My kids have always loved ‘helping’ with household chores. Whether it’s loading the dishwasher, sorting laundry or helping to clean or clear surfaces, they just love being involved. Whilst they may not be as quick and efficient as me, and of course, sometimes it does feel like a massive faff, it gives them a sense of responsibility and self-reliance as well as a huge confidence boost.
Housework teaches young children some basic life skills that they won’t learn in any classroom ready to take on the world (when they grow up, of course). For these reasons, I believe we should always advocate and encourage children who want to help at home. As well as giving them a sense of accomplishment and that feeling of being very grown-up, it can also help you get other jobs done that maybe you don’t want little hands getting involved with at the same time.
In this blog, we will look at a range of age-appropriate household chores for preschoolers that will both keep them busy and help you out when you need it most, as well as the many benefits it can bring.
The Benefits Of Preschoolers Taking on Household Chores
Getting your three or four-year-old preschooler helping out around the home can give them a huge confidence boost. When you assign them a task, you are basically saying I trust you to do something important and think you are responsible enough to do this. For a small child, this gives a sense of achievement and that warm feeling they get when mummy or daddy is proud of them. It also makes them more aware of how much work goes into looking after a home, giving them a greater respect for what you do. In addition, it also teaches them responsibility, It will help them understand that housework doesn’t just do itself and teaches them teamwork. For example, I’ll spray down the surfaces, and my four year old will wipe with a cloth. Working collaboratively together is an excellent skill for any preschooler when starting school.
A great time to assign your preschooler big boy or girl chores at home is when you are spending a day at home. It can break up the day for them and keep them busy, maybe allowing you some time to catch up on some jobs your child isn’t quite ready for or just to have five minutes of peace while your little one pairs socks. Also, if you plan on being indoors for a few days to start potty training, this can present the perfect opportunity to assign your preschooler some little chores. It’ll keep them occupied and give them a welcome break when they are looking for something helpful to do when you need to tidy up.
There are countless benefits to pre-school-age children getting involved with housework, but do you know what the best thing about preschoolers taking on housework is? They find it FUN. Young children, especially preschoolers, want to mimic mummy or daddy, so being able to do something just like you makes them incredibly happy. They get a massive amount of joy from playing house. To them, it’s just another form of play.
What chores are suitable for a three or four-year-old?
Of course, when we advocate preschoolers helping around the house, their assigned tasks should be age-appropriate. We are not talking about asking them to push around a heavy hoover or bleach the sink. But they are more than capable of helping you fill the clothes basket, hang out the laundry and help set the table for dinner. Of course, the older they get, the more responsibility they can take on, but as a starter, here are some of the chores young children enjoy the most:
They can do loads here, and an enthusiastic preschooler will love every minute of it. Whether it’s making sure they pick up their clothes every morning and put them in a hamper. Helping you load the washing machine, helping get the washing out and even sorting into piles by family member ready for folding and putting away. Pairing socks up is also a favourite game!
Make their bed
Making a bed is a skill learned in time, but encouraging your child to pick up their bedding in the morning and straighten it out as best they can is a great habit to get into that they can carry into their later years.
Picking up toys and putting them away
If you give your child just one job a day, this one is highly recommended. When they play with toys, they should put them away, preferably before starting the next game. This teaches them to respect their belongings and gives them a responsibility that goes hand in hand with having fun. Tidying up isn’t the fun part of getting toys out, but it is necessary, and it’s something they will have to learn to do at school and any other settings they attend. Getting them started at home gives them a good head start.
Kid’s love dusting and making things shiny. So when you are dusting, give them a duster too, and they can follow you around and join in with making your furnishings sparkle. Wiping down the front of appliances is also a popular choice for this age group.
If you have a cat, dog, or other small furry friends, your preschooler will most likely love being involved in their care. Putting out their food is a great place to start. It will give them a sense of responsibility and what it’s like to care for another life.
Wipe up spills
By this, we don’t mean they should clean up their potty training accidents! We mean, if a cup of water gets knocked over by a child, cat or parents foot, you teach them how to deal with it quickly. It’s more of a reactive chore but an excellent skill to have should they accidentally spill when you aren’t around to help clean it up!
Use a handheld hoover
If your hoover can be used as a handheld, your little one will love hoovering up crumbs they spilt at snack time. A hoover is definitely for grown-ups, so, therefore, being able to use one makes them feel hugely responsible and valued and like a very big kid.
When it comes to how much housework preschoolers should get involved with, parenting opinions can be divided. Yes, kids need to be kids, but there’s nothing wrong with teaching them some essential life skills which will set them up for the rest of their lives as long as there is a healthy balance. Giving your child more responsibility before school plays a huge role in ensuring they are ready for the classroom. Preschooler chores are way to mix things up when you are at home.