Growing up I didn’t do many chores because moms pretty much do everything for you in Korean culture. Mr. Bee, on the other hand, grew up doing chores of all kinds, and I am all aboard that train when it comes to our kids! We haven’t been successful setting up a chore routine so far because in the US we were busy with just school, homework, activities, eating, bathing… managing chores was another chore! I’ve tried, and failed, a couple of times at setting up a chore routine over the years. But now that I’m living alone with the kids and need all the help I can get, chores have become a part of our daily routine. Perhaps necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps they are just old enough now (6 and 8) to really want to help. But they have been doing daily chores for awhile now, and for the most part, enjoy doing them!
These are chores Charlie and Olive are responsible for:
1) Water mulberries twice a day. One of Charlie and Olive’s favorite New York memories was picking and eating wild mulberries off the trees in Brooklyn every summer. I recently found someone locally on Facebook that was selling mulberry cuttings from the US. We planted 25 cuttings and within one week we saw berries starting to flower! Charlie waters them every morning and Olive waters them every evening. They love watching the mulberries grow and can’t wait until they can eat them!
2) Feed guppies twice a day. I’d been wanting to get the kids fish for years because they’re such an easy pet. Recently they asked for guppies, so we bought 10 — 3 males and 7 females. Apparently males stress females out so you should never have more than 1 male to 2 females. Charlie feeds them in the morning after watering the mulberries, and Olive does the same in the evening. They don’t have as much interest in feeding our dogs and cats though!
3) Change aquarium water once a week. They see this as something fun and not a chore.
4) Clean up toys after playing. They will almost never do this unless I remind them to, but they do a good job of putting everything away now, including all the playdoh crumbs!
5) Keep rooms tidy. After sharing a room the past 3 years, they have their own rooms again. Charlie does a much better job of keeping his room clean, and is proud to have a tidy room.
6) Sweep or vacuum room floor. It seems like young kids always like this chore. It remains to be seen if this trend continues as they get older!
7) Put clean clothes away. We send out our laundry so it comes back folded. Then I put the clothes outside the kids’ rooms and they are responsible for putting their clothes away.
8) Put dishes in the sink after eating. We have an ant problem so they know to put away all and any food!
9) Do dishes after dinner, rotating turns. I like to supervise the harder to clean items so we don’t get to this every night when I’m too lazy, but most nights during the week either Charlie or Olive helps do the dishes after dinner.
10) Change bedsheets and pillowcases. Only Charlie does this because Olive has a hard time putting on the fitted sheets.
11) Pull weeds. We live in a tropical climate so we have a lot of weeds. This is another chore they both enjoy.
12) Peel, cut, prepare fruit. Their after dinner snack every evening is fresh fruit. Charlie loves to peel and cut apples, pears, and cucumbers, particularly when I have friends over so that he can serve it to my friends.
13) Help with cooking breakfast. This doesn’t happen regularly since everything takes longer with help, but both kids enjoy helping make things like eggs and pancakes. Charlie can cook several simple meals by himself like egg sandwiches, and I don’t supervise him.
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Do your kids have a chore routine?