The fascinating thing about household chores is that no matter how many you accomplish in a day, there’s always more to do. Washing the dishes, taking out the trash, folding the laundry, and preparing meals are just some of the tasks that parents have to deal with on a regular basis. But you know what? You don’t have to do them all on your own. Ask your kids to help! Here are appropriate family chores for kids by age.
Related: Daily Routine For Students
Your Children Need Chores – Life Skill
While it’s normal for parents to want to do everything for their kids, you’re actually not doing them any favour when you choose not to give them chores.
According to many studies, children who were trained to help out around the house end up being independent, responsible, and successful adults.
The secret is to start them young. Yes, even your three-year-old can give you a hand on some simple tasks.
Believe it or not, the simple habit of setting the table or putting their toys away can instill in them a sense of responsibility and a positive attitude towards labour that will benefit them in the future.
Age Appropriate Chores For Your Kids
Many parents are aware that chores are essential in teaching children about responsibility and the value of hard work.
The tricky part, however, is in getting started. Creating a chore chart is easy. What’s really difficult is matching the chores with the skill-level and development of your children. You wouldn’t ask your toddler to vacuum the floor, will you?
One of the best ways to keep your children challenged and interested, as far as chore-charts go, is by gradually increasing the complexity and responsibility involved in the chores they’re assigned to.
If you’re still at a loss as on how to go about this, you can use our list of age appropriate chores for children as a guide.
Chores For Kids By Age
Chores For Ages 2-3 Years Olds (Toddlers)
Toddlers can be a handful on most days, but it’s pretty easy to convince them to help out.
The little ones love hanging around adults and, most of the time, they feel very excited about being asked to do some “adult stuff.”
At this age, your kids still see chores as play. And while they may not be as much of a help as you’d like them to be, what’s important is that you are on the path to developing a healthy household habit.
You can ask your toddler to do the following:
- Help you put books and magazines back on the shelves
- Help you pick up their toys with your supervision
- Help you place soiled clothes in the hamper
- Help you with making their bed
- Help you wipe up minor spills
- Fill up the cat’s or dogs’ food bowl
Chores For Ages 4-5 Years Old (Preschoolers and Kindergartners)
When children reach the age of 4 or 5 years old, they may start to see chores as what they really are–labour.
However, since kids around these ages still love spending time with adults, it won’t be too hard to convince them to help around the house. Consider giving them rewards to motivate them.
These are some suitable chores for preschool kids:
- Making their bed
- Getting themselves dressed with a little help
- Setting up and clearing the table with help
- Feeding pets
- Dusting shelves
- Watering indoor plants
- Sorting the laundry into colours and whites
- Bring their things in from the car to the house
- Pick up their toys
- Cleaning their rooms
- Pulling up weeds in the garden
- Watering outdoor plants
- Use a hand-held vacuum for crumbs
- Match up socks
Chores For Ages 6-11 Years old (Elementary-School Children)
By the time they reach school-age, children become less and less thrilled by the idea of doing chores.
The good news is, this is also a time when they start developing the desire to become more independent.
That said, the key here is to challenge them. Give them more “mature” responsibilities and allow them to complete tasks with minimal supervision.
Kids usually perform better when they can sense that you trust them.
Ideal chores for school-age children are:
- Doing the dishes
- Cleaning the floor
- Folding the laundry
- Taking out the trash
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher
- Taking care of the pet
- Help prepare a simple meal
- Get themselves dressed
- Putting away their clean laundry
- Help make lunch boxes
- Put away groceries
- Make their own snacks
Chores For Ages 9-12 Years Old (Pre-Adolescents)
At this stage of their life, children typically crave for autonomy. If you have children aged 9–12 years old, know that this is the best time to teach them about the value of completing their chores correctly and the possible consequences of putting in a mediocre effort.
Pre-adolescent children often stubborn when it comes to doing their share of household chores, but a little incentive every now might get them to work.
When kids reach this age, they should be capable of doing most of the chores at home, including:
- Washing and drying clothes with supervision
- Watching over their younger siblings
- Cleaning the toilet with supervision
- Clean the bathroom sink
- Vacuuming floors and carpets
- Washing the car with your help
- Making simple meals and snacks
- Be responsible for their bedroom
- Wash up or load and unload the dishwasher
- Take out the trash
- Help clear the table after dinner
Watching Over Their Younger Siblings
If you have younger kids at home, your pre-adolescent should be able to watch over them for short periods of time. This includes making sure they’re safe, fed, and entertained.
Cleaning The Toilet With Supervision
By the time children are 9–12 years old, they should be able to clean the toilet with supervision. This includes scrubbing the bowl and removing any stains from the seat and bowl.
Clean The Bathroom Sink
Pre-adolescents can also clean the bathroom sink. This includes wiping down the counter, scrubbing the sink, and removing any hair or debris from the drain.
Vacuuming Floors And Carpets
At this age, children should be able to vacuum floors and carpets. This includes moving furniture to vacuum underneath, empty the vacuum bag or canister, and put the vacuum away when finished.
Washing The Car With Your Help
Pre-adolescents can also help wash the car with your supervision. This includes using a hose to rinse the car, applying soap, and drying the car with a chamois cloth.
Making Simple Meals And Snacks
By the time children are 9–12 years old, they should be able to make simple meals and snacks. This includes following a recipe, measuring ingredients, and using kitchen appliances safely.
Be Responsible For Their Bedroom
At this age, children should be responsible for keeping their bedroom clean. This includes making the bed, picking up clothes off the floor, and dusting surfaces.
Wash Up Or Load And Unload The Dishwasher
Pre-adolescents can also help with washing up or loading and unloading the dishwasher. This includes properly sorting dishes, scraping food off plates, and using the dishwasher safely.
Take Out The Trash
By the time children are 9–12 years old, they should be able to take out the trash. This includes tying up garbage bags, taking them to the curb, and bringing the empty bins back inside.
Help Clear The Table After Dinner
At this age, children can help clear the table after dinner. This includes properly stacking dishes, carrying them to the sink or dishwasher, and wiping down the table.
Teenage years are critical because it’s your last shot at teaching your kids about responsibility and preparing them for adulthood. Ideally, by this time, your children are more than capable of doing most (if not all) of the chores around the house.
Perhaps this is also the right time to entrust to them the responsibility of supervising the chore-chart and their younger siblings.
You can trust your teenagers to:
- Watch younger siblings for short periods of time
- Clean kitchen
- Clean bathroom
- Plan and prepare more complex meals
- Go to the grocery store for small shopping tasks with a grocery list
- Mow the lawn with supervision
- Organise and plan the chore-chart
- Clean mirrors
- Care for pets / feed pet / walk pet
- Shovel snow from the driveway
- Iron clothes
- Change a light bulb
A Few Last Words
This list is only meant to guide you and give you an idea of what household tasks you can set at specific age brackets. But being their parents, nobody will ever know your kids’ skills and capacities more than you do.
Remember that people mature at their own pace. In the end, it is still up to you to decide which chores your children are capable of completing.
Also, don’t forget to be generous with your praises. We all want to feel needed and valued, and the same is true for kids.
When children feel appreciated; when they realise that they’re contributing something, they are encouraged to do more and perform better.
By making chores a regular part of your family’s routine, you will experience a positive change in your dynamics. By getting your child involved in the chores, you are helping to teach them responsibility.
True, there will be days when chore assignments will be met with deafening whines and complaints, but that’s all part of teaching your children about responsibility and work ethics.
Chores are necessary for character-building. The things they learn and do today will shape the person they will become later in life. Below, you can sign up for a chore chart for kids.