Reason #11 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks

I suspect that there is only a small window during which children LOVE doing chores and having responsibilities.

Katie is at that age right now.

Like most preschoolers, she thrives on being assigned tasks that she can see through to completion and she is blossoming from that feeling of accomplishment.

Not ones to miss an opportunity, we capitalized on this new urge to contribute and bought her a chart to help track her progress.

We chose some things that she can easily handle…things she does on a daily basis already…and added in some things that we would like her to strive for (putting toys away, please!).

Each week, we’ll change up her goals to keep them fresh and interesting for her.

Our routine this week has been to sit down each evening and review her day. We read through her responsibilities and discuss how she did…the ways in which she excelled or struggled a bit.

The joy on her face when she marks off each of her goals is one of the highlights of my day.

What chores do your children tackle?

I’m so curious to know how long this will last and if there’s a trick to nurturing Katie’s desire to contribute.

Please share your experiences with me!

We bought Katie’s chart at my friend Kerri’s amazing boutique, Starlight Starbright, which is on Facebook if you want to go like it! 

24 comments

  1. ltorres78

    We are admittedly a little lazy about making the kids pick up their toys. Bed time is just so crazy around here. But I can say that they ARE good about picking up toys or books or laundry when we ask them to. Right now I'm just trying to ingrain in them to put one thing away before getting something else out. But you'd never know it from the looks of my living room during the day.

  2. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    Sadie has a chore chart and LOVES it! She puts an index card in the envelope every time she does something & then gets 25 cents a week. (I know, high roller!). Something that I see above that I NEED to add:

    STOP WHINING!!!!

  3. Emmy emmymom2.com

    That looks like a cute chart! And yes it is so fun when they enjoy helping out. During the week everyone has to clean up their mess/toys before bed and then on Saturday we spend a hour as a family cleaning. The kids dust/vacuum and help daddy-yes daddy- clean the bathrooms.

  4. sherrikuhn

    Please send Katie over here right away! I am losing one of my chore-doers in two weeks and need her help. Seriously though, how cute is that? You are so smart to capitalize on her interest. Plus that chart is too damn cute!

  5. Courtney K. themommymatters.com

    Noah is all about helping in the kitchen. He likes to help put groceries away and assist with the cooking. He does pretty good with laundry, too. Swapping things from the washer to the dryer, loading up the washing machine. It's cute, but I just hope that it sticks for a while.

  6. Andrea

    We have this exact same "chore" chart. I love it because it's more than just chores – it's remembering to wash hands, use manners, etc. Hailey gets so excited over clearing her dinner plate each night, it's great! :)

  7. Kris krismulkey.com

    We've tried various charts and none of them really stick. She's always really excited in the beginning then it fades. I have to keep it going or she loses interest.

  8. Alison@Mama Wants This

    That is an excellent idea and an adorable chart. My favorite is s'stop whining', hehe. I have no advice, but would love to hear from others!!

  9. Nancy C npoj.blogspot.com

    I’ve found that we all have a hard time doing charts. It becomes, well, a chore. Instead, we simply remind the kids of what they have to do.
    Some they love, some less so.
    R
    Because I capitalzed on Owen’s love of laundry when he was in preschool, he does it all by himself now as a kindergartener.m

  10. Kir thekircorner.com

    What a great chart!!! I haven’t really assigned tasks yet, but I am eager to start. I love how you and Tracy have started the your children with things like making a bed etc this early. As boys, I tend to do a lot “for them” and I want to stop that, encouraging them to take on some responsibility for their room etc. If you keep writing about this I promise to keep reading, they are about a yr behind Katie and I’m interested in how this goes.

    In the meantime good job Mom and Katie!!!!

  11. Preschoolers are awesome because they love to clean and are completely insane, so very amusement to live with. Combine that insanity with the desire to please? And chores become BEGGED FOR. Ahhhh….

    My kids (at preK age) do the following chores: choose their clothes, dress/undress on their own and put dirty clothes in laundry room, wash face/brush teeth on their own, 'make' their beds (as well as they can), clean up after bath (put bath toys away, help hang towels to dry, etc), help set the kitchen table, clear the table when they are done eating, Swivel Sweeper the floor after (messy) meals, clean up toys, put groceries away, put clean (safe for them to carry) dishes away, I even let them wash (safe) dishes at the sink (though i re-wash them).

    I intro them to each task around age 2.5yo/3yo and as their skills increase, I will give them more responsibility over a task or another chore to do.

  12. love this idea! Solo just turned 3 so might be a little young for some of this…. But I'd love him to learn to get dressed on his own (not quite there yet) and picking up his toys is hit or miss. He does love to help with things like putting away laundry and dishes, although i'm not sure it's really a help yet! :)

  13. Random Blogette randomblogette.com

    We actually have one of these that my SiL handed down to us. Her kids never used it. I haven't used it yet either but I have made charts before for them. Mine were mostly behavioral but I am thinking about starting a chore chart. It would be such a help and it would teach them some responsibility.

  14. I really like that the chart is a combination of concrete things like "brush teeth" and some more abstract/intangible things, like "stop whining" (note to self, buy chart, maybe THAT will work.) I love that you sit down at the end of the day and review it with her. I think that's a great way to make sure she is getting affirmation for her positive behavior.

    The chart is adorable. But I spend too much time on twitter, because at first glance, I thought, "Why are there twitter birds on there? Oh, those are mouths. Ooops."

  15. Okay, that's an adorable idea. I wish I had a chart to cross stuff off at the end of the day!

  16. Missy | Literal Mom literalmom.com

    It doesn't have to EVER stop! The key is to work through it when she starts "not liking them as much," which could be code for "massive complaining about them." (I may have some experience with that). That's the time they're old enough to understand that being a part of a family is to have chores and that is just as much their job as other aspects of childhood. If you stick with it through that time, they'll grow out of the complaining and it will just become part of their day.

    Good for you on the chart!

  17. Evonne julesoutloud.blogspot.com

    I just saw that chart in a craft store yesterday! I almost bought it, but we have a similar one.

    My son is 6 and loves to do certain chores. It's torture to get him to put his toys away, but he loves to wash windows and walls. He also loves to vacuum. I'm hoping to get a few more years out of him liking these chores.

  18. Kerri shopstarlightstarbright.com/

    Love these charts and thanks for the tag too! I live by making lists and being organized so the Responsibility Chart is perfect for our house too! Our daughter loves to help – and this makes the progress a visual for her at the end of the day!

  19. My kids are really excelling at transferring the bits of dog food from its bowl into the water bowl. When they're finished doing that, they pour it on to the floor and put their toys in it. Once they've mastered that, they move on to pushing Legos into the heating vents in the floor.

    There probably aren't enough gold stars in the galaxy to reward them for the number of times they do this so expertly.

    (But I do really like that chart! Go with it!)

  20. Rebecca manicmama.com

    We have that exact chart and my 4 year old has responded really well to it. We do the same thing – choose a few completely doable, everyday tasks and a few he needs to work on. The Stop Whining one didn't work so well for us since he thought the picture meant getting angry. So he would get angry and then say he could get a happy face on his chart.

    And we sit down each night before bed and talk about it day and what/how he did.

    Definitely a good buy!

  21. heidi wonderwomanwannabe.com

    we've got that SAME chart! :) love it! i let preschoolers handle things like transporting (non-breakable) dishes to and from the table, helping change laundry, water plants (with supervision) as well as teach independant responsibility type tasks as simple as getting dressed, brushing teeth, making the bed etc.

    my 6 yr old is getting to the stage where he will do any task/chore for a small sum of money! ha!

  22. I have a feeling that about the same time my children actually become capable of doing their chores well, they will lose interest. For now, they love to help and they get lots of jobs, but they can run the small vacuum or dustbuster for 20 minutes and not pick up a single piece of dirt. It's amazing. ;-)

    My five year old is great at helping with things like setting or clearing the table, making his bed (although I have to fight the urge to re-make it), picking up toys, putting his clothes away, etc. It may not be perfect, but he still enjoys helping and likes to have a job. The two year old is not helpful at all – ha. But he still loves to try and it keeps him busy for a few minutes!

  23. Lyndsey

    We have this same chart! Love it and so does Max!

  24. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    Lucas has helped me unload the dishwasher since he could walk. And now he helps sort laundry, put items away from grocery store trips. He's pretty good about putting away his toys to. It's really cute. I need one of those charts. Is it made by Melissa and Doug? It looks like their stuff.

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