Kid Chores

Jack is a helpful kid. I mean, when he feels like it. He can pick up his toys and put them away (if I nag him enough). He also really likes to help set the table for meals and bring in the recycling bin from the end of the driveway.

He understands that when he takes his clothes off, they go into his hamper. Most of the time.

Kid chores

We’ve been working on laundry folding and he likes to pair the socks. His way of balling them together is a little weird though… he basically just makes one sock ‘eat’ the other one. It works though. In a way.

Okay, fine. I totally redo them after he’s left the room, but at least he tries.

So, now I think it’s time to up the ante and start giving him some actual chores. I’m thinking of putting together a little chore chart for him and plan on rewarding him with a small amount of money for completing them. He LOVES having change available to play games (the cheap ones at the grocery store) and I think this would be a fun way for him to EARN the money, instead of just getting it for being cute.

I really don’t want to raise an entitled butthead who thinks he should expect rewards for being cute or doing nothing. Just saying.

Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

1. Help feed the dog.
2. Put away toys in family room.
3. Vacuum bedroom once per weekend.
4. ??

Help me! What chores do you think are appropriate for a 4 year old and what is a typical allowance to earn?

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9 thoughts on “Kid Chores”

  1. Okay, first, I want to see a video of you folding socks, and of Jack folding socks. I think I might fold them the way Jack does, which is kind of funny.

    Second, YES to this: “I really don’t want to raise an entitled butthead who thinks he should expect rewards for being cute or doing nothing. Just saying.”

    Third, here are some ideas. I don’t have a kid (yet), but I think these are pretty decent. Since he likes to set the table, maybe he could also clear the table and wipe it down, and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. He could also make his bed and make sure his room is tidy every day.

    We also had outdoor chores when we were kids like weeding the flower beds, picking rocks out of the grass (we had a gravel driveway), mulching, and when we got old enough we cut the grass and did more heavy duty stuff like helping to till the land and things like that (house of all girls, can you tell? #GIRLPOWER). When we got a bit older (maybe 5th grade?), we had “chore rooms.” My mom wrote daily and weekly responsibilities for each room on an index card and put them on the inside of a cabinet/door in the room for us to reference, and we switched rooms each month. I think it worked out pretty well.

  2. My kiddo LOVES dusting. He also helps make his bed (arms are just too dang short to do it alone), and he has to feed the dogs.

  3. My twins are 4, and these sounds like great chores. I’m not sure that they could vacuum quite yet, but they would love to try. Picking up the toys is the best one for sure. Maybe a little dusting? Just with a kid-safe product on end tables or something?

  4. Three cheers for not raising entitled buttheads!

    Wild Man is almost six and we started chores when he was around 4. He has to pick up his toys, put his clothes in the hamper, make sure Abba (our dog) has food and water, unpack his backpack and put his lunch stuff in the sink, and clear the table after dinner. He’s been doing most of that since he was Jack’s age. We added the backpack/lunchbox unpacking when he started kindergarten, but Bunny does that at almost three (she likes to do what brother does), so I bet he could handle it too. Clearing the table was a recent addition since he’s clumsy like me.

    Both kiddos love to help out. Occasionally we get some flack about “having to do everything” and then we make them shadow us while we load and unload the dishwasher, make breakfast/lunch/dinner, pay bills and work on work stuff. That usually does the trick. 🙂

    If you haven’t already started having him help in the kitchen, this is a fun age to learn about measuring ingredients.

  5. I think it is great to have him help out. I am sure your dog is awesome, but it is always a good idea to make sure your son really understands the safest way to feed the dog, and not to get too close when the dog is eating. Sadly, even the nicest dogs have sometimes snapped at a kid because they weren’t properly supervised.

    When my kids were little, one loved to dust and help out. Another one was really independent and was always busy doing his own thing. I think 4-year-olds excel at sorting- laundry, mail, kitchen drawers, etc., so that could be a skill you help him develop in several different chores.

  6. I think it’s so important to give the little ones small tasks around the house. I think 4 year olds can help with putting away their folded clothes. They can put socks and underwear and things like that in the correct drawers.


  7. I don’t have children yet, but I did lots of chores growing up. I used to joke that my parents had four kids so they had more people to do manual labor around the house. Heh.

    We had a daily chore list, broken down by sibling, and it included things like washing dishes (which as a younger kid, I loved! Now? Notsomuch). I agree with what someone said about helping to set the table (also a good way to teach about place settings). We also did things like washing the bathtub after bathing, helping fold laundry, cleaning out the interior of the car (crumbs, papers, other random stuff), etc. The other things you listed we also did. My siblings and I are all fairly neat, clean and self-sufficient adults as a result.

    I support not raising entitled buttheads and doing chores also helps kids develop important life skills, so that when they get out into the world on their own, they aren’t those people who don’t even know how to mop a floor properly.

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