There are many demands on our children’s time: school, homework, sports, music, and other activities take up most of their day. But it’s important to add one more item to their to-do list, and that's household chores.

Chores are important for a number of reasons. First, it teaches our kids that they are part of a team that contributes each day to keep a house clean, tidy, and organized. Second, it helps them develop a work ethic. Third, it helps them develop time management skills wherein they learn to juggle homework, activities, and chores. Each of those skills will help them immeasurably as they grow up and become parents and employees.

There are a number of chores that kids can accomplish at home once they return from school. It’s important that the chores are age-specific and that your children are safe while doing them. In the beginning, you might need to do some prep work to make the chores doable.

Here are a few chores that they can do:

1. Feed the pets.

2. Pick up toys and other items off the floor and put them where they belong.

3. Sweep the floor.

4. Clean the baseboards.

5. Wipe down windows.

6. Clean the tub, toilet, and bathroom sink.

7. Set the table for dinner.

8. Fold freshly laundered clothes.

If your children are older and can handle more responsibility, you might consider letting them do more:

9. Vacuum the carpet.

10. Prep dinner by chopping vegetables, marinating meat, and cutting bread.

11. Wash dishes, and load and unload the dishwasher.

12. Do laundry.

13. Mow the lawn and other yardwork.

It’s important for parents to establish a routine for their kids to follow. You can set up a schedule where they do a certain chore each day — like setting the table or feeding the pets — as well as a weekly chore like cleaning the windows or wiping down the baseboards. If your kids know your expectations, they will be more likely to follow through. Plus, a little incentive like an extra treat or an allowance never hurt.

More about Chores:

43 Chores Young Children Can Do                    7 Outdoor Chores Your Child Can Do

15 Household Chores for Five-Year-Olds          8 Perfect Chores for Toddlers

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