3 Simple Chores for Your Elementary School Child

3 Simple Chores for Your Elementary School Child

When your child reaches school age, scheduling can become a real chore. Between homework, after-school activities and hanging out with friends, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Elementary school is a great time to teach your children time management skills, and the importance of contributing to the family, even when they’re busy. Here are three simple chores your elementary school child can do to help out around the house.

cookwareWash dishes

Depending on how careful your child tends to be, you may need to supervise this task. Teach your child how to use warm soap and water to clean dishes one at a time. Show him or her how much easier the task is if the food has not already dried on the dishes. If the food has dried, teach your child to soak the dishes, and set a timer to come back to clean them. You can also show your child different techniques for getting into the hard to reach parts of cookware.

Basic meal preparation

At this age, children can start to learn how to prepare simple meals. Begin by working on learning a few simple skills – mixing, spreading, and measuring are typically within the capabilities of the average elementary school child.
Teach your child how to use the microwave first, and write a list of common cooking and heating times for foods your child can microwave him or herself. Once you feel comfortable, you can then teach your child how to make simple things on the stove, like noodles or soup. Always teach your child to be conscious of safety issues, and supervise closely until you’re confident he or she is able to independently cook safely.

dinnerwareSet the table

Elementary school age children can usually reach to get plates, cups and other things necessary to set the table. Before setting the table, your child will have to first clear off the table. This should encourage him or her to keep the table space clean and ready to use for meals. It also requires your child to organize and understand what utensils and serving items are needed for every meal. Setting the table is also a chore that can be done fairly independently once your child learns what’s needed.
School-age children have a lot on their plate. They have to learn to balance all their responsibilities, both for school and home. While it can be tempting to just do the chores yourself rather than put any more pressure on your child, remember that he or she will have to learn to balance responsibilities at some point in life. By elementary school, your child should be able to follow a chore list or chart and do his or her chores without constant prodding or supervision. Try to keep a positive attitude towards chores with your child, praise him or her for doing a good job, and, when possible, give your child some choice in the chores he or she does each day.

-Rachael Wilkenfeld


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