Encourage your children to help around the homestead with this guide of chores for homestead kids by age. They will thank you later!
Here on our homestead or micro-farm, we encourage our children to help out wherever they can. I know that the character-building aspect of chores on the farm will benefit their adult selves long-term. We consider helping around the homestead as part of our children’s education. So being consistent without expectations is highly important for their cooperation and education.
This guide will give you, the parent, the confidence and encouragement to implement chores for your children on your homestead. This list will provide some ideas to get you started.
Reasons kids should help with homestead chores
Children throughout history have helped with various tasks at home. These days, after the industrialization of education, children tend to help less around the home and are more concerned with tasks matters outside of the home. This is good in some instances. The reason we expect our children to help out on the homestead, mainly to discourage entitlement. Not only does this build character there are numerous other benefits to the children to participate in chores on the homestead.
Benefits of children helping with homestead chores
The benefits of children helping with chores on the homestead. As soon as you get started, you will probably notice some personal to your family. Here are some fantastic benefits that I have noticed among our children when we stick to a regular chore lifestyle:
- Creates a sense of ownership of their surroundings
- Fosters responsibility over their own lives
- Children have a sense of pride after working on a space and seeing it improved
- Chores prepare children for adult life
- Kids have more respect for parents
- Kindles a strong work ethic
- Discourages a sense of entitlement
Strategies to motivate children to help
We all know that it is one thing to desire to implement more chores for our children’s schedule, but quite another to have cooperation DOING those chores. Chores can be the point of major power struggle between parent and child. With these quick tips you will be able to encourage your children to complete their chores successfully in no time.
Set clear expectations
Setting a clear expectation about what you expect early on can make all the difference. Especially if implementing chores is a new routine for your family. Maybe starting with a family meeting gently that sets the clear and new expectations that you have of them moving forward. This time should be exciting for the children, because you have expressed that you would like to trust them with more responsibility around the homestead. This comes with a caveat in order to set your children up for success, it is highly important that you have reasonable expectations to begin with.
Have reasonable expectations
This is probably the most important tip to help your children grow in their help around the homestead. Knowing the ages, personality types, and what is ultimately best for each child will aid in assigning chores that are right for them. Every child is different in maturity level and needs an adult to assess what their needs are, and what they can personally handle on a daily basis. The Chores for Homestead kids list below will help you determine what chore might be right for the age of your child.
Teach them how to see chores differently
If children feel bullied into chores. Or if chores are used as a punishment, they may become somewhat resentful towards them. If chores, however, are seen as a part of a greater purpose, and your kids get to help with that greater purpose, it may change their opinion on the matter. Everyone wants to feel valued, including your children. Let them know that you value their help with a specific task.
Try saying things like:
- “Thank you for all of your hard work.”
- “That helped me so much!”
- “You are an important member to our family team.”
Being consistent is key to your child’s success. After knowing what to expect, children should have an adult follow up to keep them accountable. If you slack off, so will your child. They might think that the chore you’ve assigned isn’t all that important in the first place. In the beginning it will be tough to get your children on board, but with consistency and accountability, doing daily chores will almost be automatic!
Chores for Homestead Kids (0-3)
This age group is mainly spending their time watching adults do a certain task to learn. Notice the word “help” in many of the chores for 0–3-year-old age group. Most of these chores are not done unassisted until the child is closer to 4 years old. Whether it is the baby in a wrap or a toddler holding mom’s hand as she gathers eggs. The main purpose of including children in chores while they are this young is to teach them HOW to do things and start forming the HABIT of doing chores.
- spend time observing while the adults do chores
- help harvest produce
- pick up trash
- help collect eggs
- pour grain into animal feeders
- help feed dogs and cats
- sort silverware
- pick up toys
- wipe off dining room table
- put away pillows and blankets
- put dirty clothes in the hamper
Chores for Homestead Kids (4-8)
Between the ages of 4 and 8 children are capable of completing farm chores much more independently than the 0-3 age group. They can do a great job with completing tasks that are safe and low risk.
- gather eggs
- feed the chickens
- make sure chickens have fresh water
- weed the garden
- spread mulch in the garden
- sweep the porch
- bring in firewood
- feed livestock (like sheep, goats, and cows)
- check the animal’s water
- water potted plants
- start learning simple recipes
- fold and put away clothing
- empty dishwasher
- set the table
- clear the table
- wipe the counters
- sweep the floors
Chores for Homestead Kids (9-12)
- clean the chicken coop
- take wheel barrows to the compost heap
- check irrigation lines
- clean out livestock pens
- rake leaves
- clean out the car
- wash the car
- wash clothes
- cook meals
- wash dishes
- clean the bathrooms
- take out the garbage
- change sheets
- help preserve food
Chores for Homestead Kids (13&up)
- clean animal water
- Help install irrigation
- mow Lawn
- weed whack
- help organize outdoor spaces
- stock hay and sacks of grain
- split wood
- plant trees and perennials
- fertilize trees and plants
- prune vineyard and/or orchard
- bake bread
- meal plan, grocery shop, and cook meals
- preserve food
- take inventory of pantry
- start wood stove
- clean wood stove
- line-dry laundry
- make candles
- make soap
If you want a cute printable of all of these chores broken down by age, I made a FREE PRINTABLE for you! You will get seven pages total and customizable chore chart that you can use to stay organized. I find that chore charts give kids more responsibility, and eliminates unnecessary parental nagging. Print these out once a week, or you could laminate them and use a dry erase! Grab your chore free chore chart HERE.