Kids who struggle with balance and coordination may find some household chores more challenging than others. Here are some tasks that might be a good fit for your child.
When you’re getting ready to shop for groceries, ask your child to help make the list. Many kids who struggle with coordination also have trouble with handwriting. If your child is a reluctant writer, involving them in a meaningful task is one way to encourage more writing. Another option? Create a weekly grocery list that you can print out. Each week, ask your child to look in the fridge and cabinets and put check marks by the items that need to be picked up at the store. Or they can cross out items you already have.
Kids can easily help set the table for dinner by putting out placemats, utensils, and napkins. You might want to assign older siblings the task of putting out glasses or other breakable items since those require more experience to handle. It’s always important to match chores to each child’s strengths.
With an active family, the laundry never ends. But kids who struggle with balance and coordination can help out. They can sort clothes into piles by color. They can load them into the machine and move them from washer to dryer. They can also help with folding and putting clothes away in closets and drawers. Show your child how you want the clothes organized. Folding neatly might be challenging for your child, so be sure to express praise for the effort.
Getting lunch ready usually doesn’t involve a lot of heavy lifting or complex movement. For example, you can ask your child to pick out a piece of fruit, fill up a water bottle, or get some baby carrots out of the fridge. You might even let your child make a sandwich if it doesn’t involve using a sharp knife. Spreading peanut butter and unwrapping cheese slices might be harder for some kids, but their interest in eating a yummy lunch will likely motivate them. Bonus: Doing these tasks will improve hand strength and coordination.
Helping With Younger Siblings
With some practice and supervision, children as young as 10 can be ready to entertain and help out with younger siblings while grown-ups are busy cooking or doing other things. Give your child specific instructions for what to do and be ready to step in if needed. Kids who struggle with balance and coordination can get frustrated by chores that require more movement. But there are still plenty of ways they can keep younger siblings busy, such as reading, coloring, and playing board games.