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7 Easy Chores For 4 Year Olds That Will Equip Them With Life Skills

Chores For 4 Year Olds

Four is a big year for kids. This is the age when you start seeing your little one’s personality begin to shine. 

They’re also more active and able than ever before, which means they can be extremely helpful around the house! Not only are they helpful, but kids of this age are also usually eager to put their skills to good use and take on more ‘big kid’ responsibilities.

Assigning age-appropriate chores to young children teaches responsibility and other critical life skills. When we encourage kids to take pride in the home, clean up after themselves, and contribute to maintaining the household for the whole family to benefit, we teach them values and skills that will serve them long after completing that task.

This article includes seven easy kids chores for 4 year olds. Later we’ll look at encouraging children to do chores and making assigning tasks fair and fuss-free.

In this article, you’ll find:

  • Chore ideas for 4-year-olds
  • Benefits of chores for young children
  • How to encourage kids to do chores

Chores for 4 year olds

Easy, fun, and skill-building chores for 4-year-olds include:

1. Make the bed

Making the bed is one of the first chores you should introduce to your little one. This simple task is a great way to start the day and teaches kids to be responsible for their own space. 

They may have difficulty changing sheets – you can just ask for their help with this part – but they can fluff pillows and straighten blankets. 

Making the bed also helps kids start the day with a sense of accomplishment, which translates well to other daily tasks and challenges. 

2. Sort laundry

Sorting laundry helps kids learn to be responsible for their clothes and understand the consequences of getting clothes dirty. 

They don’t have to do all the laundry tasks, but they can help put dirty laundry in the washing machine, separate colors, and fabrics, and put clean clothes in the right place. 

Working together in the laundry room also helps parents and kids chat and bond.

3. Set the dinner table

4-year-olds are a little too young to start cooking stuff, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out at dinner time. Show them how to set the table, such as where to put plates, cutlery, and condiments.

4. Water the plants

Kids love to learn about nature and the environment. Watering plants is a great way to introduce chores because it’s fun and connects children to the natural world. 

Use a small watering can and teach kids how much water to use on different household plants.

5. Sweep

Sweeping is an easy and physically active chore that kids can have fun with. 

Offer your little one a broom appropriate for their size and show them how to sweep the floor and the mess into the dustpan. 

6. Wipe surfaces

Wiping surfaces keeps food and play areas extra clean. It also gives surfaces an extra shine that can be incredibly satisfying. 

Teach your little one to wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth. Be mindful of using chemical-heavy cleaning products with this age group. 

For now, introduce surface-wiping with a damp cloth only or a mild surface cleaner.

7. Feed pets

Feeding pets is a great way to teach kids about personal responsibility and caring for others. Add feeding pets to a chore chart and ensure your kids understand the importance of timely feeding. 

Note that some pet food cans can be challenging for four-year-olds to open, so opt for easy-seal food bags.

Chores For 4 Year Olds

Use a chore chart for 4-year-olds

A chore chart is a visual tool for kids (and the whole family) to track household chores and responsibilities. You can use a chore chart to distribute tasks and responsibilities fairly. 

Chore charts typically feature columns and name sections to outline who is responsible for each task. They also feature days of the week and time slots. 

Kids can mark tasks that have been completed, and parents can track chore progress. The chart helps keep kids accountable and reminds them that they’re not the only ones in the household that have to do chores. 

If they happen to be the only child, include your chores on the chart and those of other older household members. 

Benefits of chores for 4-year-olds

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, ‘children who do chores may exhibit higher self-esteem, be more responsible, and be better equipped to deal with frustration, adversity, and delayed gratification.’ 

Other valuable skills and lessons include:

1. Responsibility

Chores teach young children to be responsible for their space and contribute to the household. They learn that actions have consequences, a mess is there to be tidied, and that parents are not there to do everything for them. 

This sense of responsibility will carry over into the later years when they must take care of their living space, save money, and consider good hygiene.

2. Life skills

Chores help little ones develop critical life skills, such as organizing, taking care of one’s space, managing time, prioritizing, and problem-solving. 

A child who makes a mess will think about the best ways to clean and learn how to clean different substances and surfaces. Kids who must complete chores before playtime learn to manage time and priorities.

3. Cooperation and teamwork

When taught early, cooperation and teamwork are valuable life skills that will serve your child well in their adult life. 

Assigning chores that involve working together, such as helping with the laundry or washing the dishes, teaches the value of teamwork, establishes a sense of unity, and fosters a healthy, positive family dynamic.

4. Confidence and self-esteem

Successfully carrying out tasks around the house and seeing the positive results instill confidence and self-esteem in young kids. 

It teaches them that they are capable of being responsible., which helps them feel like the ‘big kid’ they want to be.

Chores For 4 Year Olds

How to encourage kids to do chores

Earlier, we mentioned that young kids would be eager to apply their skills and abilities during chore time. While that’s true, you may also find that your little one feels reluctant to do chores occasionally and would rather play, run around the house, or make a mess rather than clean one. 

That’s why it’s important to encourage chores the right way.

1. Try to make it fun

Chores don’t have to be serious!

Hard work for the sake of hard work isn’t very encouraging to children (and adults, too!). Instead, bring a sense of joy and playfulness to chore time. 

Play music, sing songs, set a competitive timer, or make a game of out doing chores. 

Chores are a great way to get housework done and valuable bonding time between parents and kids. The more fun you can bring to tasks, the less reluctant your little one will be to help.

2. Be consistent

Consistency is key in forming new healthy habits around the house. 

Set a regular time daily or weekly to complete chores. You can assign a full day for family chores or spread them throughout the week.

If you have a few kids in the house, remain consistent, and try rotating tasks to make it fair. 

A chore chart can help assign different chores throughout the week and help everybody get on the same page about what needs to be done and who will do it.

3. Offer plenty of praise

Don’t forget to praise your little ones for their efforts. Your praise means a lot to them, so make sure to offer it consistently, even if it’s just for small things like putting shoes away or putting dirty clothes in the basket.

They may mess up from time to time, and maybe they won’t complete tasks to the standard you’d like, but try not to focus so much on what they did wrong. 

Correct and guide them when they make mistakes or mess up, but always show them your appreciation for helping. 

4. Set reasonable expectations

You may like to clean the dishes, make the bed, or fold the laundry in a certain way, but your little one may not be as invested in that way of doing things.

Teach your kids how to do chores but let them explore and find their own rhythm too. 

Keep chores at an age-appropriate level, and keep safety in mind. Sometimes you may even need to take their hands in yours and guide their actions.

Make sure that you clearly outline what you expect from them. You can’t expect them to know how to do a task if you don’t show them how to do it first. 

Be patient with your little one and understand that it may take a few tries before they get the hang of a particular chore.

Conclusion

Teaching kids to do their fair share of chores serves them long after the task has been done. Chores help us teach our little ones about responsibility, life skills, and taking pride in the home. 

A child who makes their own bed, helps with the laundry, and cares about the cleanliness of the home is a child that learns to take ownership of their space, which has a positive knock-on effect in other areas of their life.

When we learn healthy, positive habits early on, we tend to carry those habits into our adult lives that are not limited to chores, communication, and confidence. 

Teaching chores and the responsibility that comes with them is just one aspect of a greater whole-health (physical, mental, emotional) approach to your little one’s growth and development.

After introducing chores, you may soon notice that your little one has some favorite tasks. Ask them about what they like to do and praise them when they do it. 

Praising, encouraging, and leading by example are the best ways to make chores smooth and fun.

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