Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Building Responsibility in Preschoolers

Building Responsibility in Preschoolers

Share This Article:

How do you divide the chores and household responsibilities in your home? Maybe you have a “chore wheel”, or perhaps the chores rotate daily to fend off boredom, or maybe, just maybe, Mom and Dad do all the work. Children beginning at two years old are capable of handling responsibilities and should begin having some age appropriate ones around the house. Responsibilities help children in a variety of ways. They develop social and emotional skills, gain a sense of involvement and self worth in the family, and they start to build a strong work ethic, confidence, organizational skills and time management. Children given appropriate responsibilities will develop social and emotional skills; have a sense of involvement and self worth in the family. Longer term becoming responsible contributes to developing a strong work ethic, confidence and organizational skills while learning time management. Children two to five years of age will have different skill levels and tasks they are capable of completing. Here is a simple list of ideas that might help you and your child determine what types of responsibilities and chores could be best for them and your family.


1)    Choose Age Appropriate Tasks- The younger the child, the simpler the task. This will allows the child to enjoy the task instead of getting frustrated.

2)    Set an Example- Explain and show them how to complete the task or chore. If you find yourself needing to explain and show them the task multiple times, the task may be too difficult, try something a little simpler. And of course, don’t forget to be a good role model!

3)    Teach First Things First- Work comes before play. Explain and follow through on chores, such as picking up the toys before heading outside to play, or cleaning up lunch, before moving on. This reinforces the idea that work comes before play, while encouraging self-control and responsibility.

4)    Make Chores Fun!- If you like to do chores (and even if you don’t!) act like you’re having fun while folding the laundry or mopping the floor. If you do, chances are your child will want to help you! Put on some music, throw in some dance moves while dusting... and smile!

5)    Phrase Things Positively- Have a positive attitude about work and express how important his or her contributions are to the family. Tell your child how much it helps when they put their dirty clothes in the hamper.  "It shows the family you are growing up and they’re helping everyone make this house a cleaner and nicer place to live!"


            We encourage you to take some time to assess what chores and tasks are often needed around your house. Then use the above information to help decide what types of responsibilities to begin with your child.  If some guidance helps, we have put together a brief list of responsibilities that can be done either with or without some adaptation by preschool aged children. Simplify the tasks or make them more difficult depending on what you think best fits your child and family.


  • Cleaning- let them dust with you, use a child sized broom, wash non-breakable dishes, cups and silverware in the kitchen sink with soapy water (and apron!) Sort laundry by color and learn to make the bed.
  • Yardwork- picking up sticks, pulling weeds, sweeping sidewalk, even watering plants using a pre-sized amount of water
  • Simple hygiene- brushing their hair and teeth, washing hands
  • Simple tasks- putting toys away, asking them to hand you a diaper, kleenex, book etc.. Create opportunities for them to be responsible!


 We are here at if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by!

Share This Article: