Chores for Kids (by age)

It’s never too early to get your kids active in helping with chores. Of course, based on their age, there will be limitations as to what they’re capable of doing, but it’s important to start them early so that they have the general concept of  chores down. As they get older, you can add more complex tasks onto their chore lists.

Here are some chores by age to help get your kids started.

Two Years Old

  • Encourage them to put away their toys. They may need help, but by putting their toys away, they become accustomed to putting them away as they grow
  • Have them find their socks and shoes and give them a few minutes to put them on
  • Have them place their dirty clothes in their laundry basket
  • Give them a broom and show them how to sweep floors. Again, they’ll get better at this task as they age

Three Years Old

  • Do all of the above, but they will have improved at these tasks by this time
  • Encourage them to place their toys in the correct bins
  • Though they may not be able to fold their laundry that great yet, show them where each item goes and have them place their clothes in the appropriate drawers
  • Have them go to the restroom by themselves. They might still need a bit of help, but they should be encouraged to to do as much of this task as possible
  • Encourage them to organize their shelves of books, dolls, toys, etc.
  • Show them how to use utensils correctly
  • Work with them on dressing themselves
  • Begin working with them on cleaning themselves in the bath and shower

Four Years Old

  • Should have improved at the above tasks
  • Set the table
  • Collect dirty dishes and have them sort them into the dishwasher and help wash necessary dishes
  • Make their own sandwich and prepare other small snacks and meals
  • They should be able to better clean themselves during bath and shower time
  • Show them how to use remotes and game consoles by themselves
  • Encourage them to pour their own drink
  • Start working with them to make their own bed

Five Years Old

  • They should be able to do the above tasks relatively independently at this point
  • Make their own bed
  • Work with them to build more complex sandwiches, snacks and meals
  • Show them how to set the table. Include plates, utensils, napkins, drinks, etc. Show them how to remove all the dirty dishes, place them in the dishwasher or wash a few and then dry them before putting them away in their designated areas.

Six to Eight Years Old

  • Should be able to perform all of the above tasks with relative ease
  • Sweep or vacuum
  • Rack and help with basic lawn and outside tasks
  • Get them involved in salad-making, baking and other complex tasks in the kitchen
  • Fold laundry and put them away
  • Manage allowance

Nine to Ten Years Old

  • Perform the above tasks with minimal supervision
  • Operate a washer and dryer
  • Introduce them to mowing the lawn
  • Wash the car
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Dust
  • Walk, wash and feed pets
  • Take trash to the curbs on trash days

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Photo Credit: Andy Fitzsimon

Middle Schoolers

  • Perform above tasks with ease
  • Wash, fold and put away their own laundry
  • Baby sitting and perform other tasks to earn allowance with supervision
  • Tidy rooms throughout the home
  • Mow the lawn, rack leaves and shovel snow
  • Clean out fridge
  • Vacuum and clean cars
  • Introduce them to kitchen appliance operation

High-Schoolers

  • Deep clean bathrooms
  • Deep clean other rooms throughout home
  • Make meals unsupervised
  • Iron clothes
  • Clean kitchen appliances
  • Drive younger siblings to school events, friends homes, etc.
  • Babysitting

By teaching your child to participate in chores at an early age, you’re less likely to receive push-back as they age. If you wait to introduce chores when they’re older, they may refuse to  do them and are more likely to fight you on them. By having your toddler start doing chores and by introducing them to more complicated chores through the years will set them up for success.

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Photo Credit: Hisu Lee photography

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