Did you know that teaching your child to do household chores can be beneficial to them? Later on, you will learn about the guide to Montessori chores, by age, that would facilitate their cognitive and motor skills’ development.
Introduction to Montessori Chores by Age
Believe it or not, kids as young as two years old are capable of doing house chores. And as they grow older, they can be trusted with handling most chores. The beautiful thing about this is it gives children a sense of responsibility, self-reliance, work ethic, and many important life skills. This is the idea of Montessori chores by age.
A longitudinal study that spans over 25 years shows the benefits of assigning chores to children as young as 3 and 4 years old. Children given shared responsibility at home developed a better sense of responsibility in other aspects of their lives. The study suggests doing chores as simple as putting toys away seems to affect their success in young adulthood, from university education to career, all the way to their own families.
While there’s no need to dive deeply into the study, one thing is obvious – the study simply confirmed what most people already know – involving kids in household chores at an early age teaches them the value of empathy and responsibility. They internalize these values at a young age and hold those values later in life.
Guide to Montessori Chores By Age
To help with designating chores for your child at home, you can follow this guide to Montessori chores by age.
Ages 2–3 (Toddlers)
The toddler-years are when kids are at their “copy-cat” stage. This is when they find it exciting to help their parents, siblings, or caretakers with everything. Their primary way of learning is to watch what others are doing and mimic their actions.
Some chores you can assign at this stage are:
- Assistance in making their beds
- Putting toys away
- Picking up trash and put them in the trash bin
- Placing clothes inside the hamper
- Feeding the cats or dogs
- Piling up books on the shelves or desk
- Using a dry mop to clean small areas
- Dusting the tables, window sills, or baseboards with a sock on their hands
- Helping parents clean up dirt and spills
- Folding small items like their own clothes, rags, handkerchiefs, and towels
- Pulling weeds in the garden (dandelions)
- Getting dressed or undressed on their own
Obviously, they need your supervision and guidance for many of these chores.
Ages 4-5 (Preschoolers)
At the preschool stage, children still learn from copying their elders. With their mobility and coordination better developed, you can assign even more chores at this stage, still with your supervision, of course. Usually, this is the stage where there may be one or two tasks they are good at.
Some of the chores they can participate in include:
- Making their own bed
- Watering the plants
- Caring for animals (water and food for dogs and cats)
- Clearing the table, assisting their older siblings in setting up the table
- Putting utensils away
- Sorting the laundry before washing (whites and colored)
- Using handheld vacuums to clean edges of rooms
- Assisting with the dishes
- Fixing simple snacks or meals (PB and J sandwich)
Ages 6–9 (Primary schoolers)
At this stage, children can participate in more complex and difficult tasks as they continue to develop and learn the skills needed to do so.
However, it is important to understand that kids at this stage can sometimes rebel against the idea of chores. Be patient in making them understand that they need to help around the house. Whether they rebel at doing chores or not, that totally depends on their personality.
Some chores you can assign them include:
- Making up their bed and cleaning their room, changing sheets, comforter, etc.
- Raking the yard, watering the plants
- Sweeping the floors, using the vacuum for cleaning, using a wet mop
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher (with assistance)
- Putting away groceries
- Putting away the laundry
- Making their own snacks, preparing simple meals, or heating food using the microwave or toaster
- Taking care of the pets (feeding and walking the dog, etc.)
- Helping in setting up the table, cleaning the table after meals
- Taking the trash outside
- Taking care of their personal hygiene (showering, brushing their teeth, washing their face, etc.)
Ages 10–13 (Middle Schoolers)
At this stage, parents can start to hold their children responsible and assign specific tasks and chores, with little supervision. This is a great way to teach them to become responsible and self-reliant, even when no one is checking up on them.
In addition to the tasks listed above, they can also do the following chores
- Washing the dishes, loading and unloading the dishwasher without assistance
- Using the clothes washer and dryer
- Washing the car
- Mowing the lawn
- Helping shop for groceries
- Taking the trash outside
- Preparing meals (without assistance)
- Cleaning the bathroom and kitchen
- Babysitting their younger siblings when parents are not at home
Age 14 and above (High Schoolers)
By this age, they can do almost all the household chores you can. This is also the right age to prepare them for eventually living on their own, for college or whatever they want to pursue in their life.
The guide to Montessori chores by age is only meant as a suggestion. Every child is unique, and their development process happens at a different rate. As a parent, it is your responsibility to assess your child’s capabilities and designate chores accordingly.