Now that the triplets have turned 5 and Ava is 8 it is high time I turn them into my child slaves give them some responsibilities around the house.  Honestly, I could really use the help.  Between endless loads of laundry to annoyingly small toys scattered throughout the house, some days I am ready to take the next flight to a land far far away.

Here is a list of chores that I find are appropriate for children 5 and up:

  1. Set the table
  2. Help fold laundry
  3. Put away all of their own clothes
  4. Feed animals
  5. Pick up their own toys and put them away
  6. Clear dirty dishes from the table
  7. Make beds
  8. Help carry groceries up and put them away
  9. Sweep and vacuum
  10. Wipe things down
  11. Make my coffee/pour my wine (too soon?)

If I’m being honest, one of my goals in life is to one day take a glass of wine and sit on my couch and read a book (or pass out) while my children clean the dinner dishes.  I am a few years away from this, but when it happens I am going to celebrate in big ways.


Another dream of mine is that one of my four children will be very interested and talented in the art of food preparation and I will not have to make dinner every night.  Perhaps this is why I dedicated my entire Sunday to cooking with Elsa in hopes that I can brainwash foster a love of the culinary experience.

In all seriousness, I think it is so important for kids to learn that everything will NOT always be done for them.  Meals don’t magically appear on the kitchen table each night; I plan, shop and prepare them and it is a lot of work.  Dishes don’t wash themselves, somebody needs to clean them after every meal and it pretty much sucks.

If the kids finish a short list of responsibilities each day, they are rewarded with video game time or money to use toward new Lego sets.  This makes them really excited to complete their chores.  The chore/reward system also teaches kids that they cannot just have whatever new toy they want; toys cost money and they need to earn it.

Leave me a comment with your chore suggestions for young kids.  Oh and I was just kidding about having my five-year olds pour my wine. I will wait a few years before I turn them into bartenders.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


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Children and Chores

7 thoughts on “Children and Chores

  • March 14, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Hi Megan, this entry is right up my alley. When we are there babysitting, we try to enforce the chore that no one leaves their room in the morning without their bed made and their dirty clothes dropped down stairs and put into the basket. Sometimes it works real well.

    The Grandma

  • March 14, 2013 at 7:14 am

    What are the incentives if I do all of my chores? I need rewards too! oh wait…

    Sometimes your posts read like your a single mom – not sure what to do with that, Gunga Din! I would’ve been a terrific real life Lord Grantham.

  • March 14, 2013 at 7:34 am

    My 2 year old likes to “help” but only if it totally inconveniences me.

  • March 14, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Joe is the cook, and Noah clears the table and washes the dishes. I am the luckiest mom in the world. I started Noah out with emptying all the little trashes and making his bed. And of course picking up his toys. He also always had to clear his own table. I think everything on your list is perfect!

  • March 14, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I have pictures of all 3 of my kids washing the dishes (standing on chairs) at about age 4 or 5. They did the pots and pans and silverware. There’s a lot of possibility for water and soap everywhere, but they begged to do this chore so I could be pretty strict about the expectations! The other thing my kids did was make their lunches every night. They learned how to peel and bag carrots, select a fruit and make pb and J or turkey sandwiches and cut them into quarters. This was a big help and they actually liked doing it – especially Johnny!
    Cleaning their rooms was made into a game. I would have them pick up just RED things. Then BLUE things, etc. MULTICOLORED things. They would ask me to “time” them and run back when all of the _______ colored things were picked up and put away, and find out the next color to pick up. Something about breaking it down into just one item (colored) made the job seem less overwhelming to them and like a game. This “game” really worked.

    • March 14, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Great ideas Joy! I’m impressed with how great of a mom you were at such a young age. You are a natural 🙂

  • March 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

    It’s a great list! I’m sure they will do it properly.


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