My kids got used to me assigning them certain tasks to do and, to my horror, it appeared that they couldn’t see what needed to done without direction. In an attempt to change, we started “Job Searches.” A job search is looking for something in the house or yard that needs to be cleaned or taken care of, doing that job, and then reporting to a parent what was done. You can specify the length of time to work or a certain number of things to put away. It makes a difference when kids start to see what needs to happen.
Another idea on how to teach kids to work is explained in our post, Step by Step Cleaning.