Learning Life Skills: List of Household Tasks for Different Ages and Stages

Children when encouraged often love to help around the house. Not only does it help them feel like they are capable and contributing members of the family, it also helps both parent and child have a chance to connect.  For more about that check out my post at Authentic Parenting all about helping around the house and building connections.

teaching toddler life skills

Wondering what jobs your child can do around the house? With a little bit of help, children can do just about any task around the house and as they grow they can become more and more capable of carrying out these taks independently.  Having children help with just one to three tasks is a great way to get started.

Here is list of household tasks for different ages and stages:

Toddlers

From 1 to 3 years toddlerhood is a great time to start involving children with household taks. Naturally curious about what parents and caregivers are doing, integrating a toddler into daily tasks is quite simple. Keeping in mind toddlers may need some help from a parent or older sibbling to get started here are great tasks for toddlers to do:

  • Clean up toys into a toy box or drawer
  • Sort & match socks
  • Dust with a damp cloth
  • Put away kitchen items like tupperware, wooden spoons, cups
  • Place clothing in drawers or baskets
  • Move laundry items from washer into dryer
  • Push buttons to turn machines on/off
  • Dry walls and fixtures with clean towel
  • Scoop out pet food
  • move paper from recycling bin into paper bags

 Preschoolers

From ages three to five, preschoolers are often looking for ways to be independent, strong and feeling capable. With encouragement, household tasks can give preschoolers that boost in confidence and self assurance that they seek.  Starting jobs together  and then allowing preschoolers to take the lead is a great way to get the following tasks done:

  • Set the table (choose one or two tasks at a time: napkins, placemats, silverware, plates)
  • Take laundry to hamper
  • Fold laudry and place in baskets
  • Wipe tables and countertops
  • Wash pots and pans
  • Sort recycling
  • Empty small trash cans
  • Load/Unload some dishes from dishwasher
  • Load soap into dishwasher and/or washing machines
  • Empty grocery bags
  • Peel vegetables
  • Water plants
  • Rake leaves, tidy garden
  • shovel snow
  • Fluff pillows
  • Wipe dust away
  • Vaccuum
  • Mop floors
School Aged 
Around six years of age many of the tasks that were previously done with some assistance can now be done completely independently.  Keeping your child encouraged and interested in participating in household taks might be a bit more difficult but not impossible. Keeping realistic expectations, making jobs fun, introducing a job chart and remembering to appreciate your childs help and effort are all great ways to encourage your child to help with the following:
  • Set the table
  • Take laundry to hamper
  • Place laundry into washer
  • Move laudry from washer to drying rack
  • Fold laudry and place in baskets
  • Wipe tables and countertops
  • Wash pots and pans
  • Sort recycling
  • Empty small trash cans
  • Load/Unload dishwasher
  • Empty grocery bags
  • Peel vegetables
  • Water plants
  • Rake leaves, tidy garden
  • Change bed sheets
  • Change towels
  • Wipe dust away
  • Vaccuum
  • Mop floors
  • Prepare a meal
  • make a cup of coffee
  • Wash windows/mirrors
  • Wash the car
  • Shovel snow
  • feed pets
  • clean pet cages/crates/bedding
  • put away own laundry
What tasks do your children like to help with? Which tasks do you wish they would help with more? How do you motivate and encourage your children to help around the house? Share your ideas below!

 

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and has completed several graduate courses in child development, psychology and family counseling. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.

5 thoughts on “Learning Life Skills: List of Household Tasks for Different Ages and Stages

  1. Pingback: Sunday Surf 12-18-2011 | lovenotesmama

    • Charise, hope it turns out to be fun!! Today my dd dried all the bath tub toys while I was cleaning the tub – she loved it !! Thanks for stopping by :)

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. Great list! My son is 7 and does some of these things. I was amused to see “make a cup of coffee”–I guess whether a child can do it depends on your coffee-making method–but my partner recently taught our son to fill a mug with leftover coffee from the percolator, heat it in the microwave, add milk, and bring it to him. :-) There are so many foods we get for him because he can’t reach them or can’t do all the preparation, it’s nice to have something he can serve to us!

    I wrote a list of tasks kids can help with a few years ago based on my own childhood memories. My son is not as independently motivated as I was; we generally have to work WITH him rather than have him do something alone or even do a separate part of a job, but that is beginning to change in the past few months. This morning he was ready early, and while we were still getting ready he decided to put his school photo into a frame, a task we’d been meaning to get around to. He did a fine job!

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