These household chores promote developmental skills in kids

Aside from helping to take the some of the pressure off mom and dad, chores around the house also teach kids about responsibility and independence – but did you know that many common household tasks also foster the developmental skills of your children?

If you’ve been looking for a reason to have the kids help around the house, here are the ways in which chores are beneficial.

Chores promote bilateral coordination

Bilateral coordination refers to the way children use both sides of their bodies smoothly. Household tasks that help kids to use their left and right hands together include:

  • Washing the dishes
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Folding laundry

Chores promote fine motor skills and hand strength

Strengthening the small muscles in the hands is key to developing good fine motor skills. Chores that incorporate squeezing, pulling, pinching and grasping include:

  • Hanging laundry using clothespins
  • Folding laundry
  • Washing dishes, the floor or the windows with a sponge or cloth that needs to be wrung out

Chores improve proprioception and strength

Also known as kinaesthesia, proprioception refers to the coordination of movement thanks to the way joints and muscles send messages to the brain. Proprioception and strength is improved with tasks that require children to pull, lift and move against resistance, like:

  • Washing the floor
  • Pulling out weeds, shovelling and raking
  • Taking pillow cases, sheets and blankets off the bed to be washed
  • Making the bed

Chores promote midline crossing

When we cross the midline, we are spontaneously using the arm, hand, leg or foot on the opposite side of the body to complete a task. Tasks that promote midline crossing include:

  • Shovelling or raking leaves
  • Mopping and sweeping
  • Washing windows
  • Wiping down countertops or tables

Chores promote cognitive and visual skills

There is a strong relation between visual perception and visual motor integration (for the coordination of movements) and cognitive skills like sequencing, problem solving and memory. Household tasks that strengthen these skills include:

  • Setting the table
  • Sorting and tidying up toys
  • Matching socks
  • Putting away groceries
  • Following a recipe

While they’re at home, have the kids be active members of the household – not only will your home be sparkling, but you’ll also be helping to strengthen the developmental skills of your children.

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