Household Chores

Teaching your young children to grow towards independence begins at a young age. Teaching self-help skills is where it begins. At this nursery activity, you need to guide your child to learn to feed themselves with their fingers and then to lift a cup and tip it just right so they can drink the liquid. Next comes using spoons and forks independently, washing their hands, doing some of the tooth brushing (mom or dad finish), undressing and dressing and eventually using the toilet by themselves. Another part of daily routines includes teaching your child to do chores such as clean up their toys, help set and clear the table (napkins and utensils are a good place to start), put their dirty clothes in the hamper, put their outer clothing on hooks or in bins, folding/matching socks from the laundry, maybe even wiping off the table when they are tall enough to reach. When adding responsibilities here are some things to remember:

‣ make sure your directions are clear
‣ when you say “clean up” make sure they know what that means
(e.g. put the toys in bins, make sure the whole floor is clear)
‣ have routines to support what you are teaching them (try to have the task happen at the same time each day)
‣ think about your child’s age and abilities and match your expectations to that (don’t expect them to stick with a chore very long…)
‣ guide them physically until they have the physical skill to complete the task
‣ when things are too hard for them, let them try and then assist them in
the hard parts
‣ break new tasks down into steps and teach each step
‣ when they don’t want to do a chore, make it fun by singing a song while you do it…see if they can finish before the song is done…or do the non-preferred chores before the fun ones (as adults we do that all the time for ourselves)
‣ praise, praise, praise…let them know when they are making good effort!


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