Daily expectations for your child

5 Smart Chores for Kids With Extra Energy

By Erica Patino

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Your child’s boundless energy can be a good thing—especially when it comes to household chores. Here are some chores that might engage your hyperactive child and help him burn off energy in productive ways.

137Found this helpful
Two young boys helping their dad rake leaves in the yard
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Raking Leaves and Shoveling Snow

During the fall, your child can use that extra energy to rake leaves. Raking leaves is a very physical activity. It’s also a chance for your child to spend time outdoors. Show him how to rake the leaves into a pile and then put the pile into bags. Once winter arrives, he can help with shoveling snow. Show how to lift with his knees so he doesn’t hurt his back. If your child still has energy to burn, ask a neighbor if she’d like him to help shovel her driveway.

Young girl working with her parents and grandparents in the vegetable garden
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In the warmer months, gardening can provide a lot of exercise depending on what you ask your child to do. You might ask a younger child to help you dig in the dirt and plant new seeds. Or you could have him pull weeds. Your child could also water the plants. If he’s older, you could ask him to prune back bushes (if you’re comfortable with him using pruning shears). If you live in an apartment building, he might enjoy tending to window boxes or helping out in a community garden.

Two young children playing with a sponge as they wash the car together
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Washing the Car

Washing the car is another high-energy chore. To prevent the chore from becoming a splashy mess, model what you’d like your child to do. Show him how to start by hosing down the car, using a sponge with car wash soap, rinsing the soap off, and then drying the car with fresh towels. Once he’s done this with you a few times, he can take over washing the car as one of his chores.

Girl with hat and down vest walking her dog in a field
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Playing With Pets

Pets need exercise just like people do. That’s why walking the dog or playing fetch with him can be a great chore for a hyperactive child. He could play fetch with a dog using a stick or a ball. Or he could take the dog to the park to play with other dogs. If you have a cat, your child might have fun using a flashlight or a string to get the cat moving around. Just be sure your child isn’t getting a pet overly excited or agitated. They should both be having fun.

Girl helping her mother wash windows at home
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Cleaning the House

When your child has a lot of energy, it may be best to avoid asking him to peel vegetables or do other chores that require sitting in one place. But sweeping, mopping or vacuuming could be good alternatives. Helping bring in the groceries is another great way to use your child’s extra energy—especially if the task involves climbing up and down stairs. Successfully completing these kinds of tasks can help build your child’s self-esteem. Find out other reasons why doing chores can help kids with learning and attention issues.

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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 Molly Algermissen

Molly Algermissen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.

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