Just thinking about chores can make us want to groan but doing chores can be beneficial for our physical and mental health. Doing chores is one way to incorporate more physical activity into the day. Having a clean and organized space can also decrease stress.
Our occupational therapist Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L recommends chores for helping individuals develop responsibility and independence. They also provide opportunities to practice developmental skills such as fine motor strength and coordination, motor planning, visual perception, organization, and following instructions. Chores are a great way to naturally provide proprioceptive input and help regulate our sensory systems, which can improve attention and behavior. When done well, chores also help support a strong self-esteem.
Suggested chores include:
- Washing and folding laundry
- Putting away dishes
- Wiping down counters and tables
- Vacuuming or sweeping floors
- Collecting and/or taking out the trash/recycling
- Helping with cooking tasks
If you think your loved one with Down syndrome may have difficulty adding chores to their routine, consider incorporating visual supports to make the transition easier.