There are many benefits to getting your kids on board to help you with the chores around the house. Giving the kids age-appropriate chores help them feel wanted, teaches them important life skills, and boosts self-confidence in.
As a mother with a busy schedule, multi-tasking can be one of the most valuable tools on your belt. So, if I told you that by utilizing age-appropriate chores for kids, you can:
A.) Teach your children a new skill
B.) Teach them values such as responsibility, patience, teamwork, and delayed gratification
C.) Get some housework done!
So, if you want to raise smart and confident kids, I recommend giving them age-appropriate chores. According to research, giving children chores from an early age will help teach them work ethic, responsibility, self-reliance, and other vital life skills.
What might be holding you back is the confusion around what exactly are age-appropriate chores for kids. You won’t get anywhere by giving them tasks to do that they can’t properly achieve – that will just end in frustration for all of you.
But there’s no need to stress about it! Here, you’ll find an in-depth guide to which chores are age-appropriate for your little ones. Your entire household will be functioning fast and running smoother in no time!
List of Age Appropriate Chores For Kids
Children are capable of handling much more than some people think. Even teeny-tiny toddlers can help you with the smallest, simplest of chores and by the time they are teenagers, they are capable of handling most of the tasks their parents do.
Also, it releases so much of the burden from your shoulders and you can get to do other tasks on your to-do list.
I have seen so many moms never get time to look after themselves, but this will give you some time for selfcare.
With a million ways to help out around the home, it shouldn’t be difficult to delegate some jobs. Read on to discover the ultimate listing of chores for children from ages one to eighteen.
Whether you have a baby, toddler, school-age child, or pre-teen – there’s something for everyone to do!
Age Appropriate Chores – 12 months +
Chores at 12 months?!?
Yes, that’s right! Although ‘chores’ is a strong word, it’s really more like small tasks.
You might be surprised that we’re starting out this young – but don’t underestimate your baby! There are some very simple things you can teach them from 12 months onwards to get them involved with the day-to-day around the house.
A little bit of practice will make perfect when you ask them to:
- Fetch their nappy
- Open the curtains
- Get out/put away bath toys
- Pour milk on their cereal
- Get their shoes
These are great ways to start small without being overwhelming. These baby-centric tasks will start the journey towards teaching them how to take care of themselves. It’ll let them be involved in their own daily routine – which is about as much as they care about right now!
Age Appropriate Chores – 2-3 Years
I bet you know your toddler is a ‘copycat’. The primary way they learn to do things is by seeing and copying what others do around them.
Your 2+-year-old is more dexterous, mobile, and aware of the household at large now. They’re also a little mischievous, so it’s very important to know which age-appropriate chores to give them!
It’s very important to supervise them while giving them chores, but there are so many tasks they can complete unsupervised by their preschool years.
They’ll get great satisfaction out of helping you with the list of these chores;
- All previous chores
- Wiping up spills
- Cutting/peeling fruit with assistance
- Filling the laundry basket
- Putting away toys
- Water some plants
By this point, helping you with these kinds of tasks and seeing their own success and contribution will be starting to boost their self-esteem and confidence! Plus, your floors are a little cleaner and your plants are less thirsty – win-win!
Age Appropriate Chores – 4-6 Years
Preschoolers feel the desire to help their parents in every way possible because they’re still learning by copying their parents. At this age, they can do most of the age appropriate tasks around the house without being supervised.
Typically these tasks will be the ones they’re doing since they were toddlers, so they’re naturally good at them. At this age, their eye and hand coordination will have increased so is their ability to do more complex tasks.
You can now teach them to do more complicated chores. Also, your child is more capable with their reading and writing, you could introduce a chore chart to help organize your home. Giving weekly chores and keeping a routine can teach your child a lot of valuable life skills and positive values.
In addition to the chores listed above your 4-6-year-old can now be a super helping hand when it comes to;
- All previous chores
- Making their bed
- Feeding the pets
- Set the table
- Load the dishwasher
- Fold or put their own laundry away
- Help bring light groceries
- Pull weeds
You might want to decide on how you’re going to frame chores now. Whether you want to introduce a reward system or implement them alongside conditional rules.
For example, if all chores are completed the family enjoys a treat at the end of the week, or screen time is withheld until chores are done.
Age Appropriate Chores – 6-8 Years
Once the child reaches primary school age, they are capable of doing tasks with greater responsibility without supervision. At this age, they can learn more difficult tasks as they’re learning the necessary skills to do so.
At this point, parents should keep in mind while some kids will do all the chores they’re asked to do, however, most of them will show rebellious behavior against the idea of chores.
With patience and mutual understanding, it gets easy to get them on board to do the household tasks required. Still, if they do it or not largely depends on their personalities.
As well as all of the previous tasks mentioned, you can now consider asking your 6-8-year-old to help with bigger, more complex tasks such as;
- All previous chores
- Cleaning out their rooms (now with minimal supervision)
- Washing the car
- Cleaning out pet cage/hutch
- Making their own breakfast
- Rake the yard
- Put away groceries
- Help prepping meals (washing vegetables, peeling, cutting with supervision)
If you have kids of multiple ages, you can give your elder child another boost by asking them to teach your youngest how to do their chores!
Age Appropriate Chores – 9-11 Years
Middle schoolers can do most of the chores on their own without any assistance or contact reminders. At this age, you can decide to create a chore list or a chart of a list of tasks for all family members including your children.
After this parents can hold everyone accountable and check once a day to see if the things on a list are checked off. This helps to instill self-reliance in kids and make them responsible for themselves even when no one is looking at them.
At this age, it can be really rewarding to see your child blossoming into a more independent pre-teen. They’re capable of all the above tasks, and can really assert their independence by;
- All previous chores
- Wash the dishes or load the laundry without assistance
- Preparing lunches
- Take the trash to the bins
- Take the trash bins to the curb
- Consistently keeping their bedroom tidy
- Cleaning the bath/shower
Be sure to let them know that you appreciate their hard work and give them the respect they deserve for being a contributor to the household.
Keeping their bedroom tidy should help towards giving them a healthy appreciation for their belongings. However, you’ll want to make it easier for them to achieve this by making sure that their room has ample storage to put their toys away into. And, it’s easier to find the motivation to tidy a beautiful bedroom!
Here are some helpful tips on how to decorate your child’s room.
Age Appropriate Chores – 11 Years +
Preteens and high school students can nearly do any task at their homes. This is a perfect age to start making sure your child is fully prepared to live a life on their own since those years a gonna come soon!
Most of the children start living on their own by the of eighteen. Some of them live in their homes while attending college and saving money for their future.
Whatever the scenario be, it’s important they learn the advanced life skills by this age and keep helping around the house. At the age of 11 or more, they are incredibly capable and able to understand the lessons that can be learned from doing age-appropriate chores.
Depending on their age and your personal preferences regarding safety outdoors or in the kitchen, from 11+ you could think about letting your child;
- All previous chores
- Walk the dog
- Mow the lawn
- Take care of siblings when parents are out
- Take care of pets independently
- Wash windows
- Clean the fridge
- Cook or bake simple recipes!
It’s worth noting that as they get older, you also want to be mindful of the extra time teens will need for at-home study and homework. Pile too many chores on top of that and you’ll have a very stressed out young person with a little too much on their plate. Schoolwork should take priority in exam seasons.
At this age, it’s possible that you might get some push-back from your kid when you ask them to help out. They might not always want to do their chores, which is why it’s helpful to make them an everyday part of life from an early age.
Tips for Making it Work
It’s important not to put too much pressure on your child to do their chores, and as a rule, try not to use chores as a punishment. The less of a big deal you make, the more naturally it will come to them.
You might have more luck asking your child to do their jobs in the evening rather than in the busy mornings. And some kind of incentives such as an allowance, or access to certain privileges may help to nudge them along.
Now that you know what chores are age-appropriate, how you implement them is totally up to you. As I mentioned some kids will do anything you ask them to do without further questioning, while others rebel against the idea of them getting off the couch.
Looking for ideas to work with kids who don’t want to do chores? Here are some great tips on how to get your kids to do house chores without drama!
Deciding how to frame the inner workings of your household depends very much on your parenting style. For further reading on this topic, the article What’s Your Parenting Style? could help you decide on what type of parenting fits your family best.
Also, the article includes some great recommendations for parenting books that cover the different styles. They will provide you with great tips to direct you throughout your journey introducing chores to your kids! You’ll be sure to find the perfect guide for you.
If you’re having trouble with your kids listening to do anything you ask them, here are a few tips for you to keep calm and make your children listen to you.
How to Organise the Family Chores
If you’ve got a busy home with a lot of kids, it can be difficult keeping track of who did what, and when. And you better believe that they’ll take advantage if you forget! Therefore, it’s a good idea to organize your household chores and tasks with some type of chart, list, or board.
If you’re struggling with a way to do this, Amazon is full of amazing planners and calendars that could help keep everyone in line! A simple search for chore charts brings up some really practical and attractive options!
Here are some of them:
Magnetic Dry Erase Chore Chart for Multiple Kids
Daily Planner & To Do List Notepad
This digital download Family Planner is a great option for organising your family’s weekly schedules and assigned tasks. Printable charts are a good idea because they are affordable, quick to acquire, and fully customizable. Whiteboards are also a good choice as they can be easily edited!
If you can’t decide between the two, these dry-erase pockets from Amazon combine both. You can print out a sheet, pop it in the pocket and tick things off. Then erase it and start again the next week, without needing to print a new sheet!
A Brighter Future, A Cleaner House
So, there you have it! The best age-appropriate chores for kids are explained by age. Hopefully, this article will be helpful in making some positive changes to the family household. Not only do chores build confident, practical young people, but a family that works together at home is a family that gets along.
Household tasks shouldn’t just be on Mum! Getting everybody involved will make your life easier and alleviate some of the general strain and stress of Motherhood. Keeping a clean house can be a daunting task when you have so much else to do already.
It will get easier to have a clean house as a busy mom when you have other family members to help you with. What could be better than enjoying a bit of a break while implementing a valuable parenting technique at the same time!
Just remember that not everything needs to be done perfectly. With kids, sometimes it really is the effort that counts! The fact that they are trying to help you out in the home is a huge credit to their character!
So be sure to praise your little ones as they proudly tell you that they’ve finished their chores!
Stick some stickers on that star chart, and why not give a sticker to yourself for being a great parent and teacher of life. Even if they grumble about doing the chores today, they’ll thank you for it in the future!
Here’s Your FREE Age-Appropriate Chores Chart
Click the Below Image to Download Your Freebie!
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Age Appropriate Chores For Kids 1 – 11+ years
Mel Fox, 29 is a mother of one and the owner of Just-Us-Two.com, an information hub and safe space for single and first-time parents. As a writer and blogger who has been published online and in a leading UK magazine for parents, her mission is to provide relatable advice to all of us sharing the Motherhood experience.
I like how you organize all of the chores around the house for children by age. My daughter is almost 3 and the list you have is very accurate! In Montessori, Practical Life includes chores such as sweeping, dusting, cleaning up spills, scrubbing/wiping down a table and a chair, mopping, and scrubbing a dish and cup after lunch. The beauty of all this is that the children enjoy the process while they’re doing it, whereas adults are just looking for efficiency and getting the chores done as quickly as possible. For children aged 3-6 they’re also practicing fine motor and gross motor skills as well as learning independence!
Exactly! That’s why I highly support Montessori education and try to implement the same. Kids really love doing chores. The key is inspiration and rewarding them for their efforts.
In our household we have individual responsibilities and communal responsibilities. Each child has their own age appropriate task(most of which you’ve detailed here) and we all chip in the communal tasks. Communal tasks include making meals and laundry, everyone chips in to help.
My husband’s knee surgery has caused us to ask for more and more help from our 5 year-old. She’s always loved helping, but it’s cool to see everything she’s capable of! For us, luckily we don’t need any kind of reward system or punishments – we frame it as something that we all do to help out, like teamwork.
That’s so nice to hear it works for you! Teamwork is something I’m teaching my kids these days too.