Saturday, 15 June 2013


When I was growing up, doing house chores was a normal part of being a child and a member of one’s family.

As soon as we were able to handle a broom, we were given ‘our own’ little brooms and assigned to a part of the house which we had the responsibility to keep clean.

The challenges of urban living may have contributed to the fact that children these days no longer have the ‘pleasure’ of learning to do chores at home.

I can relate to the statement above, as, once the children wake up in the morning, its all systems go – the commute to school, school, homework, afterschool activities etc., and the weekend schedules are not lighter – weddings, church, meetings and visitations.......

However, we must admit that doing household chores has its benefit for children as it:

v  Equips them with skills necessary to function independently when they growup,

v  Helps them to develop physically as their muscles are exercised while they work,

v  Helps them develop concentration as they learn to focus on an activity from its beginning to the end,

v  Helps them become better coordinated in movement,

v  Helps them become better in organising their thought processes,

v  Helps them develop more self confidence,

v  Helps them become less selfish

v  Helps them bond better with other family members.

Chores can be incorporated into the daily routines of children and as parents we should consciously find ‘teachable’ moments when we can take time to explain how to do some of these tasks to our children.


There are several sites listing Chore Charts on the internet, I’ve taken time to go through some of them and adapted them to suit this environment.

I’ve also started the list from age 1 as I believe that children are always on a drive to independence and need opportunities to develop and express their independence right from an early age.


1 – 2
Ø  Putting away their toys in a toy hamper or box
Ø  Running errands involving one direction e.g.’bring my bag’, or ‘come here’.
Ø  Putting away dirty clothes in laundry basket
Ø  Help dust flat surfaces
Ø  Clearing away their own plates after a meal
Ø  Try washing some unbreakable plates and cups
Ø  Assist in tidying up rooms.
Ø  Assist in setting table for meals.
Ø  Can wash more plates & cups.
Ø  Should have an area assigned to them for dusting.
Ø  Can begin sweeping small areas with a handheld brush & dustpan.
Ø  Can handle a small broom for sweeping.
Ø  Can clear tables after meals
Ø  Can sort laundry before washing.
Ø  Can assist in picking beans before cooking.
Ø  Can make a simple sandwich.
Ø  Should assist in kitchen by observing & running errands there.
Ø  Can assist in picking ewedu or other vegetable leaves.
Ø  Can assist in folding & putting away laundry.
Ø  Can crack & mix eggs for omlettes.
Ø  Should begin to wash their own underwear.
Ø  Should begin to bathe themselves –with supervision!
Ø  Can set tables for a meal
Ø  Should attempt to ‘cook’a pot of instant noodles – again under close supervision!
Ø  Can make their own beds.
Ø  Can attempt to cook rice.
Ø  Can mop spills in small areas
Ø  Can serve refreshments to guest.
Ø  Can brush off cobwebs from corners
Ø  Can sort out shopping & arrange them in their various places.
Ø  Can water house plant
Ø  Can take out garbage.
Ø  Can be taught to light gas / electric cooker – with instructions on safety precautions
Ø  Can be taken on shopping to local markets
Ø  Can attempt to cook a ‘small’pot of stew – with supervision
Ø  Can fry/boil an egg-with supervision
Ø  Can wash toilet bowls & clean wash hand basins
Ø  Can mop floors and sweep large areas
Ø  Can assist in washing cars
Ø  Can help weed flower beds or care for plants.


Of course as in anything else in childcare, these are not cast in stone.

Some children many fit perfectly into the challenge set for their age level whilst some may be over or under challenged.

Parents should take this as a guide to set household tasks for their children.

Auntie Mo.

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