We recently moved onto a piece of land that we’re developing into our homestead and farm. Part of the reason for this lifestyle change was so that our kids could grow up in an outdoor environment and learn everything that comes along with it! But, how do you involve kids in homestead chores?
This will depend on the age of your children! The teenage set can be very useful on a homestead or farm so for this article I will be talking about the age 3-10 set. Toddlers and babies are really only good at taste testing foods that you grow and giving you an extra workout by chasing them around and wearing them to do chores on your back!
Give Them What They Love
The first trick is to give them jobs that they love to do! Take notice of what they naturally gravitate towards and let them take that on as their job. This summer we will be stocking our pond with trout and my oldest has expressed that she would like to be the one to go out and feed them each day.
Maybe your child likes to pick the green beans each morning and check on the salad greens to see if they’re ready to be cut. Or maybe they like to take the compost bucket out to the compost pile and collect eggs.
If you let them do the jobs they love then they will be more inclined to help!
Add In New Jobs
Sometimes you don’t know that you like doing a job until you’ve done it a few times. Kids might not always want to get out and work around the homestead. But giving them the daily responsibility of chores is great for building good character. Life isn’t full of only the jobs we love.
Mixing in a new and different task each day that they may not like will get them helping without it being the same task each time. They might grow to really like one of them and take it on as their own!
Dressing your kids appropriately for the weather is important when working on a homestead or farm. Good boots, warm socks, and mud-proof gear are must-haves in the spring. Read this post for more on how I survive mud season with children.
In the summer wide-brimmed hats and good quality sandals that protect their feet are wise investments.
The End Product
Finishing a job can be very satisfying. I know that I don’t like to weed garden beds or fill the endless amounts of waterers that chicks need when they’re too little to use bigger ones. But I LOVE to make a home cooked meal using the food that we’ve produced on our farm.
One of the tricks of getting your kids to love being involved in homestead chores is to let them participate in preparing meals. They will take great pride in cooking something they’ve helped to grow themselves. Parental supervision might still be needed depending on their age. But the older set could be put on the breakfast station a few days a week on a permanent basis!
I have lots of farm to table recipes on my blog! Check them out here.
This opinion might not be popular. But – pay them! Just like any job you would have out in the real world you should pay your farmhands – er children – to help out on the homestead.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, but a little pay can feel rewarding for a job well done. The added benefit of paying them is that you can teach them all about money and what to do with the money you earn. Another great life lesson!
Do you have kids and struggle to involve them in homestead chores or jobs on your farm? What jobs do your kids like to do?