Ranch chores for kids is a question I am often asked.
How early do your kids start helping and doing chores?
What chores do they do?
How do you get them to do chores with a good attitude?
These are just some of the questions I am asked, when it relates to my girl’s doing farm chores. When I think of chores, I am talking about the things that need to be done everyday, both inside and out, to keep the house and operation afloat.
Regular chores are an every day thing, not something that happens every once in a while. These are the things like feeding animals, doing dishes, starting laundry etc. with no exception.
On our ranch processing cattle, fixing fences, making meals, yard work, household cleaning etc are things that the girls will help with, but I don’t consider those daily chores.
For the purpose of this post I am just talking about the chores we do every single day to keep our ranch going and our household running smoothly.
What age is a good age to start doing chores?
There are many people that will have different opinions on this but here is what has worked in our home. We start with chores at an early age. At 3-4 years old, is a perfect time for children to start helping with small tasks. Now this doesn’t mean they get a long list of things they have to do but very simple small chores.
At this young age don’t expect them to be doing the dishes, but they can sort the silverware. You can’t expect them to start a load of laundry, but they can put their folded clean clothes away. They may not be able to carry a water bucket to an animal, but they can feed small animals like the dog or cat a scoop of food.
Think of things they can do and make it fun! Starting young is the basis for a strong work ethic.
I don’t recommend giving them chores that you aren’t supervising or expecting perfection on. Remember they are young children and we are looking for progress not perfection.
Why are ranch chores for kids so beneficial?
There are so many reasons, in my opinion, why it is beneficial for kids to help out and have chores. I love a to-do lists. There is just something about being able to mark something off your list as an accomplishment for the day.
I hope I can instill some of those skills into my daughters.
There are 4 reasons I feel ranch chores for kids are important.
1. Building a strong work ethic.
Most people don’t just have a strong work ethic. It was taught to them. And I believe it was taught at a young age.
If you don’t shy away from hard work, there is so much you can learn all the way into adulthood. When my girls leave my home I want them to know that everything worth doing is hard work and when you put in the work you will be successful.
Starting young with giving them responsibility around the ranch, teaches kids a solid work ethics. Understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that there are animals and other members of the family that are depending on them to take care of a need of theirs, helps build this.
If all they ever had to do was satisfy their own desires and do the tasks that benefit them, when they become adults it will be hard to understand and switch that mind set of working together for the betterment of a team or their own families in their own home.
Work is a part of life. Teaching them young that we can work hard and then play hard is important.
2. Gives them accountability.
This goes right into my next point. When your children have chores that they need to accomplish it gives them accountability. They know that someone or something is depending on them. If they don’t do it, it’s on them.
Obviously when you have young children you are not giving them something of real strong importance. But as they get older, this is a good time to keep them accountable. Giving them tasks like feeding farm animals, cooking a meal, or doing a load of laundry makes them accountable.
If their favorite shirt or pair of jeans isn’t washed, they have to take responsibility for it if they didn’t do their chore that morning.
Having accountability in everything we do helps us grow in our skills and also in our heart.
3. Gives them responsibility.
Have you ever heard, idle hands are the devils playground? Kids need responsibility. They need a routine. They need to be involved.
Sure they may not have a good attitude all the time but I promise once it is expected of them every single day, you will find they do it with ease. They become responsible for their own actions and just do it.
Our goal is not to nag our children to death with a list of tasks. It is to give them a set of tasks every day that they know they are responsible for and that they take the responsibility to do them. You will find the more you follow through with what you expect, it becomes a new habit for them and they will continue to do it every day without being asked.
4. Makes them a team player.
Of everything I have listed above this is probably the one that is the most important to me. I want my kids to be responsible, be accountable, and have a strong work ethic. But most of all I want my girls to learn to work together, be a team player, serve others for the Glory of God, and know that it’s not about just them but about the family as a whole.
You will hear “many hands make light work” in our house often. This is because there is so much truth there. When we all do a little bit, one person doesn’t have to do a lot of it.
If we all work together to get the day to day tasks done, we have so much time for the fun stuff. This is the goal.
Working together as a team so we can get the jobs done…. then we can have fun together as a family
What are my age-appropriate chores:
I have attached a form with each age group and their list of chores inside and outside. These are chores that we do in our house and that my girls are responsible for. Most are just basic life skills and others are things that need to be done for our family and farm life to work.
These ranch chores for kids are things that are basic tasks that need to be done for a working ranch. If you don’t have a ranch you may find many don’t apply to you. I encourage you to make a list of your families needs that will better suit you.
How to get started.
Our day works in blocks, especially during the school year, so everything I have listed doesn’t fall on one person every day. We usually have morning chores, afternoon chores, and a quick evening chore. Each block should only take them around 10-15 minutes.
I sat down and wrote everything that needs to get done in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Then I got the girls involved and let them pick what they would want to take on in those time frames. You are much more likely to get willing hearts when they are involved in the process.
Letting them choose what chores they want to be responsible for is a great way to get them involved but also to cater to their interests. For example, I have one child who loves animals so she does more of the animal chores then the others. Although I will admit it does take her longer because is playing with all the animals just as much as she is feeding them every morning.
A good starting point is to get them involved in the process and maybe start with one thing they are responsible for. You can grow from there! If you have multiple aged children, it may be a good idea pairing older siblings with younger siblings. That can be extremely helpful in teaching and getting the tasks done. It also helps with hands on team work.
Remember to teach what you expect, so the first few weeks you will likely have to go with the children and do their chores with them so they know exactly how to do it.
Feel free to print the lists below for your own families use.Childrens-Chores-6-8-years
I am a firm believer that a family is a team. If we all work together in every area of our home, things just run smoother and children learn so many valuable life skills.
Make sure you watch the video all the way to the end so you can hear my best tips on getting children to willingly do chores and to do them with a joyful heart!
These ranch chores for kids will give you some ideas on where to get started in your home or on your ranch. There may be some I have missed or that you do in your home. Drop a comment below if there are chores your family does that isn’t on my list!