A list of age appropriate chores your kids can do to get them to help you around the house and to enable them to reap the benefits of chores.
Need some help around the house? How about enlisting the help of your own kids? Getting kids to do chores will not only help you but it will benefit them as well!
Age is only one factor when it comes to determining whether or not your child is capable of handling a chore. If they’re physically able, mature, and love doing it, then by all means you should let them take over. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, research suggests there are benefits to including chores in a child’s routine as early as age 3.
Also, not all kids can do all the chores others do at their age. As a rule of thumb, have them ramp up from simple tasks to chores that are appropriate for their age.
To help you in your endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of age-appropriate chores for kids and divided them into several categories. When you print one of the chore chart templates on this site, you can add an age-appropriate chore list from the relevant age below. You can also look for a chore chart by age which will be age appropriate.
Benefits of Age Appropriate Chores
The chores that a child does should be something that is compatible with their developmental level both physical and mental. They should not be asked to do something that may be too heavy for them to carry or something dangerous. When a child is able to complete the chores they will get to feel like they accomplished something. If the task is too hard it will be discouraging.
If a child is completing an age-appropriate chore they are learning respect. They will get an understanding of hard work and the respect that people get from doing their assigned job. Children will learn some discipline. Even if they do not complete the task they know it has to be done and they should get to work.
Chores for Kids by Age
Here is a list of age-appropriate chores by age. Please note that the chore list for kids should only be used if your child is ready for each chore. Each child develops at a different pace and if a chore is too difficult then take it off the list.
Chores for 2 to 3 Year Olds
The list of chores a 2 or 3 year old can do is relatively simple and usually requires the supervision of a parent. They’re little helpers and they can make the more difficult tasks easier.
Initially, they’ll follow you around and mimic what you do. Let them get acquainted with your routine, then slowly incorporate them into it.
– put their toys away
– fill up a pet’s water or food dish
– put the clothes from the washer or dryer into the hamper
– dust surfaces
– arrange books and magazines in a pile
– make their bed
Chores for 4 to 5 Year Olds
Children aged 4 to 5 can do all the things a 2 or 3 year old can do, plus a few more. They can do some of the chores with minimal supervision or assistance.
At this age, they’re still developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills. With patience and practice, they’ll be able to do things with little to no trouble.
– empty wastebaskets in a room
– bring in the newspaper or mail
– water plants
– make their bed
– pull weeds in gardens
– dust and vacuum with a handheld device
– help prepare and set food on the table
– pick up their clothes
– carry light groceries
Chores for 6 to 8 Year Olds
At this point, your children will be able to complete chores with little to no help from you. They may also be able to do 9 to 12 year old chores (see below) with supervision or assistance.
Primary schoolers will be ready to take on more responsibility. They’ll be ready to do more complex tasks but still require constant practice to master them.
– give food and water to pets
– mop, sweep and vacuum
– fold laundry and put them away
– help prepare dinner
– give the family dog a walk
– bring the family dog outside to pee
– rake the yard
– put groceries in the fridge
– wipe the dinner table after a meal
Chores for 9 to 12 Year Olds
Your kids can now help you with major tasks. You may need to monitor or help them at first but once they get used to them then you can watch them with little to no supervision.
You can start a task list for this age group and hold them to complete their chores. This can help prep them for more advanced tasks and they’ll learn to be self-reliant and independent.
– help wash the car
– bring the trash outside
– rake leaves in the yard
– load dishwasher, wash dishes
– clean the bathroom
– use the washing machine and dryer
– babysit younger kids
– change the bed sheets
Teenagers can be considered as small adults and can be trained to do virtually every chore except maybe operating large machines.
Similar to 9 to 12-year-olds, you will need to teach them how to do a chore properly, then watch them do it several times. After a small time of supervision and assistance, you can leave them to do it on their own.
– babysit younger kids or siblings
– prepare a simple meal
– wash windows on the first floor
– rake fallen leaves
– mow the lawn
– iron clothes
– care for their pets
– walk the dog outside
– clean the shower, sink, and toilet
– wipe down surfaces
– clean the fridge and other kitchen appliances
– vacuum floors and rooms
– take out the trash
– replace a light bulb
– mop and sweep the floor
– wash the car
– give younger siblings a bath
– feed their younger siblings
– complete simple sewing tasks
– accomplish small shopping trips (with a license)
Please note that the above chore list by age is only a recommendation. Each child is unique and if your child cannot perform the recommended chores by age group then don’t push him. Try the chores for kids younger (i.e. the list above the actual age).
Chores and Children, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,