10 Chores to Teach Your Kids This Winter Break

Just as it’s important to engage in fun activities with your children, it’s also important to give your children household tasks to complete. Of course chores help out the parents, but they also teach kids responsibility, accountability, perseverance and to have pride in their work ethic. These are all valuable lessons for children to learn to help them become mature, productive members of society.

While your kids are home for winter break, keep them focused and on a routine by assigning them chores. Be sure to assign age-appropriate chores and feel free to mix up the chores every week. Obviously, it’s dangerous to give young children tasks that include cleaning chemicals or the pool, so take your time when it comes to planning out which chores should belong to which child. But this doesn’t mean that young children have less chores to do than their older siblings. Kids as young as two can be taught to put their toys away, dust, fill a pet’s water bowl and make their own bed. No matter how trivial the chore is, it’s very helpful.

Below are 10 chores that you can teach your kids this winter break.

  1. Help take down holiday decorations. Let the kids help you match up Christmas tree ornaments with their boxes, pack away untangled Christmas lights, take the wax off the Menorah or gather holiday decorations.
  2. Empty the trash cans. Young kids can gather the trash bags from the rooms and bathrooms, and an older kid can take the trash out to the trash can.
  3. Match and fold socks. This is a fun chore for kids of all ages and it can help teach very young kids about shape and color.
  4. Water plants and flowers. Teach your kids about gardening by showing them how to use the outdoor hose and water the plants.
  5. Organize their closet. Since the closet is part of the child’s space, they should learn how to organize it, especially after all those new presents they received.
  6. Feed the pets. Your kids should be responsible for the family pet(s), too.
  7. Set and clean the table. You did the hard part by making the meal (or working for the money to buy the meal), so ask your kids to help set the table and clean up afterward.
  8. Load the dishwasher. Teach your kids where different items go in the dishwasher (especially plastic items up top) and once they’re old enough, you can teach them how to hand wash dishes and how to start the dishwasher. They’ll need those skills eventually.
  9. Groceries. Having an extra set of eyes to help spot items while you grocery shop and an extra set of hands to put away groceries at home can really be a time-saver.
  10. Sweep the porch. Make sure the broom is appropriate for the child’s size and then show them how to sweep away leaves, rocks or dirt from your front or back patios.

Tips to make chores fun:

  • Play music that your kids enjoy while they do their chores
  • Reward them after their chores are completed with a beloved movie, a favorite game or a special dessert
  • Let the kids act as certain animals while they do their chores
  • Transform a chore into a game, sport or a mission for a superhero (and let them wear a cape or uniform), where the winner gets a reward or badge
  • Hide candy or stickers in the areas where they will be doing chores
  • Provide support and encouragement while they are performing the chores and thank them afterward

Chores help children learn responsibility and make them feel like contributing members of the family unit. For more parenting tips, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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