I have two children aged 2 and 4, and they can turn my house upside down!  So to teach them responsibility and life skills, I decided to start assigning chores.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when handing out chores:

  • The chores must be age appropriate.
  • You need to be consistent and stick to a routine.
  • Make doing chores fun (we jump on the bed and throw pillows to each other).
  • Do not expect perfection, remember this is all about help your child to become independent.
  • Praise your toddler on a job well done.
  • Show your toddler how to do the chore.

Both my children started with basic chores when they turned 1.  Now you may say that this is too early to start with chores, but remember that the chores are age appropriate!

Benefits of giving your children household chores

  1. Independence and self reliance. Chores can encourage an `I am able to do this myself’ attitude, something we all need as we navigate through our lives. These are life skills that all children need to grow into healthy adults.
  2. Self esteem – Independence and self reliance builds self esteem. Being able to contribute to the family and being part of a team builds confidence.
  3. Team work – When we all work together as a family we can make a difference in each other’s lives for the better. Chores really do promote teamwork. Each family member is accountable to each other and expectations and consequences are a part of that. This in turn creates a sense of belonging and purpose.
  4. Life skills and learning – we can learn so much though daily chores. Matching and sorting is a basic for mathematics, counting spoons when laying a table can become arithmetic, washing and drying or making beds develop motor skills, and most chores require time management, sequencing and planning.
  5. Self discipline – Sometimes we have to do things we don’t necessarily like to do. This is something we all deal with in all aspects of our lives and it is worth learning from a young age. Chores help to instil a strong work ethic.

Here is a list of chores for your toddler:

1 year old
  • Throw nappy in rubbish bin.
  • Put dirty clothes in the laundry bin.
  • Throw away snack papers or fruit peels.
  • Put bottle or sippy cup in the basin.
  • Tidy up after play.
2 years old
  • All of the above chores.
  • Help make the cot/bed.
  • Shake out and straighten bed side mats or bathroom mats.
  • Put used cutlery and cups (plastic) in the basin.
  • Help tidy the lounge.
  • Tidy own room.
  • Put away or pack the TV remotes neatly.
  • Help with basic cooking.
3 years old
  • All of the above chores.
  • Make your own bed, with help from mum or dad if need be.
  • Feed the dogs.
  • Set the table.
4 years old
  • All of the above chores.
  • Open the curtains.
  • Pack away clothes.
  • Help to hang up the washing.
  • Pour water in the dog bowls.
5 years old
  • All of the above chores.
  • Help to make own sandwiches.
  • Assist with giving the dog a bath.
  • Help with the dishes.
  • Wipe and dust shelves and surfaces

Contributed by Yolandé Powell of Clamber Club Toddlers – Nelspruit
Tel: 082 551 9329

Email: nelspruit@clamberclub.com

Website: www.clamberclub.com