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Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids

Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids

Living with kids is like putting all your possessions in a giant blender, cranking the power up to max, and taking the lid off.

It’s a mess.

I don’t just mean there are a few toys out. I mean you are lucky if your foot finds a Lego-free spot to step. I mean peanut butter and jelly stuck in places you didn’t know existed. I mean chaos everywhere you look.

Maybe your house isn’t that bad, but I’m guessing that unless you are Marie Kondo, you probably wish your house was cleaner. You probably wish your kids wouldn’t make so many messes. The truth is the little mess makers that you brought into the world can help out more than you might think.

I know sometimes it’s hard to get the kids to do chores. I feel you. Sometimes it’s easier to clean it up yourself than get your kids to do it. I have three little mess-makers myself and during the school year I was focused on homeschooling so I didn’t put a lot of effort into getting the kids to do chores. Now that summer is here I want to spend some time teaching my kids how to do chores, because honestly it’s good for them and it will help me in the long run!

Chore List for KidsAges 18 months – 3 years

With kids this age you want to focus on working together. Young toddlers love to imitate their parents. Encourage your toddler to follow you around as you do chores and copy you. At this age kids don’t really understand the concept of delayed gratification so telling them to clean up in order to get a reward can be frustrating and confusing. Likewise, consequences for not completing chores at this age don’t really work. You don’t want to get into a power struggle with someone whose reasoning abilities are not fully formed yet so keep it fun and relaxed. Don’t worry about them completing chores on their own at this age.

  • Help clean up toys
  • Help empty plastic dishes and Tupperware from the dishwasher
  • Help dust
  • Help wipe down baseboard
  • Help wipe window
  • Help put dirty clothes in the hamper

Ages 3-5

As your child grows and matures he will be able to take more responsibility for himself and help with bigger chores. Start small and remember, three-year-olds still get frustrated and sometimes feel unsure of their abilities. Work together on chores until your child feels confident to do them alone. Be sure to praise their socks off when they do a good job and especially when they do a good job with a good attitude!

  • Clean up toys
  • Help make bed
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Dust
  • Clear plate after meals
  • Set part of the table (placemats, plastic plates, or silverware)
  • Put aways shoes
  • Clean up books

Ages 6-8

Some families begin to give their children allowances at this age and teach them about spending and saving money responsibly. You can decide if you’d like to give your child money for doing bigger extra chores. My son is required to help with certain chores, but if he does his brother’s and sister’s laundry, he can earn money because that’s a big extra chore and a huge load off my plate.

  • Fold and put away laundry
  • Help with limited meal prep (not using sharp knives yet)
  • Set the table
  • Clear the table
  • Help with dishes
  • Clean windows
  • Vacuum
  • Sweep
  • Put away toys
  • Feed pets

Ages 9-12

Kids in this age range might not be as willing to help, but you can encourage them to get their chores done by linking chores to privileges whether that’s screen time, an allowance, or going out with friends.

  • Do laundry
  • Clean bathroom sinks
  • Prepare simple meals and snacks
  • Do dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Sweep
  • Mop
  • Clean their rooms
  • Feed pets
  • Clean up after pets
  • Take out trash
  • Help wash the car

Ages 13 and Up

It’s so important to prepare your teens for grown-up life. I can’t tell you how many people I met at college who didn’t know how to do their laundry! Moms, you aren’t doing your kids any favors by doing their chores for them. Take this time to step back and let your kids learn how to become adults. Try your best not to micromanage how they complete chores- let them face natural consequences for not completing chores, like no clean clothes to wear if they don’t do their laundry.

  • Dishes
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Laundry from start to finish
  • Cook
  • Sweep
  • Mop
  • Vacuum
  • Feed pets
  • Clean up after pets
  • Mow the lawn
  • Help watch younger siblings
  • Help with grocery shopping
  • Take out the trash
  • Wash and vacuum the car
  • Clean windows
  • Clean their rooms

Here are some printable chore charts you can use with your kids! These first 2 options are perfect for use with kids who can read. You can check off the box or add a sticker to mark each chore when it is done. The visual chore chart is perfect for kids who can’t read yet. Just print the picture page and cut out the images of chores. Arrange the chore pictures on the chart for your child each day or week!

Visual Chore Chart

See Also

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like a printable copy of these chore charts just enter your name and email here and we will email you the free printables!

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