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Diane Flynn Keith...

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Helping With Family Chores

Helping with family chores is a great way to make your preschooler feel valued and important. Children love to help, and giving them age-appropriate tasks is an excellent way to instill responsibility from an early age.

Your child can help do simple tasks all around the house such as:


  • Sort colors into piles or baskets.
  • Sort socks, underwear, fold washcloths and help put away clothes.
  • Put the detergent in the washing machine with parental supervision.
  • Put the fabric softener sheet into the dryer.
  • If you put your clothes out on a line, children can give you clothespins and hand you clothing.


  • Help set the table (dishes, silverware, napkins…etc.)
  • Help carry covered bowls of food (not hot) to the table, and a carton of milk or juice.
  • Put condiments on the table, and serving utensils.
  • Clean up after a meal by putting condiments away, putting dishes in the sink and by putting dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Help you wash and dry dishes. Note: This requires parental supervision. Be careful of too hot water, and sharp objects such as knives. Teach your child to handle a knife properly or not at all.

Other Household Jobs:

  • Clean up after craft projects by putting away crayons and paper, placing paint brushes in the sink (to be washed), and throwing away left over scrap papers. They can put away play dough (parents, make sure lids are tight).
  • Sweep floors and use a dustpan with a little help from a parent or with a child-sized broom and dustpan.
  • Clean up a spill with a paper towel or sponge.
  • Carry things into the house after shopping.
  • Make a bed reasonably well and they can take everything off the bed for laundry day.
  • Help prepare meals, make deserts (cakes, Jell-O, pudding and other yummy things!) and cook under supervision.
  • Help decorate for the holidays.
  • They can help dust the areas they can reach.
  • Help with yard work:
    • Rake leaves into piles with child size yard tools.
    • Help garden by digging holes and putting plants/seeds in the ground and watering. Later they can help pick weeds and harvest veggies.
    • Help pick up litter around the yard (give them gloves for this task).
    • Clean up their yard and riding toys.
  • They can help wash the car.


  • Select fruits and vegetables.
  • Help look for items in the store.
  • Help carry bags to and from the car.

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