Meaningful Work for Young Children


meaningful, engaging and joyful work
for early childhood

In the garden

  • Raking the leaves
  • Planting seeds
  • Picking vegetables
  • Picking flowers for the house
  • Watering the garden
  • Weeding
  • Feeding animals
  • Collecting eggs (if you’re lucky enough to have quails or chickens)
  • Putting scraps in the compost


  • Play ironing
  • Folding doll clothes, facecloths, cloth napkins and towels
  • Sweeping and mopping
  • Using the dustpan
  • Putting rubbish in the bin
  • Passing the pegs to you to hang the clothes
  • Taking turns with the vacuum
  • Sprinkling bi-carb in the bathtub and giving it a scrub (a favourite around here)
  • Rubbing wooden furniture and toys with beeswax polish
  • Spraying and wiping windows and mirrors (white vinegar and water spray bottle)

In the Kitchen

  • Setting the table
  • Washing the dishes
  • Scrubbing potatoes
  • Cutting soft vegetables and fruits with a dull knife
  • Spinning salad
  • Making muffins
  • Kneading dough
  • Rolling out pizza dough
  • Putting pizza toppings on the dough
  • Grating cheese
  • Husking corn
  • Shelling peas
  • Peeling and/or grating carrots
  • Peeling potatoes

Children take such pride in their work. Helping out not only gives them confidence but also provides a strong sense of rhythm throughout the day. For more examples of meaningful work you can refer to this wonderful article with suggestions.

Meagan Wilson is a parent educator and author of the now-retired seasonal series of Whole Family Rhythms. After finishing a BA, she went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College, as well as her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has received her certification as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach and has supported hundreds of parents to create a strong family rhythm unique to their own values and culture. She has four young children. Meagan provides resources, support and information to parents who are looking for a bridge to cross between their unique family life and their children’s (often but not always) Waldorf schools.


  1. Maxabella on November 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I am working on feeling this way about the everyday stuff, Meagan. I’m nowhere near finding it ‘joyful’, but ‘mindful’ almost! x

  2. Meagan on November 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Yes, I am minful mostly and on a rare occasion I can truly feel the joy in a simple task- mostly when I am not busy thinking about all the other things I have to be doing or should be doing and am truly focused in on that moment and that one thing. Sundays are my best day to practice this as I have help from Brad and I feel like I can let go a bit. x Meagan.

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