There are a lot of discussions on whether children should be given responsibilities at home. Some believe it helps and teaches them a lot of skills and others believe children should learn through play without any responsibilities or demands.

According to child development experts, giving children responsibilities at home can help their holistic development. Taking on some duties at home can give them the opportunity to see how the real world works. At the same time, children have a chance to develop a sense of responsibility and independence. It prepares them to complete tasks independently, and helps develop their problem-solving skills. Through completing tasks on their own, children also develop their self-esteem.

Here are some activities for your child to try at home –

  1. Packing away their things – through looking after their belongings, children learn to take care of their things. Encourage children to pack away their toys, make their bed, put away their shoes and put their laundry into the laundry basket. As an added benefit, you can practice basic prepositions such as in, on, and under while doing these tasks e.g. let’s put on your shoes, put the toys under the bed, and put the dirty socks in the laundry basket.
  2. Preparing meals – this not only helps develop fine-motor skills and teaches independence, but also allows children to be exposed to different sensory experiences. There are situations where children are expected to be able to do things by themselves, such as feeding themselves during snack or lunch time at school. Practising this at home can be helpful when they are outside the home environment where an adult family member might not be there to do things for them.
  3. Setting the table – this task helps children to develop their communication, cooperation and teamwork. Children develop positive self-esteem and confidence when they are able to successfully complete a chore. They are able to see their achievements and feel personal pride when they complete tasks that they previously needed help with. In addition, for a task such as setting the table, children incorporate their counting and visual memory skills to complete the task, as well as following instructions.

So go ahead and give it a try. You may be surprised how much fun your child will have when ‘doing chores’!