Daily expectations for your child

5 Smart Chores for Kids With Balance and Coordination Issues

By Erica Patino

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Children who have trouble with balance and coordination may find some household chores more challenging than others. Here are some chores that might be a good fit for your child.

122Found this helpful
Parent and young son sitting in the kitchen together working on writing in a notebook
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Making the Grocery List

When you’re getting ready to shop for groceries, ask your child for help in putting a list together. Many kids with coordination issues have trouble with handwriting. If your child is a reluctant writer, giving him a meaningful task is one way to encourage him to write more. Another option would be for you to create a list of common groceries you can print out each week. Ask your child to look in the fridge and cabinets and put a check mark by each item on the list that needs to be replenished.

Close up of a young boy helping set the table
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Helping Set the Table

Ask your child to help you get ready for dinner by setting the placemats, silverware and napkins on the table. But assign an older sibling to deal with glasses or other breakable items since those require more experience to handle. It’s good to match chores to each child’s strengths.

Young girl holding the laundry basket for her mother who is taking clothes off the line
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Doing Laundry

When you have an active family, it can seem like the laundry never ends. There are lots of ways kids with balance and coordination issues can help with the laundry. They can sort the clothes into piles, load them into the machine and move them from one machine to another. They can also help with folding clothes and putting them away. Show your child how you’d like the clothes to be folded. Folding clothes neatly may be challenging, so be sure to thank him and praise him for his efforts.

Close up of two brothers making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch
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Helping Prepare Lunch

Getting lunch ready is another chore your child can do. It doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting or complicated movements. He can pick out a piece of fruit, fill up a water bottle and get some baby carrots out of the fridge. You might even let your child make his own sandwich if it doesn’t involve using sharp knives. Doing things like spreading peanut butter and unwrapping cheese slices might be challenging. But your child’s interest in eating a yummy lunch could motivate him to do these tasks, which can help him work on hand strength and coordination.

Brothers entertaining themselves reading under a homemade tent
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Entertaining Younger Siblings While You’re Busy

With practice and careful oversight by parents, children as young as 10 might be ready to entertain younger siblings when the adults are busy cooking or doing other kinds of household tasks. Show your child what to do when he’s in charge, and be ready to step in if needed. Kids who have trouble with balance and coordination may be frustrated by chores that require a lot of movement. But there are still plenty of ways your child can keep younger siblings occupied, such as reading to them and playing board games.

Giving your child this kind of responsibility can help improve his self-esteem. Learn more about the value of asking kids to do chores.

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About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Sheldon Horowitz

Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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