Finding chores for a 5 year old is easy if you are creative! Even a 5 year old can help out around the house!
Our daughter, Ella, turned 5 in July. I tried really hard not to think too much about the fact that my little girl is becoming more and more independent until I noticed that more independence for her meant more independence for me. I started to test the waters to see exactly what Ella could handle as far as picking up more responsibility around the house. It turns out that a five year old is capable of quite a lot!
1. A Five Year Old Can Cook: Ella figured out how to open a banana when she was 4 and since bananas are a major food group around here, this was a MAJOR accomplishment! I no longer am the banana opener for little brother — Ella does it! After learning bananas, Ella set out to conquer the peanut butter sandwich. Since I make my own bread, I still have to slice the bread for her, but I now keep the peanut butter on a low shelf in the pantry so she can get to it. I showed her how to spread the peanut butter and that was it. She even cleans it all up and puts the dirty knife in the sink.
2. A Five Year Old Can Fold Laundry: We don't use many paper products in our home. All of our napkins are cloth and we use old towels in lieu of paper ones so we have a lot of laundry just for the kitchen every week. After spending way too much time folding napkins, I showed Ella how to do it. She is now the proud Folder of Napkins in our home and she loves it! She can also fold the washcloths for me.
3. A Five Year Old Can Empty the Dishwasher: Ella is responsible for putting away the cutlery when the dishes in the dishwasher are clean. I take out anything sharp or bulky first and then I set the cutlery basket on the counter above the cutlery drawer. Ella puts all the cutlery away and puts the basket back in the dishwasher. Ella (and her 2 year old brother!) are also responsible for putting away all their own dishes. Their dishes are kept in a low cabinet so it's easy for them to help. I am not very picky as to WHERE the dishes go in the cabinet as long as the door can shut!
4. A Five Year Old Can Wash Windows: Both of my little ones LOVE this chore! I give them each a spray bottle with non-toxic window cleaner (I add a few drops of DoTERRA Lemon Essential oil to a stainless steel bottle. Don't use plastic bottles!) and a rag and set them to work. They would wash windows everyday if I let them because little kids love spray bottles! I also have a large feather duster that they love to use!
5. A Five Year Old Can Take Care of Basic Hygiene: One morning in late summer, I looked up to see Ella at the bottom of the steps. She said, “I'm dressed, I brushed my teeth and my hair, made my bed and I'm ready to eat!” It was about 6:00 AM! Since that morning she takes care of all the morning basics plus the evening routine of running a bath, putting away bath towels, brushing wet hair out, and getting ready for bed. Since I'm still chasing the 2 year old around, it's such a help to have Ella doing all of this on her own!
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