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Looking for some chore ideas for my 4 year old, as well as suggestions to make them simple to do.
October 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM

I have a fantastic little 4 year old (4 and a half now) There isn't a person I'd rather spend time with :) I think its about time I give her a bit of responsibility around the house, as I've caught a few instances of her having a bit of "princess" attitude. I'd like to convey to her that I am her momma, and helper, not her servant. And that she's an important member of the family, my helper in turn, and not royalty lol.

She's currently a fantastic helper with anything I'm do, always offering her assistance with any project I'm working on. Her troubles lie in taking care of her own things (which I know, is normal) We both need to get in the habbit of having a pick up time at least once a day.

I plan on putting her in charge of picking up her dirty laundry (I'll be adding a hamper in her room), putting her wet towels on a hook after bath time (I'll add a low hook to the bathroom door). I'd love to hear other suggestions for chore ideas and ways I can help her make them an easy habbit. I'm also aware that I need to re-do her room in a way that will simplify putting her things away herself.

We keep having a revolving argument with daddy that  goes like so:

"Marli, put your toys away."- Dad

"Ummm...ok...will you help me?"- Marli

"No, you got them out, you put them away."- Dad

She takes them to her room and sets them down

"Thats not putting them all the way away." - Dad

"Well, she doesn't really have a place where everything belongs, you can't blame her. At least they are in her room"- Me

"She can put them back where they originally came from"- Dad

"...Thats where they were"- Marli

haha see the problem ^.^

I'll work on my parts (suggestions also welcome there)

I'm not one to give chores just to give them, I also don't want to give her many, just a little handful. Childhood is waaaaaay to short to spend too much time on  work, the rest of life gets ruined with that :)

I plan on using a chart for her like this:

Thanks in advanced! :)


  • ravenstears
    October 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Thank you all so much for the advice! While I am still in the midst of making the chore chart, I have started DD on the actual chores.

    She has a much smaller room that she did in our old house (we moved from a rented Victorian to a medium trailer we bought to save up money to build the house we want) So her room is going to take some creativity on my part as well as some toy-rotation if only for the sake of space and organization.

    I'm going to tuck a mesh pop up hamper in between her dresser and her wall, it will be squished but it will do the job. For now, I've been having her put her laundry in a basket outside her room in the hall. I got some cloth bins to put up on her shelf and added a larger toy box to the hall way alcove. Then we cleared off an area on our living room bookshelf to help hold the art supplies that DD uses most so she can help herself. We also added a pretty large basket with a handle to the living room for DD to gather all her toys up at the end of the day, and then tote them to her room for easier clean up.

    Soon we'll add the hook for her bath towel and I'm clearing a drawer in the bathroom with just her toiletries. As for the chore chart, it will have these items for a daily to-do:

    Pick up toys (an picture of toys in a basket being carried)

    Pick up dirty laundry (A cartoon of laundry in a hamper)

    Hang up towel (Picture of towel on a hook)

    Take dishes to Kitchen (Picture of dishes then an arrow to the kitchen)

    Give Evie (our house rabbit) her hay (Image of hay with an arrow to a bunny)

    Help take care of cans and juice boxes (picture of cans and juice boxes in recycling bin)

    And clean up sink after bedtime routine (Image of kids toiletries with an arrow to the drawer)

    So far she's doing wonderfully! Thanks again everyone :)

  • eqwife
    by eqwife
    October 18, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    what i do with my kids (5 and 3) is stuff like..when i do the laundry they have to put their own clothes away..then when they get older i plan on having them sit with me and fold laundry, then eventually have themm do their own laundry (hopefully by age 10..i might be dreaming, but i can try)

    after meals they put the dishes in the sink, when they get older it will progress to them also washing their dishes and loading them into the dishwasher..etc

    they are also expected to keep their rooms clean and to pick up their play room everyday. i set a timer for them and if they finish in time we cheer and stuff..occasioanlly i give them a treat but not all the time so its not expected..just a little extra..

    i also let them do stuff they see as fun, like i have a shark mini vacuum, its only like 3 pounts and i let them both turn it on and go over the house with it, i will also dole out cleaning wipes and let them wipe down furniture, coloring on the walls etc, they seem to enjoy that kind of stuff..

    basically i try to engrain a sense of responsibility in them not by institutionalizing chores but by progressively makign them more liable for their own messes, clothes, dishes etc..

    dont get me wrong sometimes, they dont want to do anything, especially clean up their toys and i have actually taken their toys away before..its easier to do it for them but i stand over them and point stuff out, they do the work..just teaching them to be responsible for their own stuff is 80 percent of the work right there..

  • LucyHarper
    October 18, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Have a place for all of her things. Don't contradict your husband in front of her and act like he's wrong with what hes asking her to do. Spending a half hour tops on chores won't ruin her childhood, it will teach her life skills and responsibility. My four year olds chores are to wipe down the counters and dinner table before dinner, to help put away dishes after my siblings wash them (I'm the guardian of my younger siblings), to fold and separate a load of clothing once a week, to feed the dogs (with supervision), and to take the bathroom trashcans and empty them into the main trashcan on garbage day. He's also responsible for his own messes, like putting away his toys, putting away his laundry, putting his dirty clothes in his hamper, etc.

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