Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Chores Kids Can do – Listed by Age

age appropriate chores for kids

In a previous post, Why kids Need Chores, I talked about how chores can help your kids learn positive character traits. As your kids have the opportunity to do chores at home, they have the opportunity to develop

  • Gratitude
  • Self-discipline
  • Life skills
  • Trustworthiness
  • Dedication

This post has recommendations for age-appropriate chores. Every kid is different, so these definitely aren’t one size fits all lists. They are a guideline to help you decide which chores are right for your kids.

Are Kid Chores The Only Way Kids Learn Responsibility?

Let’s step back one moment and consider – Do you want your kids to have assigned chores?

My kid have assigned chores, but some of their friends don’t. Does that mean their friends are missing out on essential life lessons?

No way!

There are different ways kids can learn life lessons. One of the ways I’ve decided to help my kids think about others, learn responsibility and be thankful is by giving them chores.

Do Your Kids Have Chores

How about your kids?

  • Do your kids have assigned chores?
  • Are chores required, but not assigned to a specific person?
  • Do you teach your kids positive character traits in different ways?

If chores are something you want your kids to do, you’ll want to find chores that are age appropriate.

Age Appropriate Chores

This is a simple list of chores your kids can do. I’ve broken it down into 3 categories. As your kids get older, they can keep the chores and continue to add to their responsibilities.

Preschool (2-5 years)

  • In Their Room
    • dirty clothes in hamper
    • pick up books and toys
  • Around the House
    • put away shoes (for entire family)
    • pick up trash
    • dust
    • mop floors (we use microfiber clothes and water, so it’s very kid friendly)
    • put away silverware
    • water inside plants and start helping with yard work 

School Age (6-12)

  • In Their Room
    • make bed
    • put away clean laundry
    • organize toys
  • Around the House
    • take out trash (to bins outside and bins to/from the curb)
    • unload dishwasher 
    • sweep
    • vacuum
    • clean bathrooms
    • meal preparation

Teens (13+)

  • babysit younger siblings
  • mow lawn
  • do laundry
  • load dishwasher
  • hand wash pots and pans

This is not an extensive list. There are more family specific chores your kids can do. If you want to see how another blogger breaks out chores for younger kids, check out chores for kids.

In our family, my tween/teen have 4 responsibilities:

  1. Daily Kitchen chore (dishes/garbage)
  2. Bedroom (daily)
  3. Bathroom (weekly)
  4. A common room of the house (weekly)

My kids know what I expect to keep each room up to “mom standard”. They have gotten to the point where they know the little chores that are required for each room.

If I notice a responsibility has been neglected, I let them know they need to spend some time tidying up that room.

kid chores broken down by age

How to Get Started with Kid Chores

It’s important to remember that your kids need to learn how to do their chores. You will want to take time to teach them how to do each chore. Be very specific about your expectations and let your kids know what is required each time they do a specific chore.

It can be overwhelming for your kids to learn too many chores at once. Start by giving each kid one chore. You can follow these 3 steps each time you teach a new chore.

3 Steps to Teach Your Kids How to Do Their Chores

1. Show your child how to do the chore. As they watch you, they will start to learn how to do it them self.

This step is important, because kids learn in different ways. It’s not always enough to tell your kids – do your chores. Or even, explain how to do the chore using only words.

You need to SHOW them how you expect the chore to be done. It’s likely you will need to show your kids multiple time before they feel comfortable doing the chore on their own.

Depending on the age of your child and the chore – let’s take laundry for example. You may be helpful to write down the steps necessary to complete the chore. Writing down the steps helps encourage independence.

2. Have your child try the chore on their own and provide support as needed

Once you have shown how the chore is done, encourage your kid to try it on their own. Stay by their side and provide encouragement. Let them know they are doing a great job and that you are proud of their hard work.

Continue to work by their side until they are independent.

3. After practice, your child is independent with the chore, but may need some help with “quality control”

If your kid truly needs help learning how to do their chore, you may need to go back to Step 1 or Step 2. Show them how you want the chore done and let them know your expectations. Continue working with them until they are independent.

But often, your kids will know how to do their chore and what is expected, but they are slacking off. They will rush to get their chores done and not do a good job. They may call their room clean after shoving everything in the closet or under their bed. Or, they will just refuse to do their chores.

The next post will talk about strategies to hold your kids accountable for their chores.

The best advice I can give is:

Kids react much better to LOVE and KINDNESS than they do to ANGER and FRUSTRATION.

Whether your family decides to use a chore chart, wooden sticks, money clipped to the white board or another chore accountability system, I hope you remember to exercise patience and love with your kids. Believe me, I know this can be a big challenge.

And as your kids become “experts” on their first chore, you can assign another chore. Before you realize it, they will be able to take on several responsibilities.

What Is One Step You Can Take Today?

I challenge you to take an honest look at the kid chore situation in your home. If everything is going great and you’re happy – AWESOME! Keep up the good work.

If you want your kid chore situation to be different, think about what you want it to be like. Then think of one adjustment you can make this week.

Related Articles

Acts of Kindness Activities for Kids

Are Chores Right for Your Kids?

Find Ways to Hold Your Kids Accountable for Their Chores

Teach Your Kids How to Do Their Chores

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Age Appropriate Chores You Can Give Your Kids

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2 thoughts on “Age Appropriate Chores for Kids”

  1. Hello,

    I disagree with you on kids and chores a 100%!

    No kids should not have regular chores. Kids are kids not mini adults and need childhoods! Play is the most important thing in childhood. Kids have school, homework, etc already. EVERYTHING they can learn with chores they can learn in other ways. Yes, we should teach kids skills, etc and its OK if they help once in a while but making them have chores on a regular basis is wrong! I did not have chores as a kid and have no problems as an adult, I thank my parents for giving me a childhood. I do the same with my kids!

    Sincerely,

    Th. Papaioannou

    1. Fran | ActiveHappyKid

      Yes, kids can grow up to be amazing adults without having chores. Thanks for your comment.

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