There are dozens of reasons why it’s important for your kids to have age appropriate chores around the house. Chores teach children about responsibility and hard work, and they can also help them developmentally. Plus, not to mention, as a parent wouldn’t it be nice to get a break..? Kick up your feet and let your little ones put away the laundry; you’ll be doing all of you a favor!
Need help picking the proper chores? We put together this guide for you to find age appropriate tasks your children can start doing today. Remember, each child develops at their own pace — so determining the right fit for your child and establishing a consistent routine is key!
Chores for Toddlers (Ages 2-3)
Even toddlers can be the “big helpers” they want to be. You probably won’t find them power washing the house, but they’ll certainly do some little things that add up.
At this age and stage, toddlers are working on their fine motor skills. Allowing them to pick up small items and place them in the right spot is not only helpful for you, it’s also good for their development. Have them try to:
- Pick up toys
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper
- Help take care of pets
- Help clean up spills
- Hang up coats on low hooks
- Put shoes by the door
Chores for Preschool/Kindergarten (Ages 4-5)
As your toddlers turn into little kids overnight, their ability to pitch in increases, as does the volume of their protests against pitching in…don’t be deterred, though. Four and five year olds don’t have the busiest social schedule, so they have time to set the table.
Plus, by giving your 4-5 year old children chores, you’re helping them learn to be a thoughtful friend and collaborative classmate — all while developing early math skills like counting and sorting! Have them try to:
- Clean up craft supplies
- Put away books
- Set the table - count out how many forks and napkins are needed for the family.
- Clear dishes to the sink
- Clean up spills
- Put away clean clothes into the right drawers
- Make the bed (may need some assistance)
- Dry mop the floor (easier for little ones than navigating the dust pan)
Chores for Elementary Schoolers (Ages 6 - 9)
In middle childhood, children are making significant strides in their emotional and social growth as their interactions with others outside of their homes increases. During this time, children are developing a greater sense of self and an understanding of their place in the world.
All of this is an opportunity to help your child set goals for themselves and celebrate the new “big kid” things they are able to do as part of the family. Some of those big kid things are bigger chores, which is also cause for celebration! Have them try to:
- Unpack and pack backpacks
- Load/unload the dishwasher
- Put away groceries
- Help prepare meals
- Sweep the floor
- Make the bed (unassisted)
- Read to younger siblings
- Take care of pets
- Rake leaves
Chores for Middle Schoolers (Ages 10 - 13)
Tweens are going through big changes at this stage in their adolescence and are seeking more independence. With independence comes more responsibility, and more substantial chores will help them learn how to take care of themselves and make smart choices.
Is your middle schooler getting a little whiny about doing their chores? We always change the Wi-Fi password until their chores are done. That will speed things up! Have them try to:
- Pack lunch
- Wash dishes
- Fold laundry
- Take out the trash
- Cut vegetables
- Assist younger siblings with homework
- Supervise younger siblings (while you are home in another room)
Chores for High Schoolers (Ages 14+)
Your big kids are getting ready to leave the nest, and you want them to be able to make their own safe, secure, and relatively clean nest as they grow up.
Giving high school aged kids chores around the house will prepare them to take on the responsibility of early adulthood while still under your watchful and helpful eye. Have them try to:
- Cook meals - start with one a week
- Create grocery list
- Clean bathrooms
- Clean appliances
- Mow the lawn
- Shovel driveway