Studies show that children as young as 2 years old will be smarter and healthier if they do these tasks

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STATEN ISLAND, NY — Studies show that having children do chores does more than give parents a break. It can actually improve a child’s development and health, even as young as 2 years old.

In fact, children as young as 2 or 3 years old who are involved in daily chores will also have better time management skills, and chores will help them manage stress and instill greater capacity for independent thinking, according to research studies compiled by Stacker.com.

GoHenry studied how specific tasks can contribute to the development of skills and responsibility in children. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends age-appropriate activities in which a child can perform tasks effectively. This might include a 2-year-old putting toys away or a 12-year-old washing a car.

Chores also help children feel a sense of pride, and the extra help reduces overall household stress and improves relationships, Stacker.com reported.

A multidisciplinary study published in the American Journal of Family Therapy in 2014 found that children’s routines and habits, including participation in household chores, coalesce early and change little between ninth and tenth grade. This means instilling them early prepares children for long-term benefits as they grow up.

Here’s a list of chores for kids and the extra benefits experts say they’ll receive:

1. Put things in their place

(Starting age: 3 to 4 years old)

General sorting tasks – from sorting and organizing toys to sorting dirty laundry by color – are about much more than organization. It is a math related skill. It prepares them for future mathematical and scientific teaching.

2. Feed pets

(Starting age: 3 to 4 years old)

Young children respond well to routine. Helping to feed pets provides multiple benefits and skills. Sweet interactions with animals, a sense of responsibility to another living creature, the predictability of mealtimes, and the satisfaction of pleasing an animal are powerful experiences for a young child.

3. Make the bed

(Starting age: 5 to 7 years old)

Children aged 5-7 years are able to complete the task independently. At this age, children may start to rebel against chores, but simple tasks with very little supervision will eventually give them a sense of pride in their work. This reinforces obedience and reduces clutter, which weighs people down, experts say. A child who experiences order will notice and appreciate the comfort of an organized environment.

4. Pull weeds and water the plants

(Starting age: 5 to 7 years old)

Helping in the garden makes an important contribution mental and physical development progress for children, and can help quickly improve their locomotion, body management and object control skills.

For ages 5 to 7, there are the other benefits, including instilling an early appreciation and sense of responsibility for the natural world. It promotes cognitive development in children as they deepen their intellectual skills by remembering information and predicting outcomes. Children can also learn the names of various plants and the requirements for keeping them healthy.

5. Empty the dishwasher

(Starting age: 5 to 7 years old)

Much like sorting skills for preschoolers, children ages 5-7 can learn where objects belong when not in use. As children grow, tasks like loading or emptying a dishwasher can be part of a chore chart to help kids stay on track independently. Parents tend to want to help children complete a task to make it more efficient, but there are opportunities for children to feel useful on their own. Even tasks such as emptying the dishwasher can be beneficial for children’s mental health.

6. Fold and store laundry

(Starting age: 6 to 8 years old)

Laundry can be a fun activity, whether kids help sort clothes by color or match socks after taking them out of the dryer. The folding part can be a bit difficult at first, especially for small children, but they can start by learning to lay the clothes flat and then fold them in half. Kids can also help (with guidance) place clothes, such as socks and underwear, into the drawers where they belong.

7. Complete routines at a certain time

(Starting age: 6 to 8 years old)

Even if they don’t always show it, children appreciate routines, which help in the development of behavior, as children learn to be aware of what is expected of them and to follow the rules.

Waking up at around the same time every day and keeping snack and nap times the same, for example, helps children learn discipline. Routines also provide a sense of independencebecause children understand that the morning starts the same way every day.

8. Help with cooking preparation

(Starting age: 8 to 10 years old)

There are many ways to involve children in meal preparation, such as taking them grocery shopping and allowing them to help choose produce and other ingredients. Kids can help wash fruits and vegetables, peel vegetables with a kid-friendly cookie cutter, or set the table.

A study by a researcher from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada found that when children are involved in food preparation, it gives them a sense of belonging to the meal. It also teaches them to appreciate the work of a meal, and the child in turn is more likely to eat it and try new foods once they feel involved and included.

9. Groom and walk pets

(Starting age: 8 to 10 years old)

Young children can help fill a cat or dog’s water bowl or rinse and dry the pet’s dinner dish after use. They can also help put the pet’s toys away at the end of the day. This teaches them to tidy their pet’s food and play areas and put things in their place each day.

Older children can help brush the dog and even walk the dog. By taking responsibility for their care, children learn to respect and appreciate other life forms, eliciting empathy and compassion, the researchers said.

10. Garden work and lawn care

(Starting age: 8 to 10 years old)

According to a study by the American Society for Horticulture Science, gardening is considered a moderate intensity exercise for kids, and it promotes physical activity. Study researchers gathered 17 children – aged 12 on average – who wore heart rate monitors as they engaged in 10 gardening-related activities.

The researchers found that gardening tasks, such as weeding, mulching, sowing seeds and digging, were meant to serve as vigorous exercise, and adults can also reap the benefits. Children experienced reduced instances of depression and anxiety. Gardening also serves to relieve stress, and exposure to natural sunlight and fresh air can help improve sleep.

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