Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

As a parent you know that there is a lot to be done around the house. Thankfully I have several eager and able sets of little hands that like to jump in and help out! But each one is a different age, and they each have different strengths. So I take that into consideration before asking for their involvement or assigning their tasks.

Not only is having a little extra help around the house nice, but it is also an important element of parenting. Teaching our children to be responsible, and allowing them to become more independent, will help them later on in life. It also makes them more appreciative for the work that you, or even others, do for them.

And once they help clean up their playroom a few times (ok, maybe several dozen times), they will hopefully become more conscious about cleaning up when they are done. They will be more aware of the time that goes into prepping food and cooking dinner – and hopefully will finish their plate without complaint. They will try harder to keep the family room tidy, not throw clothes in the laundry that aren’t really dirty, and avoid turning the bathroom into a disaster while getting ready for school. It may take a lot of time, and repeat of these chores, but eventually it will click. Eventually they will try to save you time and energy, and themselves that extra chore. Eventually, your house will be spotless, and eventually you will not have little ones running through your halls anymore (I am dreading that day!).

So enjoy this phase, and enjoy the journey of teaching your children how to grow into mature human beings that take responsibility and show respect and appreciation.

Below is a breakdown of possible chores by age. Some children might be ready for added duties earlier, and some may not be able to handle specific tasks until they are much older and better developed. So please do not go by what is listed below – but instead use it as a guide, and then tweak it to what works best for you, your children, and your family as a whole.

2- 3 Years of Age:

  • Pick up toys
  • Stack books
  • Wipe up spills
  • Throw away trash
  • Fetch diapers & wipes
  • Clear place setting
  • Help put groceries away
  • Put dirty clothes in laundry
  • Help move clothes from washer to dryer
  • Try to match socks
  • Wipe baseboards with soapy water

4-5 Years of Age:

  • Make bed
  • Put away toys
  • Straighten up bedroom
  • Unlad dishwasher - silverware, plastic cups & tupperware
  • Sort laundry & put clothes in drawers
  • Feed pet
  • Prepare easy snacks
  • Set the table
  • Pull weeds
  • Water plants
  • Use hand-held vacuum

6-7 Years of Age:

  • Bring in the mail
  • Help fold laundry
  • Make simple foods
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Set the table
  • Wipe off table
  • Assist with mopping & vacuuming floors
  • Help with dusting
  • Tidy up rooms used by the family
  • Wipe mirrors
  • Collect the garbage
  • Weed garden
  • Rake leaves

8-9 Years of Age:

  • Operate washer & dryer
  • Fold & hang laundry
  • Dust the furniture
  • Load & unload the dishwasher
  • Pour drinks for meals
  • Put groceries away
  • Walk the dog - with adult supervision
  • Brush the dog & care for pet needs
  • Sweep the patio
  • Cook simple foods
  • Wash the car

10-11 Years of Age:

  • Wake up with alarm clock
  • Help make their school lunch
  • Manage allowance
  • Fold & put away laundry
  • Prepare simple meals
  • Load & unload dishwasher
  • Vacuum
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Wipe the countertops
  • Take garbage & recycling to the curb

12+ Years of Age:

  • Mop & vacuum floors
  • Wash/vacuum car
  • Paint the walls
  • Help shop for groceries with list
  • Cook dinner
  • Bake treats & desserts
  • Do simple home repairs
  • Mow the yard
  • Wash windows
  • Iron clothes
  • Watch younger siblings
  • After school job

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