Chances are your kids are prone to a little mess now and then. Leaving a trail of unwanted clothing in their wake, fingerprints as far as their little hands can reach and the somewhat magical ability to step over everything and anything resembling dirt. Sound familiar?
The good news is, as well as making a mess, children are perfectly equipped to clean one up. We’ve put together a list of age appropriate chores to ensure no child is left with mud on their face.
Toddlers and preschoolers are the best cleaning companions. Not only do they love the novelty of copying what you do, they can easily be encouraged with a little reverse psychology (“ooh, I don’t know if you’re big enough to clean the skirting boards… okay, you can have a go”) Give them a cloth and send them under tables to dust those places your back hates to go. Activities like pairing socks, sorting clothes by owner or colour, and counting pegs back into the peg basket are all good for their development and your sanity – its win/win!
By the time your little darlings start school they’re able to do more complex chores like dry dishes and put them away, unload the dishwasher, set the table, and even make their own lunches. Help develop independence and responsibility by giving them a checklist of things they need to do before and after school (eg: hang up their uniform, or put it out to be washed).
The late primary and early high school years are a great time to teach kids to cook. Start with simple preparations like chopping and cooking vegetables, moving on to the dishes they like the most. By the time they get to University they should have plenty of simple meals in their repertoire that will not only save them from a diet of noodles and hot chips, but also give their love life a boost in later years. There’s a lot to be said for someone who cooks a mean spaghetti Bolognese.
Some parents feel it’s unnecessary to give children housework, and there’s enough time for that when they are older. While that’s true, it can be argued that participating in household chores teaches children valuable skills, gives them the opportunity to learn the connection between hard work and reward, and to understand their role and value in day to day family life.
Family Clean, as the name suggests, are a family owned business passionate about eco-friendly cleaning and educating Australians on the impact of using chemicals in the home // www.familyclean.com.au