But age-appropriate chores help teach children responsibility.

Children need to learn to be responsible for themselves. In addition, chores should teach helpfulness. And chores should engage kids in helping their family and others.

Here are some chores a four-year-old can do with your supervision:

  • Find grocery items in the store.
  • Help put groceries away.
  • Help with the laundry (fold towels, sort white clothes from dark).
  • Dust furniture.
  • Take library books and videos to and from the car.
  • Help younger brothers and sisters.
  • Help plant a garden.
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher (or dry dishes).
  • Empty dishwasher and stack dishes on counter.
  • Make a simple meal/snack.
  • Rake leaves for short periods of time.
  • Walk well-behaved pets.
  • Feed, water and help wash pets.
  • Help plan meals.
  • Pour things.
  • Help measure ingredients.
  • Carry in the newspaper or mail.
  • Set the table.
  • Help clean up after meals and play.
  • Make beds.

One word of caution: Don’t give your child only the “low dignity jobs”—such as taking out the garbage or cleaning up the dog’s messes. This gives children a bad taste for chores.

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