It's hard to believe that I actually have TWO kids that fall into this age category. When did that happen? Over the years I've seen them grow in their capabilities and confidence. And teaching them basic chores early on has given them a base for future skills.
Since the kids are getting older, it became time to update their chores. And I've been amazed at what they're capable of at this age. Of course, all these chores take time to teach. And most importantly, they require follow through. As the kids are learning a new skill, I must take time to work with them. And even after I've let them go on their own, I have to often check back in. Still teaching new chores is well worth it in the end as they gain a sense of ownership and pride, and my work load is slowly lessened.
So here are the 15 Chores Your 9-12 Year Old is Capable of Doing:
1. Use the Washer and Dryer--laundry expands in any household. We keep our laundry routine very simple so there's not much variance. Primarily, we work on not overloading the machine and knowing how much soap to use in each load. We also introduce stain treatment at the latter part of this age range.
2. Pack a lunch--every child has their own personal preferences so teaching them to pack a lunch is very helpful. When teaching my children to pack their lunches, I look for a main dish, a vegetable, a fruit, a juice, and then a treat if they'd like.
3. Understand tithing and saving--often times this is the age when children start to receive an allowance or start a part time job. That makes it a great time to teach about tithing ten percent and saving a percentage for the future.
4. Answer and use a phone--using the phone is not only a matter of good manners, but safety should there be an emergency. Learning the proper order of dialing, stating their name, and politely presenting their need are all important parts of learning to use a phone.
5. Garden--my kids are in the garden at an early age. But this is the age when they really own it. Weeding, watering, pruning, taking care of and watching something grow bring a sense of accomplishment and grow a lifelong skill.
6. Help with meals--again this is a skill that's been building from an early age, but takes on more responsibility at this age. We build on the peeling and measuring from an earlier age and add in dicing, mixing, and recipe reading. This is also a great age for teaching how to multiply fractions.
7. Bake--much like meal prep, baking becomes more involved at this age. This is also the age where we start to pass on the responsibility of baking bread for dinner and muffins for breakfast.
8. Care for a pet--children can care for a pet from a young age. But at this stage, they can take on primary responsibility of cages and tanks, feeding, and learning about the particular needs of their pet.
9. Mop floors--once sweeping is mastered, mopping comes next. Children this age are capable of preparing mop water, mopping the kitchen and bath, and noting areas that need some extra attention.
10. Use a lawn mower--lawn mowing is a big responsibility and one we don't take lightly in our house. One thing we keep in mind is always wearing long pants and tennis shoes. Additionally, we ask that our kids keep track of the gas level in the mower.
11. Vacuum--vacuuming requires good control and strong muscle to move the machine. So we wait until this age to ask our kids to vacuum. Also at this time, we ask them to vacuum their rooms when cleaning up.
12. Start planning out long projects--seeing the bigger picture is important at this age. So taking a project and breaking it down into do-able steps are a skill to be learned. This can be taught through a school project, saving for a special purchase, or starting a business.
13. Help with grocery shopping--my kids love to help with the shopping. This is a great chore to learn about weights and measurements, budgeting, comparing ingredients, meal planning and more. The grocery store is also a great place to learn about needs vs wants.
14. Clean bathroom--up to this point, kids have been learning the elements of cleaning the bathroom: sweeping, wiping down counters, and mopping. Now they're being responsible to put it all together and clean the bathroom. Of course, with lots of follow up.
15. Prepare a family dessert--dessert is a great place to start for kids wanting to help with meals. This is a great dish to start on some independence. Allow your 9-12 year old to pick the dessert (within reason), manage the recipe, and take primary ownership of the dish. Assist only when requested.
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