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How to Involve Young Children in House Cleaning Chores

Last time we have shared with you some ideas on how to approach your teenagers in order to get them help with cleaning and maintaining the house. However the younger your children when you involve them in helping with chores, the easier you will teach them to clean and deal with simple tasks. Here are some tactics to help get your young kids to clean, as well as a list of chores, appropriate for different ages.

Check also: How to Live with a Dog and Have a Clean Home

Your toddler can easily pick up the toys, after a day on the beach or playground.

Your toddler can easily pick up the toys, after a day on the beach or playground.

Give Specific Detailed Instructions

When you are teaching a very young child to deal with chores you will need to give specific, step-by-step directions. If you just say “You need to clean your room” you are leaving much room for interpretation of the task. It might be very obvious for you what has to be done, but for a young child this sounds very unclear. Instead of giving generalised tasks, you should set the list of chores clearly. For example: “Take your t-shirt and pants and put them in the laundry basket”, or “Make your bed”, or “Collect all your toys from the floor and put them in the box”, etc.

Children can manage even with more complicated tasks like cleaning fingerprints from windows with water. Photo: Flickr

Children can manage even with more complicated tasks like cleaning fingerprints from windows with water. Photo: Flickr

Set Clear Consequences in Advance

Your young children must understand there will be consequences if they don’t do their chores. When giving a task you should give clear instructions, backed by a consequence. For example: “Put all the books on the bookshelf in 10 minutes, or you won’t get to watch the movie with us”. Punishments shouldn’t be too rigorous, however you will have to follow through with them. Don’t let children negotiate with you and don’t forget about the consequences – otherwise kids decide they can get away when they haven’t done their chores.

Turn chores into a game.

Turn chores into a game.

Motivate and Reward

Usually when children are at young age it is quite easy to motivate them help clean the house and do chores with the right approach. Turn cleaning into a game. For example, you can make a competition with some small reward: Let’s see if you can make your bed before I finish preparing the breakfast. Whoever is first, gets to choose what’s for dinner tonight”. You can involve even the smallest children in the Spring Cleaning when all members of the family have their tasks.

Read also: Spring Cleaning Tips from the Pros

It is very important to set positive consequences, not only punishments and follow through with them. Some parents develop a reward system with points, or stickers and it proves to be very efficient. For example – every time you children complete their chores they get some points, or a sticker (if the child is too young to calculate their points). Once your children get certain amount of points/stickers – they get a reward.

Don't let expectations too high - it is more important to create a good habit. Photo: Flickr

Don’t let expectations too high – it is more important to create a good habit. Photo: Flickr

Don’t Set the Expectations too High

When involving toddlers and small children to help you shouldn’t expect perfect results. The point of getting your kids help with chores is to teach them create good habits and routine that will help them further in life. Give clear tasks with detailed instructions and make sure your child is following them. You can neglect a toy that has been left out of the box once, or twice, if everything else is done on time.

Don't forget to reward your little helper. Photo: Flickr

Don’t forget to reward your little helper. Photo: Flickr

List of Age Appropriate Chores for Small Children

Small children can help around the house in many different ways, but all the tasks you are giving should be complied with their age. Here are some suggestions for chores appropriate for different ages:

2-3 years old

  • Collecting toys and books
  • Putting clothes in laundry basket
  • Putting unbreakable items in the sink after a meal
  • Placing stuffed animals on the bed in the morning
  • Handing adults items groceries from the bag, after shopping

4-5 years old

All of the above plus:

  • Setting and clearing table
  • Sweeping something spilled on the floor with small hand broom
  • Sort laundry
  • Wiping spilled food from kitchen floor with wet cloth
  • Folding some garments – trousers and jeans are simple to fold
  • Carrying light bags from grocery store

5-7 years old

All of the above plus:

  • Sweeping the floors
  • Wiping the kitchen table after a meal
  • Making their bed
  • Assisting in putting away groceries in the kitchen
  • Folding all of their clothes
  • Make simple meals – sandwiches, putting afternoon snacks in plates, pouring juice
  • Feeding the family pet

It is important to teach your child helping around the house. However, there are some chores – like deep carpet cleaning, sanitising bathrooms, or cleaning the oven and other appliances that cannot be carried out by small kids. We know that being a parent can be exhausting, especially if you are working. Whenever you need a hand with heavy duty cleaning tasks, don’t hesitate to call us. You can book end of lease cleaning in London, as well as in many other London areas.