“Before I knew it, it was time to set the table for lunch. Josiah and I raced to see who could get done with our jobs first. I slowed down at the end so Josiah could catch up—then I let him win! Mommy took me into her room alone and gave me a million hugs. She said she was so happy that I was learning to see how others feel—and that I make Josiah feel important. I think she’ll probably tell Daddy, and he’ll say, “Jonathan, Mommy told me a good report about you!” I love it when he says that—he always has a big smile on his face and tears in his eyes when he does.”*

All of the “Help” and “Chores on his Own” listed in yesterday’s post (toddler and preschool list)


1. Weekly cleaning of his bedroom (see daily cleaning under own chores below)

2. Weekly cleaning of toy room (let him help you develop systems—more on this later)

3. Put refrigerated grocery items away in proper places (again, with him knowing systems well after having worked with you)

4. Learn to run washing machine and dryer—with help and oversight

5. Help wash car

6. Help clean out car—gradually make this alone chore by end of sixth year

7. Help with baking, including rolling out his own dough (that room time play dough helped!), rolling balls of dough for rolls or cookies, stirring, chopping nuts (hit with rolling pin in zip lock bag)

8. Help with meal preparation, including learning to assemble salad with prepared ingredients, layering of ingredients for casseroles, etc., making more elaborate sandwiches like submarines,

9. Help prepare packed lunches

10. Start learning to cut and clean produce (with child’s safety knife—Pampered Chef used to carry these)—start with cutting lettuce with scissors, cleaning grapes, peeling potatoes as ready, slicing bananas for salad or smoothies, cutting and filling celery, etc. Work together on fresh food preparation, and you will be surprised what your six year old can do!

11. Work in yard with you—give small tasks and have child report back to you for you to check on them (weed certain area, water certain area, pick up yard, etc.)

-To Become His Own Chores (after proper teaching and direction):

1. Unload entire dishwasher

2. Clean table after simple meals—teach to do this alone after breakfast and/or lunch

3. Fold and put away fold up loads of laundry

4. Make simple microwave meals—oatmeal packets, reheating leftovers; hot meat and cheese sandwiches

5. Other simple food preparation—peanut butter and jelly; meat and cheese plate; stemming grapes to be washed; boiled egg peeling; layered salads for meals, simple lettuce salads and fruit salads, dishes that involve mixing things together in which you have opened the cans, etc.,

6. Make beds throughout house (if sheets are already on them; not changing of the bedding)

7. Straighten a room at end of day (i.e. “jurisdiction” in easy room, such as toy room (in which he knows where everything goes) or a seldom used room that does not require much daily upkeep)

8. Dust room entirely alone (again, after having it as a “Help” job for a while)

9. Gather laundry from baskets in each person’s room and put in correct bin in laundry room (i.e. whites, darks, hang ups, etc.)

10. Mop small rooms with water only

11. Pick up yard

12. Clean bathroom or kitchen sink each day

13. Weed small areas of flower beds or around shrubs

14. Water flowers and/or garden


a. By the end of age six, you want the child to have a consistent routine of morning routine (room, groom, dress, mess)—all chores related to his own personal care, like hygiene, straightening bedroom, making bed, putting laundry in hamper, etc.

b. You will probably want to add to that daily routine one to three chore sessions in which he does the exact same daily work each day (or at least each week), such as folding and putting away fold up load, unloading dishwasher, setting lunch table, sweeping porch, etc. Or vary it some but have the same tasks each Monday, each Tuesday, etc.:

First Morning Session Daily: unload dishes and set table

Second Session: M: fold up laundry

                         T: sweep porch

                         W: fold up laundry

                        Th: simple lunch

                        F: fold up laundry

c. Do not neglect training in future chores! It is so nice when you have a six year old that has several tasks that he can do regularly on his own following your diligent training. However, you want to always be teaching him new tasks for the next “changing of the chores.” (I changed my charts two to four times a year.)

d. Be sure to start giving this age child things that are truly essential to the operating of the family. He will feel much more needed and much more mature if he has real daily tasks that help the family operate more smoothly.

e. Because of the above items, you might want to have two chore sessions in which this aged child does regular jobs that are “his” followed by one session in which you work together—this can be the time that you work in the kitchen together or do laundry together or any other “training tasks.” Of course, these can vary day by day. I almost always had a chore session in which a child just “worked with Mom.”

*For the complete story of “Jonathan’s Journal, follow this link: http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-seventy-eight-introducing-jonathans.html

**If you have been reading PP 365 long, you probably remember that we focused on giving our children entire chores/areas rather than just having them “help” forever….this builds self-esteem, responsibility, and skills; however, in the toddler years, “helping” is what he will primarily do. Anything you can “give” your pre-k/k child (i.e. setting the table all by himself for breakfast and/or lunch) will help him towards more and more responsibility.

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