We are firm believers that some of the best learning in childhood happens organically. Exploring the backyard, going on field trips, and simply being an active part of your day will teach your child just as much as a day spent doing intentional school—and in some ways the lessons will be even more valuable.
That’s why we include life skill activities in all of our unit studies, and it’s why we encourage you to take this skill building into your every day life by including your child in the upkeep of your home and family. Why is it important? Because providing your child with real, valuable work that benefits your family will help build confident, capable children who become lifelong learners and contributors.
Not sure where to start? Here are 20 household chores for children ages 3+.
Note: Don’t worry if your child isn’t ready for everything on this list—pick a few things you think they can handle and work your way up to the rest. (They just might surprise you!) Or you can modify for their abilities. For example, if making their own breakfast is a goal, start with cracking, seasoning, or stirring the eggs before you work up to actually cooking them.
- Feeding a pet.
- Watering plants. (Plant “polishing” is also a great activity!)
- Planting and harvesting in the garden.
- Wiping mirrors or other surfaces.
- Picking up toys. (Tip: Keep toys in accessible bins that make it easy for your child to put their own things away.)
- Putting laundry in a hamper or into the washing machine (with supervision).
- Assisting with meal prep (chopping with a child-safe knife, stirring, shaking salad dressing, seasoning, etc.).
- Setting the table. (For very young children, stick to silverware, napkins, and plasticware.)
- Taking clean silverware out of the dishwasher.
- Folding small towels and cloth napkins.
- Making breakfast (toast, scrambled eggs, pouring milk for cereal, etc.).
- Matching socks when you do laundry.
- Putting away clean laundry (especially their own).
- Holding the grocery list while you shop (and crossing out items as you pick them up).
- Putting away groceries in the pantry.
- Fetching items from another room (box of tissue, your glasses, new toilet paper roll, etc.).
- Putting their shoes away and hanging up coat on an accessible hook.
- Washing windows.
- Vacuuming with a handheld vacuum.