Have you ever googled “Age Appropriate Chores for Children”.

This is what your screen will look like if you click on the Images tab. 

Chores for Children image

Everyone is an authority on this subject, or so it would seem. The funny thing is, they all same very similar things it’s basically just a copy and paste and reformat for most of these.

I am randomly picking one and thought it would be fun to see whether my kids are ‘measuring up’ to the internet’s standards. Here goes:

My youngest is 3 years and 9 months old. By now she should (apparently) be doing the following (in italics) which are all age appropriate chores for children aged 2 to 3 years old – look out for my comments on each one:

  • Pick up / Put away toys – Sure, if you can make her do it then be my guest cupcake!
  • Unload the dishwasher – What? Maybe the plastic wear and cutlery, but the glassware and plates is unrealistic for any small child, especially mine “the dropper”.
  • Dust with a feather duster/microfiber rag – Ummm … no. Not her job.
  • Swiffer the floor – I had to google what ‘swiffer‘ is, apparently it’s a homosexual person, or something you clean the floor with. I’m going to go with the later here, but my reaction is NO! She can wipe up her spills which she does …all. day. but if I want a clean floor I’ll do it myself thank you.
  • Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket – Yes, she does that.
  • Help move clothes from the washer to the dryer – assuming I did that myself (this is Africa, we hang our clothes on the line outside) she would undoubtedly drop wet clothes on the floor she didn’t swiffer right and it would all be a big mess that would require more washing and swiffering. No thank you.
  • Put clean clothes away – No. She just throws them in the cupboard and it’s just another mess I have to clean. I’ll just do it myself.
  • Make bed – her bed is a 3/4 bed pushed up against the wall. I have to pull it away from the wall, fluff and straighten the duvet, and push it back. This is an unrealistic chore for a 3 year old, or even a 5 year old.
  • Wipe cabinets and baseboards with soapy water – I refer again to my comments on Swiffering the floor; this isn’t going to happen. Besides the fact that she will drip more water on the floor than achieve any actual cleaning, I don’t believe this is a job for a 3 year old child. Maybe a 14 year old one who needs to be taught a little humility, but not a 3 year old! Inappropriate, in my opinion.

Chores she does that are not on this list:

  • Dresses herself with minimal assistance.
  • Feeds the cats
  • Packs her school bag with her book and lunch-box
  • Helps toss the salads
  • Helps gather the cups and bowls etc for washing
  • Deheads all my flower bushes – not that I asked her to.
  • Set the table – except for glassware and plates.
  • Clear the table – except for glassware and plates.

Eldest is 5 yrs and 8 months old. By now she should apparently be doing the following which are all for children ages 4 – 5:

  • All the above – Pfft
  • Load the dishwasher – I’m a control freak when it comes to that so not even my mother is allowed to load my dishwasher. No.
  • Vacuum the couch/chairs/cushions – I have an upright Dyson which is one of the few  pieces of equipment to have survived moving continents and countries with me and I don’t let anyone use it except me.
  • Take out the recycling – sadly this is not something that households do in Africa. If I could change that I really would.
  • Set the table – Yes.
  • Clear the table – Yes
  • Wash dishes – I suppose she could, but I’m not sure my nerves could take it. I might give it a try soon.
  • Clean windows – my children are far more likely to lick the windows. Washing them is not going to work. Although to be fair washing glass windows and mirrors is something I fail at. Fail hard!
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks – Yes, she can.
  • Match socks – yes, they both do actually, as well as help sort all the laundry that doesn’t need ironing.
  • Weed – Yes. She can. Along with the plants, flowers, etc. I try not to look.
  • Water the indoor plants – Yes.
  • Feed pets – yes.

In addition to these, she also does the following:

  • Helps with meal prep – very enthusiastically
  • Sweeps/ Swiffers the floor – yes, for what it’s worth. It’s more her choice than a chore though. I don’t think a 5 year old should have to swiffer the house.
  • Packs her school bag, including her book and lunch-box
  • Helps me to tidy up
  • Picks up towels after bath time and hangs them up
  • Dress herself
  • Brush her own hair, fairly well.
  • Take the leaves and other debris out of the pool
  • Roll up the hose-pipe
  • Help me bring in the groceries from the car
  • General tidying up.

Brownie Points if anyone can guess what my new favourite word is, let me know in the comments section!

Having read my comments I’m sure you’re all deciding that I’m either a control freak or my house is a dirty mess. It’s neither actually, but thank’s for judging. lol – kidding.

How are your kids stacking up? 

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