Giving pre-school children their own responsibilities is a great opportunity to build self-esteem and confidence. It is also one of the very first steps toward independence. Parents and teachers can be guilty of doing many things for their children just to ‘get through it – and get it over with’.

However, we do a BIG disservice to our children by not letting them do jobs or chores that are age appropriate. It helps them feel part of the family as everyone has some duties that they must do. Everyone has a responsibility to be part of the ‘cog’. In the classroom, being able to self-register and look after their own belongings is good practice in time management and ownership.

Being consistent, recognising a task well done and adding to the list as the child gets older increases their basic life skills to look after themselves – and you may actually be surprised at what your child can do!

There are many printable charts available on the internet if you search for ‘age appropriate tasks’.

Here are just a few that most teachers use and expect:

2 – 3 years old

  • Carry your own school bag and put it away upon entry to school
  • Put shoes and sleeping equipment in appropriate area
  • Put shoes on by themselves
  • Help clean up spills or marks on the wall
  • Pick up/put away toys
  • Put lunch boxes away and glasses or plates in sink or on trays

4 – 5 years old

  • All previous chores
  • Dress themselves
  • Hang up dress up costumes, fold small blankets
  • Brush teeth and put all belongings away
  • Choose your own library book and look after it
  • When you finish a task or project, put all equipment and tools away
  • Make sure your name is on your work