With summer right around the corner, we're all breathing a sigh of relief for lazy afternoons and
free mornings. Our summer is stretching out before us with visions of lake days and ice cream potlucks. I think I might be looking forward to this extra time to breath as much as the kids, maybe more so.
But summer is also a great time to develop new habits and routines. New chores take time and summer is the perfect opportunity to work together in helping your kiddos learn new skills. My little girl is growing up and loves helping around the house. In this new phase of childhood, we're working on big girl chores, keeping it fun while also keeping it meaningful. These are a few of the chores she's taking on these days:
1. Preparing simple snacks--the kitchen is a happy place for many kids. Chopping, measuring, and mixing ingredients are among some of the skills your child will be learning at this age. Additionally, children can also prepare simple meals and snacks like granola, fruit salad, and sandwiches.
2. Set and clear the table--setting the table with the basics, like napkins, forks, and bowls, is easily accomplished at this age. Also serving drinks as the family is coming to the table.
3. Dry and put away dishes--washing and drying dishes is a two man job, and great for talking with your kids after dinner. Hand your child a dishtowel, and let him dry and put away dishes.
4. Use hand held vacuum--hand held vacuums are great for cleaning out the car and not too heavy for little hands. They're also great for cleaning out those little spaces that only the kids can reach. Plus their compact size makes them fun to use.
5. Fold towels and washcloths--the simple folds of towels and washcloths make them great for learning to fold laundry. Plus washcloths are perfect for little hands.
6. Empty dishwasher--sorting and putting away dishes is a great chore for this age. My daughter stacks the lighter plates then leaves a stack of the glass dishes for me to put away.
7. Match socks--matting socks is my least favorite chore, but easily accomplished by the youngest of children. The rolling takes a little practice, but your child will be proficient in no time.
8. Rake leaves--my kids love to help rake leaves in the fall. They rake and jump, multiple times before finally stacking them in the green waste bin. And it's a great way to get some fresh air and work together as a family on a bigger project.
9. Peel vegetables--peeling vegetables is a fun job for kids helping at meal times. The kids will often help me with some of the softer vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, and work their way up to potatoes as their hands get stronger.
10. Replace toilet paper--this is a simple one, but essential. And while you're teaching them to replace the toilet paper roll, also teach them to stock the bathroom cupboard when the toilet paper gets low.
11. Wipe down bathroom counters--this goes for the kitchen as well. Learning to rinse out a rag, squeeze out the water, and wipe down a counter is great for quick cleans ups between scrubbing. And if your child has a small spray bottle of cleaner, teach her to deep clean together on a regular basis.
12. Disinfect door knobs--another easy job, but so essential for keeping germs at bay. Make the job easier by supplying your kids with disinfectant wipes.
13. Sweep common areas--at this age your child is finally tall enough and strong enough to maneuver a full size broom. And since he's been practicing with a smaller brush broom, he's learned to look for crumb and clean around the dinning room table as well.
14. Gather trash--this chore has saved me so much trouble. On trash day, ask your child to gather trash around the house and even wheel the trash cans to the curb. In our house, I assign trash take out based on the size of the child and the size of the trash can. So my older son takes the larger trash can, and my daughter takes out the smaller recycling can.
15. Sort laundry--this is for both before and after washing. My daughter helps me sort by color and material to help get things washed. And then all the kids help me sort by child as we fold in order to get things put away.
For more chore ideas, check out 15 Chores your 2-4 Year Old is Capable of Doing.
What chores are your elementary kids working on?