Give your 5-year-old basic chores that help her learn the value of helping others, being productive and practice independence.

Chore List for a Five Year Old

by Kelly O'Brien Ritchie

Many 5-year-olds are energetic and eager to please their parents. They generally enjoy doing chores and take pride in a job well done. Preschoolers can handle simple tasks around the home, but don't expect perfection. Mop pails spill and some items are breakable. If you assign your child duties, you'll be able to reward her accomplishments more than clean up after her.

1. Kitchen

Getting help in the kitchen from your 5-year-old can go a long way. Show her how to do the job and be prepared to answer her questions patiently. Teach her how to complete tasks safely and offer encouragement and reminders as you work together. Appreciate her efforts and it will be easier to remain calm when she pours cat food around the pet dish instead of inside of it. Remember this when she delights in splashing puddles of dishwater onto the counter. By 5, she can unload the dishwasher and put dishes away, if they are stored within her reach. Put away knives and sharp objects beforehand. She can clear dirty dishes, wipe counters, and sweep and the floor.

2. Family Room

The family room is one of the busiest areas of the home. Everyone in the family uses it so it makes sense to start teaching children how to keep it clean and tidy early on. Your preschooler can contribute to these responsibilities in many ways. She can clear away clutter, pick up toys and put objects in their rightful places. She can vacuum carpeting or sweep and mop hardwood or tile floors. Wiping tables, dusting the furniture and collecting lost items from under cushions are also suitable chores for a 5-year-old. Reward your child for a job well done through special outings, occasional treats or extra time with mom.

3. Laundry

Five-year-old children are capable of completing basic laundry chores independently, but they might need some help with larger clothing items and responsibilities. Of course, you wouldn't want her to tackle the ironing, but she can handle sorting and matching socks, putting her own clothes away and even folding if you don't mind the occasional wrinkle in her shirts and dresses. Let her gather the dirty laundry, empty the hampers in the laundry area, and take the empty hamper back to her bedroom. If your preschooler masters these tasks, you might want to use a system of placing her laundry in one basket and dropping it off in her room to sort, fold and put away.

4. Bedroom

If your child keeps her toys in the same room she sleeps in, chances are it can become disorganized. Even if she has a separate toy room, laundry can be tossed on the floor, books might not make it back onto the shelf and the bed left unmade on rushed mornings. Keeping her room in good order is something she can do every day. Include a daily tidy up time for her bedroom and toy room, if she has one. Make it a household rule to put one toy away before she is allowed to play with another. Leave a laundry hamper in her bedroom to throw dirty clothes in as she takes them off and give her storage containers to put her things in.

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