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Chores and Responsibilities

Even preschoolers and kindergartners are capable of participating in chores and managing basic responsibilities. The key is to keep chores and responsibilities age-appropriate and short, and to setup a structure that is simple enough for young children follow. Using printable chore charts really helps make the goals and daily progress easy to understand for kids.

Chores for Preschoolers - (3 and 4 Year Olds)

Young children love to help out! Take advantage of this while your kids are young. Your preschooler can pick up their own toys, clean up small messes, feed family pets, and help dust with a sock on their hand. Find a printable chore chart that is visually interesting to your child, print it out, and then include the child when setting it up. Fill in the chart to reflect the chores your preschooler can do, and use stickers or check marks to mark off each chore as it's been completed. Young kids have short attention spans, so you may have to give a small reward more than once a week for a job well done.

Chores for Kindergarteners (4 and 5 Year Olds)

Your kindergartener can help with more advanced chores. Enlist their help in putting away groceries, setting the table for meals, clearing the table, mopping and dusting, and more. Again, make a kids chore chartthat reflects the assigned chores, and have your child mark off each chore as it is completed with a sticker or check mark. Talk to kids about how things are going every day or two, and encourage them to be proud of their work. Older children have longer attention spans, so a reward once a week should work.

Using Chore Charts to Track, Reward, and Teach

Remember, at any age, chores can be a learning experience as well as a way to encourage kids to help out around the house. Using printable chore charts is a way to make the process easily track-able, but in the end the chart is simply a helpful tool. Parents using a kids chore chart with their children, and the lessons being taught, are really what makes this approach rewarding. Sorting laundry helps reinforce colors; mating socks teaches how things are similar and different; and putting groceries away helps kids learn sorting and serves as a great opportunity to discuss nutrition. First and foremost, when it comes to chores, the goal is to get kids to feel as if they are productive members of the family. Kids should be encouraged to feel good about a job well done, rather than focus on what tangible rewards they will receive for their participation. Highlight how great it is that your child completed the chore rather than the reward. Often with young children, praise serves as the most coveted reward. Positive attention is a very effective motivator and is quick to start working.