Kids don't learn how to become responsible adults all on their own. It takes learning from adults who have been there, done that and are willing to take the time to show by their example.
One of those important lessons is how to do chores. Kids don't wake up on their 18th birthday and suddenly know how to take care of themselves and their surroundings without proper training throughout their life.
So the question is, when should kids start doing chores? I think they can begin learning life skills from as young as 1-2 years old. No, you don't have to make them take out the trash at 18 month old or make their bed by 2 year. But with little steps, they will learn to love the independence that comes with taking care of themselves and their belongings.
Chores shouldn't have to be drudgery. Of course your kids aren't going to love every chore but they don't have to hate their time either. Make them fun to begin with.
- Use sticker charts.
- Have scavenger hunts to tidy the house.
- Set a 10 minute timer to clean up the days clutter.
- Let them have their own cleaning caddy that's decorated with stickers and markers.
- Make a competition.
- Sing or dance while doing chores.
- Make it an obstacle course. Shoot clothes to the hamper like a basketball.
- Take fun breaks such as jumping on the trampoline.
Here are a few chores listed by their age appropriateness.