The center of the home tends to be the kitchen. It’s the first room children run to after school. Before and after meals is where many families gather as they work together. Keeping dishes, countertops, and appliances clean and running efficiently takes a lot of work and responsibility.
Children, even young children, can take part in the daily upkeep of this popular room. Daily chores build responsibility, life skills, and confidence. Kitchen chores can help your child become a part of family activity and let them know that they are important to the daily workings of your family. It’s important to find chores that are age-appropriate, but you know your child best. We put together a few suggestions that might help give you some ideas.
- Put Away Dishes
It seems like there are always dishes to be put away. If your children aren’t tall enough to reach the cupboard, they can still take dishes out of the dishwasher, sort, and stack them on the counter to be put away by an adult. Putting the silverware away is a great chore for younger kids because they can sort as they go, a skill most kids ages four to six-year-olds are still practicing. If they’re too short to reach the drawer, use a stool to give them a boost.
- Meal Prep
Helping to prepare a meal is a great way for children to learn how much work it takes to put food on the table. Picky eaters may be more willing to eat if they’ve had a part in preparing the food. Preschool age children can shred lettuce for a salad or wash fruits and vegetables. Older children can help peel, cut, or shred other vegetables. At first, it may feel like it’s more work to have children in the kitchen, but they’ll be learning valuable cooking skills and the more they do the more help they will be.
- Setting and Clearing the Table
This is another area where even young children can help out. Toddlers can carry silverware to the table and preschoolers can place silverware in the appropriate place. Carrying plates and glasses will depend on the coordination of your children, but once they’re old enough, they can certainly take over these chores. When the meal is over, everyone can help take dishes to the sink.
- Wiping Counters
Wiping counters isn’t hard, and as soon as your child is tall enough to reach, he can take over this task. You may need to check his work the first few times, but it won’t be long before he’ll have the hang of it.
- Wiping Cupboard Doors
Fingerprints and food have a way of collecting on cupboard doors. A wet rag and some elbow grease are all it takes. Once they see how much food sticks to the door, they may think twice about opening cupboards with peanut butter on their hands.
Chores build your confidence and a budding sense of responsibility. But there’s more to kitchen chores than just responsibility. When your children are working in the kitchen, they’re working with you. Opportunities to teach about proper nutrition and talk about their school day arise naturally when you work together. Chores become an opportunity to talk and strengthen family relationships.