What type of chores can my 5 and 6 year old do

Deanna - posted on 04/14/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )




I have a 6 year old in 1st grade and a 5 year old in Pre K he started a year later due to his birthday falling in October and it was past the cut off date. My husband works outside of the home and I am a full time stay at home mom. My husband wants the apartment clean and dinner ready when he walks in the door between 5-630 every night and doesnt want to do any house work when he gets home from work or on the weekends. He tells me that if I do house work on the weekends it wouldnt be that bad during the beginning of the week. I guess my question would be is what can my 2 kids do around the apartment to help me out a little as he wants them to do chores as well. We also have a pet cat named Socks as well that my husband got from his cousin. His family is the type that believes the men work soley outside od the home while its the womens job to take care of the house and kids and husband. His parents will not help but my my mom will Advice would be helpful on what your opinions are. Thanks in advance............


[deleted account]

1st off I'd smack my husband silly if he thought the way your husband does! I dont go into his work and leave a mess for him to clean up so therefore he shouldnt walk into my work and leave a mess for me to clean!

My daughter who is 5 feeds our dogs and gets them water, picks up her toys, wipes down windows (not the best job but she tries hard and thats what counts), and likes to help sweep with the vacuum. She also puts the trash bag in the can when the trash goes out. Take dirty dishes to the sink after meals. And anything else I think she can do at the moment.

My other daughter who is 3 drags the trash bag to the back door for her Dad to take it out, helps pick up her toys, likes to sweep the floor, wipes down the dishwasher front and the front of the oven door. Take her dirty dishes to the sink after meals.

My son who is 16 months old helps put his toys away, sweeps with his vacuum, throws his dirty diapers away.

Each of my children have chores and they are age appropriate. They have all been taught from a small age the house work is EVERYONES job! You help make a mess therefore you help clean the mess! Yes my kids dont always do a perfect job, but they try and they are getting better. There are times we fight to get a simple task done, but it teaches them to be independent and have pride when they have finished a task. My son will learn everything including how to cook and clean. You never know when you may find yourself a single parent or just single and on your own and I as his Mother will NOT be going to his plac to do everything for him.

Cheryl - posted on 04/14/2012




Hi Deanna, I am brand new to this site but very expierenced when it comes to kids as I have 7 and have been a foster parent for 22 years. My youngest also missed her cutoff date for kindergarten. The 1st thing I would do is have my 1st grader help the 5 year old with any homework while making dinner. they both are at an age that love to do chores because its fun. In another 10 years that wont work no more. They both can clean there rooms as long as you make the beds and that would be a chore that can be done later in the day also while your getting dinner ready. They both can also feed and water the pet. They both can dry some dishes as long as they are not glass.The kids are at an age that any chore you give them is fun. If you use reward charts with smiley faces for good behavior and chores you will also be teaching them responsibilities. Above everything if they have the chores to do everyday and homework taken care of the same time you will never have to fight with them as they get older because it all becomes routine.I live by reward charts they are like gold....hope this helps.

Deidre - posted on 04/14/2012




Honestly, the question is what CAN"T they do? Kids at this age are capable of sooo much more than we give them credit for. My two youngest are 4 and 5 and they are responsible for the following and not limited to: Setting the table, clearing the table, picking up their room, picking up the living room, help with folding laundry, gathering their dirty clothes, loading the dish washer, loading the washing machine (clothes only), vacuuming the carpets, choosing what to wear for next morning, help with cooking, help with baking, rub my back, picking weeds, gathering trash for the garbage can, etc... Most kids love to learn new things. In my house I tend to create a fun and upbeat type of arena, so they end up wanting to help with whatever it is I am seeming to have so much fun doing LOL! When the music is playing we all get to get in the mood. We all put our hands on top of the other and yell "Team Work!! I am a single mother of 3 growing boys. As soon as they are able to talk and walk they are officially here to help ME with anything I ask. Hope that helps :)


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Brandi - posted on 04/23/2012




my oldest (7now) was in charge of keeping his bed made, toys picked up and helped dust with the feather duster. Since then we've added help put his clothes away after I'm done folding them, feed/water the dogs and he helps unload the dishwasher. My younger two (3 and 2) have started the same routin of making their beds, picking up their toys and books, and helping feed/water the dogs. As they get oder I find little tasks they can handle to add to the list of things to help me out and I let them earn treats with it and really they love helping makes them feel grown

Kim - posted on 04/21/2012




My 5 year old loves to help me with the laundry. She will help me load the washer. The dryer is stacked so that is hard for her but she tries to load and unload it. She even helps her Dad with the buttons the few times he has done laundry. She loves to help with the dishes, putting them in, emptying what she can. She will help me sweep and mop the floors. Sometimes she wants to dust. As long as there aren't breakables around they can do that too.

They can help with all that and help feed the cat.

PR - posted on 04/21/2012




We (my brothers & I) were taught that you have to learn how to take care of yourself because someday you will have to do it all yourself. Having said that, at this age, making it fun for them will get them engaged. Make it a contest to see who can clean up faster...who can put the laundry away fastest & neatest..etc. Also, they can learn teamwork by having "team chores" such as taking care of the cat together or setting the table together. Despite what anyone else says, this is your family and you have to make it work for all of you - that's the only way for your family to thrive.

Carrie-Lee - posted on 04/19/2012




The day when husbands did not work in the house is OLD! I do agree with the ladies, your husband should be helping you. He helped make the kids so he should help with them and with things that you can't do.

Nevertheless, it's up to you and how your family household is run.
My husband helps out alot.

My son is 5yrs and I do battle to get him to help out but he is capable of doing so much.
He can do the following:
Pick up his toys wherever they are. His room or in the other rooms in the house.
Water the garden.
Put washing in the washing basket and the machine.
Rise dishes.
Set the table.
Take the plates to the kitchen after meal times.
Take the washing outside to hang up.
Bring in the dry washing in a washing basket.
Pack away plastic plates and cups in the bottom cupboard.

Good luck and all the best!

Martha - posted on 04/18/2012




I agree with others at this age they can do so much I really believe in the statement of not handicapping your kids but making their lives easy

Helen - posted on 04/17/2012




ok so yes your hubby works and so do YOU do you stop being a mommy at 5.30 or wen it is your hubby gets home my guess is no you will carry on bathing the kids preping tea putting the kids to bed tidy up after ect ect so you need to tell your very old fashioned hubby that its the 21st century and we do not need to be tied to the kitchen im a single mom of 4 kids who ALL help they are 8 6 4 and 3 and all do their bit wen we get in from school they have their free time playing ect then b4 tea they help tidy the living room and prep the table we eat then they help clear away table and any more tidying the eldest help fetch nightclothes ect (our bathroom is down stairs ) after bath time any mess in their rooms gets tidy then we all sit down bout 6.30 for short film together or storyies or homework ect then starting with youngest they go bed every half hour so i get a lil time one to one this all works very well for me i get help from my lil beuts plus they know by helping me get things done they look forward to getting mummy time each and every nite

Katherine - posted on 04/17/2012




Sure, your kids can pick up their rooms, toys, and their other things. On the other hand I don't agree with your husbands ways at ALL. You should NOT be barefoot and pregnant! He needs to help too!

That is totally unfair.

Your kids are old enough to do anything, dust, vacuum, mop, sweep, clean the bathroom etc...but he should NOT expect YOU to do everything for him! That's just foolish IMO.

Kerry-Lee - posted on 04/17/2012




My two (age 8 and 11) have been doing various 'chores' since they could walk! Their main responsibilities have always been to clean after themselves and keep their rooms tidy. At the age of about 6 they would know to rinse out the bath after bathing, hang up towels, put laundry in the basket. They could both make help themselves to a snack (sandwich/toast/juice/tea) and clean up afterwards. They fed/watered the animals (with some supervision) and they generally helped by setting the table, helping me weed the garden. Now its great as they compete with what they can do! And they vacuum, dust, load/unload the dishwasher, load the washing machine, help fold clothes, pack their own clothes away an both love helping to prepare meals.

I try have the house at least tidy and dinner almost ready for when OH gets home in the evening. But he does help out with his own 'tasks' as well, putting out the bins, mowing the lawn, tending to the cat litter tray, and any 'manly' things I need done in the garden (mainly all the 'hard labour' work!!!)

I do feel for you in that I think your husbands attitude is wrong, but unless its something you can approach him about, I think its a good idea to get the kids helping you. Make it fun, star charts are GREAT and play music, dance and get them to jive the dirt away with you! Great exercise and bonding! Also it will do your son's future wife a great service if he learns to help and appreciate what it takes to run a household.

Good luck.

Kellilyn - posted on 04/17/2012




ummm.......your hubby is the problem...and his family. he should be doing just as much as you at home.

Regina - posted on 04/17/2012




I know every child is different but I cannot get my kids at that age to help with the dishes..my 7 year old's chore was to dry the dishes...She at this age is too clumsy for this..But her and her step sister who is 6 years old..clean their rooms and help with the laundry often..and they also put away their toys and clean the livingroom

Medic - posted on 04/16/2012




There is not much your kids cannot do. I do think your hubs needs to help out and no expect you to live like a slave.

My 5 and 2 year old are totally responsible for their rooms, their toys, and the play area in the living room. They help unload the dishwasher, my older one helps with laundry (brings both of their clothes to the washroom and unloads the dryer to the sofa), they both help with the floors and their bathroom. The older one of course does more and a better job but they both help.

Addison - posted on 04/16/2012




You can teatch your little girl how to vacoum and your little boy can help daddy

[deleted account]

the only chores my 5year old daughter does is, cleaning up after she played. the living room can be covered in Barbie dolls and clothes and little cars, but when she is done playing everything must go back to its place. She is not doing any chores, but I have to say that she is a great big sister and looks after and plays with her 18month old sister. She will feed her when I'm busy and she will make sure that the lo doesn't put anything in her mouth or do something that is dangerous. She even keeps her away from the electrical plugs or the stairs or the glass cupboard in the kitchen....

I'm to scared to ask her to help with dishes or stuff in the kitchen, she might just drop something and then it is even MORE cleaning up to do (for me!!!) She sometimes help me with setting the table, but that will be knives and forks, salt and pepper. I do the dishes myself. She will help me with the laundry, but only to put the clothes into the washing machine. I don't want her to help me with folding... she helped me once and I had to iron some items twice... LOL

I want to give her more chores, but don't know what is too grown-up for her?

Taking the trash out? At least her room and bathroom's dustbin? Making her own bed? Feeding our little dog?

Bonnie - posted on 04/15/2012




Your husband should be helping. My husband gets home between 5pm and 7pm most work days, he gets off one week day and every other weekend and he still helps. Not every day, but he helps. You are both parents, there is no reason why he can't.

As for the kids, they can clean up their toys, put their dishes in the sink, and help put their laundry away for starters.

Ashley - posted on 04/14/2012




First off i think its wrong that he isint helping, i think his family needs a reality check but i do agree kids should do chores so with that in mind my opinion is
kids learn to clean up after them selves including, there rooms, make beds, put toys away, dirty loundry in basket, were there making messes they clean it up.
Helping the house so loading the dishwasher, washing the table things they can do all by them selves. Your going to have a hard time with boys as they watch there father do nothing inside they will think they shouldent ether i hope you can break the cycle with them. Make a list of all the stuff you do and anything on ther you think they can do get them too, and sometimes giving them harder jobs then we expect them to be capable of we are surprised by there ability. good luck

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