Our household felt out of balance during my first year homeschooling. Dishes, cleaning, floors, bathrooms, the clutter piled up and stressed me out. I had to shift my thinking to realize just how everyone can help at home-this includes chores for the kids, ideas for dads to spend time with the kids and a focus on the tasks that were most important to complete.
I did not have to be the one doing it all at home.
I realized I had a work force! As a stay-at-home mom, I tend to think everything at home is my job. It is impossible to go long term with this mindset. The entire family has to help at home especially when you have multiple children. Work at home moms, this is how we get all the things done – the important things anyway.
Everyone Can Help at Home
As I was researching the tips for this post, I compiled ideas for chores by age that kids can do. I include chores my kids have done and do as well as ideas from other sources.
You will be surprised by how young we can – and should – start teaching our children to help around the house. It starts in a fun loving way to encourage participating and togetherness.
Chores Kids Can do by Age
Babies and Toddler Chores
It starts this young. Truly when babies can sit up on their own and put toys into a box or basket, they can be encouraged to help clean up. You make it a game and have fun with it.
Your baby learns they are capable and that putting away is not a negative thing.
I always used simple toy storage ideas depending on the space in each of our homes to help my kids clean up independently from early ages.
From the age of 6 months to 1 year old, babies and toddlers can help around the house as they have interest. We encourage putting the blocks away, placing stuffed animals together on the bed or in a basket, and toy cars can go in the box labeled for them if you use that type of toy storage system.
Children as young as toddlers can be asked to help at an early age.
When I was pregnant with baby #2, I started asking my then 3 year old to feed the dog. He could let her in and out of her kennel and into the backyard. If I was nursing the baby, he could help.
His chores started because I needed help. This has always been the case for my kids. The more work that piles up on my plate, the more chores I need my kids to help with and chores are good for kids according to research.
Chores for School Age Kids
Somewhatsimple.com shares that she starts having her children complete chores at age 5. Things like making their own bed, bringing dirty laundry to the laundry room, or putting clothes in the hamper, and setting the table are all great ideas.
With my laundry sorting hack, kids can help pre-sort laundry. Loads can be washed as the hamper is full which cuts laundry time down a lot!
I also recently changed how I have my kids put their clean clothes away. I will share that in an upcoming Mom Meetup Monday chat on Facebook and my IGTV channel soon. (You can watch the previous videos though in case you missed one.)
Children from ages 7 and up can set the table for meals, get the mail, use a leaf blower and even clean up dog poop.
We bought a lighter weight leaf blower so my 6 year old could do that as one of his chores. We have a lot of pine straw and pine cones that fall with every rainstorm and he loves helping to blow off our walkway and driveway.
My oldest started mowing the lawn around age 12. We do reward chores by paying our kids. I explained why I believe in using chores as a way to teach kids about money. We pay them so the kids learn the value of work, the benefits of saving, and the budgeting required before spending. Children learn so many money lessons when you pay them for chores.
How Dads Can Help with the Kids
Stay-at-Home Moms do a lot at home. This can mean that dads may not be sure where to help or what to do to contribute and not “mess up your system.” At least that is feedback I have gotten from my husband.
Frankly, often what we need as the mom at home is dads to just give us a break from the kids for a bit! Even if that happens while we are folding laundry or making dinner.
Reading to the kids before bed, helping the kids during bath time or taking the kids outside on a walk or a bike ride are great ways for dads to help with the kids and get quality time together.
We have to ask our husbands for help, and we can be specific. No one can read minds. That would be amazing, but it just does not exist.
I found that when I started asking my husband to take the kids up for bath time, or please take the full bag of garbage out, after a few times he was more proactive.
The long term benefits of kids doing chores
Parent.com shared that only 28% of kids are expected to complete chores at home. This was surprising to me! Kids actually lose out on valuable life lessons when they do not have to help around the house.
Chores teach children social skills, fortitude, perseverance and self-sufficiency. Studies have shown that kids who do chores have greater academic and career success in life too.
A surprise benefit of doing chores is how it teaches children to have empathy for others. They learn to care and help for the greater good of the home and family.
Everyone can help at home and after those stats, everyone should help! With homeschooling, chores can even be considered part of learning. It is contributing to the social situation in the home.
The way our home stays in balance with 4 kids, 2 dogs, and the military + homeschool lifestyle is everyone helping.
Free tool to help you stay in balance at home
If you struggle as a stay-at-home mom to know how to keep your house in balance, I have a free tool for you! This helped me to get back in balance after my twins were born.
Free Successful Day Checklist Download
I send a free Successful Day Checklist to each of my email subscribers as a free gift. It is completely free to subscribe and you will never receive any spam. I do not sell or share your email.
The checklist will help you manage your day, focus on balance, and allow you to not be a slave to your to do list. You can subscribe for free here or read more about the checklist.
Tell me, do you have a good chore system in place at home? How is it working for you?
Did you miss our Mom Meetup Monday chat all about this topic of everyone can help at home?
Don’t miss another one and catch up on the previous chats by clicking to our Facebook page and liking for future notifications. Every Monday we get together and chat about a topic related to balancing life as moms at 3pm Eastern/12pm Pacific. See you there!
Enjoy your time at home!