View Full Version : Chores for young, impulsive kids?

01-10-2012, 08:24 PM
I'm having a hard time coming up with chores that are age and developmentally appropriate for DS1. He's 5-1/2 years old, very hyperactive and impulsive (though meds have helped tremendously).

Pretty much all I've come up with is for him to put away his clean clothes (he does this without complaining), keep track of his video game and cartridges (not as successful) and clear his plate from the dinner table (pretty good with this one too).

What do your have your kids do? I'm not comfortable with him washing dishes - too much excitement around water play. I suppose he could help unload the dishwasher but we have the kind you roll up to the sink, so we run it at night & he'd have to unload it in the morning before school. Mornings are already pretty packed...

01-10-2012, 09:32 PM
DS is 4. His "chore" (other than to put his own stuff away) is to take the garbage barrel down to the curb and back again. he loves doing it actually.

01-10-2012, 09:43 PM
Do you have any pets he could feed?

DS1 is responsible for feeding his goldfish and our cat, folding all towels and washcloths, and helping clean up the playroom each night.

01-10-2012, 09:48 PM
Sweeping the floor. Ds is responsible for sweeping the staircase. I have him use the whisk broom so he doesn't have the long broom handle to contend with/swing around. And then he can "mop" it using a damp microfiber cloth.

Cleaning windows. You can use flat club soda or vinegar in a spray bottle bottle so it doesn't matter if he sprays himself.


01-10-2012, 10:02 PM
DS1 is 6 and has been very motivated to do chores lately.

For no pay he clears his plates after a meal (puts them in sink and throws anything appropriate into the trash), and does other random helpful things (part of being part of the team) -- bring up the groceries, take the trash barrels, feeding /watering the dog, in etc

We are going to Disney in 2 weeks so recently we pay him for the following
- put laundry away (whole family laundry -- dh and my clothes go on our bed but he will put away his and DS2's clothes in the right places) = $.50
- do dishes (hand wash his and his brother's lunch boxes and dry them, load dishwasher) $.25
- make his and his brother's lunch and school snacks (I do help some) = $.25 per lunch
- walk the dog = $.25

Once we get back from Disney some of these may become being part of the family chores but honestly I am happy to pay a happy kid who RUSHES into the house after school begging to do chores!

01-13-2012, 09:41 PM
DS is 4. His "chore" (other than to put his own stuff away) is to take the garbage barrel down to the curb and back again. he loves doing it actually.

ooo that's a great idea. And it's a heavy work activity, too!

01-13-2012, 09:42 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions! Can't wait for DS to wake up tomorrow so I can put him to work (ha, ha).

01-13-2012, 11:20 PM
Set the table
Feed the dogs

Fetch me random things!

We don't do these regularly but DD can now do the whole dog feeding routine herself and she is proud of herself. She is horrible at picking up toys but she enjoys feeding the dogs and will also willingly set the table.

01-14-2012, 01:49 AM
My two eldest help unload the dishwasher -- they are 4 and 6. One will sort forks and spoons while the other stacks plate and glasses on the counter for me to put up. They are in charge of putting the Tupperware in the lower cabinets.

01-15-2012, 04:51 PM
DD is 5 and here are some things she can do (not every day or every week but these are all things she's commonly asked to do)

-unload dishwasher (sort silverware and put kid cups and plates in a lower cabinet we call the kid cabinet)
-fold cloth napkins
-dustbuster crumbs up from around the table or at the peninsula where the kids eat breakfast and lunch (and it gets very crumby below them)
-wipe down hall bath countertop
-take sheets off of bed on the day I change sheets (I put them back on for DD; DS1 can usually remove independently and puts back on with just a little help)
-shoe roundup-take all shoes and put them on the shoe shelf in the mudroom/sunroom. If the shoes out there are all over the place, organize the shoe shelf
-hang up coat
-wipe off front of DW and oven
-clean room (DD can handle this much better than DS1 at that age, with just a little help)
-put away laundry
-empty trash in bathroom wastebaskets (I just line them with plastic bags from shopping) and bedrooms. She just has to tie the handles and bring downstairs. This is usually very lightweight stuff.
-water plants in the garden in warmer weather
-DS1 and DD set the table for dinner together (one does napkins, one does silverware, both work on drinks)