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Teacher Appreciation Week

It's coming up May 5-9! Here are a few simple ideas to celebrate the teachers in your life.

The Morning Routine: Chore Lists for Every Age

Helping Kids Help Themselves

If you don't feel rushed getting out of the house on a weekday morning, hats off to you! For everyone else, taking care of breakfast, dishes, clothes, packed lunches, teeth, hair, homework, shoes, and coats before you head out the door on time can equal stress. Make sure everyone does their fair share with our next tip on Helping Kids Help Themselves: Morning routine chores for every age.

"I do it!"

This famous phrase is used by toddlers and preschoolers everywhere as they begin to assert their independence and try to do more and more on their own.

As parents, it's tempting to just take over and do it for them when we watch them struggle, spinning 'round and 'round as they try to put their shirt on or spilling cereal all over the floor as they try to pour it into their own bowl. But even at an early age, you're setting the stage for your children's future success by teaching them to help themselves.

Morning Routine Chore List for 2-4 Year Olds

Cereal bowl

A phrase we use in our home to coerce our 2-year-old to let us help her do things like brushing her hair and teeth is, "You do it first, and then I'll check it." She gets to practice being independent and do these things on her own, and I get to make sure she isn't leaving the house with a bird's nest in her hair or food in her teeth.

Toddlers and young preschoolers can also:

  • Set the table with silverware and napkins
  • Carry things to the table
  • Take dirty dishes to the sink
  • Choose from outfits you've preselected
  • Get dressed
  • Carry dirty clothes to the hamper or laundry room

Morning Routine Chore List for 5-7 Year Olds

Toothbrush

Young elementary-aged kids are learning to stretch their wings and assert their independence in a whole new way. Many wise parents say that the key is to look for opportunities to say "yes" as often as possible, and to encourage kids to be in charge of themselves in the morning, which is a great way to teach responsibility and allow them to practice making decisions and being in charge.

Five- to seven-year-olds can:

  • Brush their hair and teeth on their own
  • Select clothes to wear and get dressed
  • Sort dirty clothes in the laundry room
  • Make toast, cereal or other easy breakfasts
  • Serve their younger brothers and sisters
  • Wipe the table after breakfast

Morning Routine Chore List for 8 Year Olds and Older

Folded clothes

Being independent doesn't mean never wanting or asking for help, and it's important not to push for independence too hard. Instead, look for opportunities to encourage older elementary students to take on more responsibility and do more for themselves, but also be available to support and help them as needed.

Along with the things listed above, older elementary children can:

  • Use the clock to stay on track during their morning routine
  • Get dressed and ready without help
  • Check that their backpack has everything they need for school
  • Start a load of laundry

The lists above are meant to give you ideas to choose from, but that doesn't mean your children should be doing everything on each list. Instead, choose chores and responsibility that fit their personalities and strengths in order to make the morning routine easier on everybody!

What morning routine chores do your kids do?

More Tips from Helping Kids Help Themselves:

10 Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves

Let the Boredom Begin: Helping Kids Entertain Themselves

Mandi Ehman is a wife and homeschooling mom of four spunky girls. She's also the founder of Life...Your Way, where she helps her readers sort through all of the information and opinions that are thrown at them each day to make the best decisions for their families on everything from organizing and decorating to success and motherhood.

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