It’s important to teach children to pitch in and help with the housekeeping at an early age. After all, they have to start learning responsibility to succeed in life, but how do you know which chores young kids will be capable of handling? If only you had an age-appropriate chore list to check…
Waves a magic wand…abracadabra…
We’ve produced one just for you! Use the following chart to assign chores for kids by age, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher or babysitter. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to keep your children motivated and chores fun.
Children Age 2 – 3
- Pick up toys
- Help set the table
- Throw trash away when instructed
- Place their clothes in a laundry basket
- Wipe lower cabinet doors
Tip: Kids this age love to use their imagination, so think of ways to turn chores into fun imaginative games.
Children Age 4 – 5
- Put toys and books away
- Set and clear the table
- Pick out clothes for the next day
- Sweep small areas with a handheld broom
- Fold towels
Tip: Children aged four to five can get overwhelmed with too many instructions. Be certain to only assign one task at a time and consider singing silly songs as you work.
Tip: With a tiled kitchen you can use a bit of masking tape to make a square, then get your child to sweep everything into this small square.
Children Age 6 – 7
- Put away clean silverware
- Help clean the bedroom
- Wipe down bathroom surfaces
- Unload the dishwasher
- Load and unload the washing machine and tumble dryer
Tip: Give six- and seven-year-olds plenty of recognition for how well they’re doing, as their sense of confidence starts to develop around this time. You can make chores more enjoyable by turning them into games.
Children Age 8 – 9
- Help prepare meals with supervision
- Dust and vacuum
- Feed, brush and walk pets
- Empty trash cans
- Fold towels and put clothes away
Tip: Consider buying kids this age their own brightly coloured child-friendly kitchen utensils and get them to wash these up after every meal. This will ramp up the fun factor and will also make them feel more independent.
Children Age 10 – 12
- Laundry and ironing
- Gardening jobs
- Cook simple meals
- Wash dishes by hand or load the dishwasher
- Clean the kitchen
Tip: This is a good time to start incentivising kids. Set up a routine list of chores for kids by age, and reward them with weekly pocket money, extra screen time, a trip to get ice cream or see a movie.
Children Age 13 and up
- Make full meals
- Clean the shower, tub, sink, and toilet
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Babysit for younger siblings
Tip: Rewards and incentives still work well. Make sure you continue to recognise the additional responsibilities your children are able to take on, so they know they’re appreciated.
Keep in mind that there may be a little trial and error involved when it comes to different age groups. Every child’s development is different, so give kids a new task if they have difficulty completing the original assignment.
Also remember that when dealing with children and chores, there’s no such thing as too much praise. Let kids know you’re proud of their efforts. It will make them feel good and they’ll want to keep helping so they can get more positive feedback.
Looking for more insights on children and chores? Check out our post on fun cleaning games with kids. And if you’re finding that life has you too busy to even think about cleaning your home, contact your local Merry Maids! We’re happy to lend a hand so you can free up more time to do the things you love with the people you care for the most.