I have always been passionate about children's chores. That is why when my son was old enough to hold something I started giving him the chore of turning off the light when we would leave a room. He couldn't have been more than 9 months old, but he had just enough strength to muster the task.
Children's chores develop character, and responsibility. and teach them the importance of family. This printable preschool chore chart was originally created for my children as a way to develop a routine in the morning and evening (night). The simple format is easy for children ages 2-5 to understand and allows them to take responsibility for their own chores.
Ultimately there are two reasons to consider a chore chart.
- It provides a visual representation of the tasks that need doing.
- Chores teach responsibility and family values
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Young Kids Need Chores!
We often start kids off too late on chores. Kids need chores. They need to feel like they are a part of the family culture and are contributing to the household. Studies have even found that success in professional careers can be directly linked back to children doing and having chores as young children.
The younger you can start chores, the better.
The Time Commitment
Having children do chores, does not necessarily mean that it is going to save you time as a parent. Children need direction and often you will be teaching the child the skill many times in a row before it takes root in their mind.
For example, it took an entire summer of teaching my 2-year-old how to water plants without having a giant mess! But eventually, he understood the fine and large motor skills it took to control the water. He now waters plants as a 3-year-old wonderfully!
A similar example is gathering our chicken eggs. This task is an, even more, difficult chore for young children. Not only do they need to be strong enough to unlatch the door to the coop, but they also need to be able to find and pick up the eggs without breaking any.
Trust me, in the process of their learning, I lost a few eggs because they vastly underestimated the force with which they needed to set down the egg. They also need to be able to close and secure the chicken coop door so no predators can enter.
If they don't do this chore correctly, we risk losing our chickens! Neither of my children has reached a skill level where they can do this chore successfully, but it is still on their chore chart because they help me with it, and hopefully by next Summer, when my oldest is 5 years old, I will be able to pass this chore off to him.
Teaching children takes time and patience. Don't expect your carefully curated chore chart to save you time as a mama at first. Practice patience mama, it will eventually pay off!
Include your Kids in what you are Doing
As you are doing your daily tasks around the home, be sure to include your little ones! Teach them how to sort the laundry, let them grab the spoons from the dishwasher, and guide them as they try to grab the milk from the fridge! These are teachable moments that soon will transition into tasks that they can do on their own.
Sometimes for the mama that wants to do all the things, this can mean a mind shift needs to happen. Those interruptions of motherhood can often be your saving grace. It's okay to be less efficient for a time because it's in those moments that you are truly being a mother, not on the never-ending to-do list.
Rewards and Encouragement
Check out this fascinating study about chores and rewards! When children were given a toy as a motivator for doing their task or chore, they were less likely to further engage in helping again.
What does this mean?
Give your child praise and encouragement for completing their chore instead of rewards and toys.
Chore Ideas for Preschoolers
This list is not exhaustive and will vastly depend on the child and how they learn! Some of these may be way over your child's head and some of them you may need to adapt.
- Feed animals
- Find vacumn
- Make bed
- Take our trash
- Put on pajamas
- Take vitamins
- Put away clothes
- School work
- Go potty
- Clean up toys
- Brush teeth
- Clean dishes
- Fold laundry
- Bath or shower
- Load dishwasher
- Unload dishwasher
- Get dressed
- Feed fish
- Put on diaper
- Read Bible
- Say Bible verse
- Clean bedroom
- Put away books
- Water plants
- Get eggs
Free Printable Preschool Chore Chart
The tasks on the printable preschool chore chart and those that we have used. Currently, my children are at 3 months, 3 years, and 4 years. To some extent they can do what is on this list (with the exception of the baby!). Included in the printable is a completely blank page where you can insert your own tasks or chores.
Customizable Chore Chart
You can also use this Canva template to make your own squares. This means that you can create and customize your chore chart for your family and children!
How to use the Chore Chart
I highly suggest that if you are going to the printable preschool chore chart you invest in a laminator! They are not spendy at all and I have countless things that I have used for them during my children's childhood.
This is the laminator that I have. It is an Amazon basics and is usually priced around $30. This chore chart will last longer and be more effective if you can laminate the sheets.
Print the printable preschool chore chart, cut out the chore squares, laminate the sheets, and then place velcro on the squares of the chart as well as the back of the chore squares. You could also use magnets if you desire.
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