing how much difference it can make in your home. This is particularly true if you have a pet in the house that leaves hair tumbleweeds drifting across the floors.
For some reason children are always impressed at the amount of dirt the microfiber cloths can pick up. It makes it easy to persuade them to do this job.
The benefits of delegating chores
Studies have shown that doing chores benefits children in many ways. Not only will you make your life easier, but you will be helping your children to become more confident, independent, and secure.
And we shan’t complain about that shall we?
Now it’s your turn
What chores do your children do? Do you have any other easy chores to add to the list?