Let’s Talk Chores (10 Ideas for Littles). Responsibility, Humility, & Countercultural?

Whether you are a stay at home parent, working parent, or both, maintaining a clean and tidy home may be difficult. Unless you have a maid service (Congrats, if you do! No judgment here!), cleaning the bathroom isn’t always priority #1.

I hear from fellow moms ALL THE TIME that cleaning their home is the hardest “to-do” on the list. Life happens to all of us. I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning, but alas, it has to be done.

If you have children, I am about to get really practical!

I desire and pray fervently that my kids will grow to be responsible adults (as I am sure you do as well). I pray they will walk in Christ-like humility and learn how to live according to God’s Kingdom reality rather than a worldly reality. Chores are a big part of this in my house! Although chores may seem to be too mundane and ordinary to be a prayer topic, this week, it’s at the top of my prayer list for my kids!

In my house, we share the responsibilities of our home. We all serve one another to get the jobs done. This enables all of us to do what we are passionate about, have fun, and rest. My kids are not entitled to anything, and they are capable of more than they think they can do. Godly work ethic begins with the mundane task of taking out the trash. In God’s kingdom we are called to serve, humble ourselves, and walk in His grace even if life isn’t being “fair” to us. Plus, my husband and I juggle a lot! We need their help!

My kids are 2, 5, and 7, so they are still very young, but they do a lot. If you are struggling to think of things that young ones can do, not to worry. I have a list of 10 ideas to get you started.

10 Chores for Littles:

  1. Give them a trash bag, and ask them to empty the small trash cans around the house into the bag. They can do this as a team. Once all the trash cans are empty, the bag goes next to the door for you to take out. My son also helps take out the bags.
  2. Prep the house for the vacuum. My kids are in charge of picking up everything off the floor BEFORE I vacuum. This cuts my vacuum time in half.
  3. Dust. All my kids get a dust wipe, and I assign them each a piece of furniture or multiple pieces(depending on age) to clean.
  4. Sweep the kitchen after dinner.
  5. Empty parts of the dishwasher. My kids are in charge of the silverware since they can reach the drawer and nothing is breakable.
  6. Clean their rooms. This is required in our house every morning before breakfast.
  7. Gather the laundry baskets and dirty clothes. My 5-year-old boy brings down the baskets to the laundry room. (It makes him feel strong and confident!)
  8. Fold laundry. Even my 2-year-old does this. They all have to put their own clothes in their room in the correct location.
  9. Pick up the backyard before Dad mows. I have also been known to get them to pull weeds while their out there.
  10. Clean their bathroom counter. I have Clorox wipes under all the sinks in my house to make it super easy to clean as we live.

I could go on and on. Get creative! If you find yourself doing something your kids could do, ask them to do it. Keep in mind they might not do it as well as you would, but that’s ok! Let it go! Of course, you will adjust and even add to their responsibilities as they get older.

Some of their chores may be daily or “in the moment” chores. It is also helpful to have a consistent chore day. In my home, every Monday is cleaning day. My kids know that Mondays before school work, we clean. Playdates don’t usually happen on Monday. If something comes up on a Monday that we can’t reschedule, chore day gets bumped to the next available day. Note: Chores are NEVER on the weekend or during an evening. (We home school, so this is doable for us.)

Let me also just remind us, that the less we have, the less we have to clean. Start with a few trash bags to help you purge toys, clothes, etc. You can also simplify in other ways, such using paper plates to cut down on cleaning time. Do what works for you, and don’t try to do it all yourself. Chores are the perfect training for real life for your little ones. Their spouse will also thank you later. (wink).

Lastly, because I am thankful for you, I have included a fun and FREE PDF (Kid Summer Plan). I created it to get you going before the summer is over. Don’t wait for the new school year to get started. You can download it, put your child’s name on top, laminate it, and put it on your refrigerator. I have one for each of my big kids!

 

Enjoy your clean house!

Cathy

 

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