Household chores should not be just a parent’s responsibility. Teaching children to take part in caring for the house will not only help out everyone in the household, but teach them skills that will last a life time. Here is a guide sharing chores for kids by age.
Only You Know Your Child’s Capabilities and Limitations
Knowing how to assign chores also means knowing each child and their personal limitations. Be sure that the chore assigned is age appropriate. Surely you wouldn’t expect a toddler to wash his or her own laundry or handle harsh chemicals, but they should be expected to pick up their own toys and help in various other chores with your help.
But on the flip side some kids mature faster. So give them tests to see what they are capable of. This will let you gage what they can and cannot do. Young children should always do chores under supervision. They will need a hand here and there. A little training can go along way at this stage. Most children are very capable of doing more than you think.
So here is a list of chores for kids by age. But remember just because they can do most or all of the chores, doesn’t mean they should be assigned all the chores on the list. Give each child, especially the younger ages 1 or 2 chores to complete a day. As they get older, they have a lot more responsibilities in school and out of school activities, so giving them too many chores can overwhelm them.
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APPROPRIATE CHORES FOR KIDS BY AGE
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Some chores that are age appropriate for this age group include not only picking up their own toys, but other simple chores as well. Children this age generally LOVE to help. You can purchase a smaller broom and have them help sweep. They can even help with simple dusting. No harsh chemicals just a slightly damp cloth works just as well.
This is a great age to introduce chore charts. Children this age love to be rewarded with stickers.
Remember at this age you will have to do these chores alongside them training them.
- Pick up and put away toys
- Pick up dirty clothes
- Put clothes in the dirty clothes hamper
- Help get clothes from washer to dryer
- Match Socks (I actually set this up as a homeschool sorting lesson when my girls were little)
- Put clothes away
- Sweep with a small broom
- Help make their bed
- Help load and unload the dishwasher (silverware, plastic dishes, pots & pans)
- Dust with a feather duster
- Wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth (no harsh cleaners)
- Wipe floorboards (soapy water only)
- Help set and clear the table
- Help clean Windows
- Hand wash dishes with help
- Help with weeding the garden
- Wipe the bathroom counters and sinks
As they begin to mature and have better motor skills, you can assign more responsibility. By this age they should be able to handle a broom fairly well. Many will enjoy helping wash dishes and folding laundry. They should also be able to keep their own rooms clean without help. If any help is needed, it would probably be with vacuuming.
Your child is still in the heavy training stage of chores, but if you take the time to teach them how to do it right now you will be grateful when they are older and more independent. Again, chore charts will work great at any age, and they will make your life a lot easier. They take out the guess work of who is doing what chore.
- Any of the toddler and preschool chores above
- Meal prep (wash produce, bring ingredients, stirring and mixing)
- Clean the microwave
- Fold and put away laundry
- Sweep with a broom
- Wipe down bathroom counters, sinks and toilets
- Collect garbage from the bathroom(s)
- Get the mail
- Help rake leaves
- Help with digging and planting in the garden
Now they are starting to show more independence. By this age, if you have put in the training time, they should be able to load a dishwasher or hand wash dishes completely on their own. Depending upon the child’s maturity level, they may be able to manage other tough chores by themselves.
These chores could include taking out the trash, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, some yard work, and even light cooking. Fair warning though, they will start to complain and put off the work.
This is the actual age I started to use chore charts. I was over all of the “you never told me to do thats”, “It’s her turns” and constantly having to repeat myself. Chore charts literally gave me my SANITY back.
- Any of the above chores
- Wash and dry clothes
- Vacuum out vehicles
- Mop floors
- Make meals
- Pull garbage or recycling cans to the curb
- Clean toilets
Teens are adults in training when it comes to chores. They are physically able to do the chores that adults can. This is a time that you should really focus on teaching them life skills such as cooking, laundry, mowing the lawn, and more.
- All the previous chores
- Supervise and train younger children’s chores
- Clean tub and shower
- Make full meals and meal plan
- Clean out fridge/ freezer
- Mow the lawn
- Wash vehicles
Why Are Chore Charts Great?
Chore Charts are great because you can assign and rotate chore responsibility to various members of the house. This works perfect for households with teenagers. There are several ways to create a household chart, but creating one that suits your family’s needs will be the most efficient. First, purchase a poster board.
Next, create a table listing the days of the week at the top and each member of the house’s name down the first column. Then you can either write in a permanent chore schedule or create cards that will attach with Velcro dots.
If you don’t have the time to create a chore chart from scratch, I have one for you. Check out my Bless Our Home Chore Charts!
If you do not want to hang up a chart, you could always create a handbook that lists a smaller scale chore chart. Along with the chart you can list what is expected of each person when it comes to cleaning. You can choose to keep this cleaning handbook in a binder or simply a 3-prong folder.
A chore wheel works as well. There are two types of chore wheels. One is simply a spinner concept where as one consists of two wheels attached to each other by a prong. One circle includes the names of the people in the house and the other includes the list of chores.
Sometimes weekly household meeting work just as well. Discuss who has what responsibility and stick with it. For children who squabble about picking up other people’s mess, assigning one room a week may be easier. They won’t have to wonder what room they have to do each day. Plus, if a chore hadn’t been completed the day before, they have no one to complain to other than themselves.
In a household with children, don’t expect the children to do all the chores. You need to clean and care for the home as well. Leading the way is a great way to teach children these important life skills. With everyone doing their part, it shows that they are an important member of the household and without them the house may not be ran as smoothly.
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How old are your kids and what chores can they complete efficiently?
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Forest Rose is a God Loving, Blessed Wife, & Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschooling Mama to 3 girls – 8, 11, & 12 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s passionate about lifting moms out of the homeschooling trenches that are discouraged, overwhelmed or feeling alone or isolated. Her hope is to point them to Christ and equip them to rise up with a new found hope and joy within, that He alone can provide. Besides blogging, she also loves hanging out at her exclusive Facebook Group “Homeschooling 101 Community” that she started to help new homeschoolers thrive.