Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday's Cleaning: Chores for Younger Children

Cleaning can be a daunting task, especially if you are doing it by yourself. Not many things are more frustrating than working hard to have a clean house only to the kids destroy your efforts in just minutes. So many studies show that if you give kids ownership of their duties and reward them for it, they will take care of themselves and their belongings. Not sure what chores your kids can do? Since I have a 6, 5, and 2 year old, all of which do chores every day around the house, I thought I would share what kind of chores they do. 

Before Giving Them a Task: 
1. Show them how to do the task. Don't just tell them to do it and expect it to be done correctly the first time (or even the 2nd or 3rd time). If they see you cleaning behind them, they are not going to see the point in doing the chore in the first place. 
2. Use "Green" cleaning products. Remember they are kids and are prone to spraying themselves or others. 
3. Every time you give them a chore to do, remind them what to do and what NOT to do. 
4. Be patient. There will be some days they get distracted. There will be some days you may have to go over what they did a little later. 
5. Don't be afraid to give them a hard task. Any educator will tell you that if you raise the bar high, kids will surprise you on how well they work toward and achieve that goal. 
6. I recommend you assign 2 or 3 daily chores (make bed, put clothes in dirty basket, etc) and 1 major chore every day. 
6. Finally: reward, reward, reward. Use verbal rewarding, physical rewarding (hug or a high five), and "prize" rewarding. It doesn't always have to be money. For example, if they do one chore a day every day, they can choose a movie for Saturday night. 

Chores for 2-3 Year Olds: 
  1. Dusting
  2. Make up bed
  3. Put all toys around house in proper places
  4. Set the table 
  5. Help wash dishes 

Chores for 3-8 Year Olds: 
  1. Deep Dusting (window blinds, corners, lamps, on top of knick knacks around house)
  2. Clean bathroom (toilet, sink, counters, bath tub). Keep in mind this age range is pretty broad. Use this one at your discretion. I would not necessarily ask a 3 year old to scrub the toilet, but wiping down the counter and sink are pretty reasonable. 
  3. Washing windows. This is a good time to invest in some "Green" window cleaner. Don't forget to remind, each time, to not spray in his face, mouth, or on others. 
  4. Wipe baseboards. 
  5. Clean walls and doors. . This one is pretty easy. Get one of the scrubbers and have your child wipe off all hand prints, scuff marks, etc around the main rooms and hallway. If you have him clean the doors, show him the dirt around the door handle so he knows what to look for. 
  6. Sweep, mop, vacuum. (Again, take in the age before assigning this, but you might be surprised at how well your 3 year old can sweep) 
  7. Folding laundry
  8. Collecting the trash (even taking it out for the older kids)
  9. Cleaning the back yard. (Put away the toys that are for the yard, sweeping the porch, etc)
  10. Helping/Doing the dishes
With their help, you will have a decently clean house every day! Not only will you not have to do it yourself, but you can teach your children responsibility and the pleasure of being rewarded for doing what is right. Your child should not be expected to clean all the time, but should be expected to contribute to helping keep the house presentable. With this list, you can rotate chores (Monday is Kitchen day, so everyone is going to clean a certain part of the kitchen that day) or give them an option of 2 or 3 chores. That way they do not feel forced to do something. You may be surprised on what your child may decide and how willing he is to do his part. Good luck and happy cleaning! 

1 comment:

  1. Here is a blog that also has a good list: http://www.rookiemoms.com/spring-cleaning-is-not-in-my-vocabulary/