Have you ever sat and asked yourself this question – “What chores are important for my children to learn and what are they capable of doing”?
Doing chores is a tradition in many families.
Children need chores, it makes them feel needed, helpful and gives them a sense of responsibility. Besides, sharing chores gives you the help you need around the house.
You may think they are too young to engage in house chores, but kids are more capable than you think. They can learn and do some chores at an early stage.
Just know they’ll learn by doing.
Importantly, what you need to know is how to assign age appropriate chores to your kids.
You need to know that children are not born with the knowledge on how to do these chores. You have to walk them through it, teach them how you want it done, until they can handle chores without supervision.
However, you should keep in mind your child’s age, ability and maturity when assigning house chores.
There are ways to break chores in to little bit and make it less of a chore for them. It will help your kids develop healthy habits towards chores and other daily responsibilities.
Not sure what kind of chores to assign your little or big kids? Here are lists of age-appropriate suggestions we have provided below.
You will thank us immensely after going through them.
Ages 2 and 3
At this stage, toddlers will love to help out with chores. Though their help may not always be as helpful as you would hope, but keeping their excitement and the habit of helping out with chores alive is will be worth it in the long run.
With your assistance or supervision, chores will be completed each step of the way.
Here are lists of chores that are appropriate for kids of this age range, they can;
- Choose an outfit
- Pick up toys and books with your supervision
- Help wipe up mess
- Dust with socks on their hands
- Mop in areas with help
- Assist in making their beds
- Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket/laundry room
- Fill a pet’s water and food bowls with supervision
- Help get clothes from washer to dryer
- Wipe cabinets
Be sure they are being supervised while doing their chores –You want to make sure they are learning the correct way to clean. Besides that, you also want to make sure they are not doing anything that could harm them or harm the house.
Ages 4 and 5
The great thing about these kids is that, they are still fairly motivated to help. If you take the time to teach them new chores one on one, they usually love it. A lot of kids at this age are ready to do chores without constant supervision.
We have taken time to provide you with the list of chores kids between this ages should be doing. They can;
- Do any toddler chores listed above
- Clear and set the table.
- Empty wastebaskets
- Bring in mail or newspaper
- Pull out weeds, that’s if you have a garden
- Water flowers
- Unload utensils from dishwasher
- Wash dishes at sink with supervision
- Fix a bowl of cereal
- Help parent out in cooking and preparing food.
- Get dressed with minimal parental help
- Make their bed with minimal parental help
- Bring their things from the car to the house
- Clean windows
- Wipe out bathroom sinks
- Fold dish towels
- Wash hands
- Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
- Sort out colours for the laundry
- Match socks after clothing is washed
- Answer the phone with parental assistance
- Clean floors with a dry mop
Ages 6 and 7
Interestingly, children’s enthusiasm to do chores at this age may diminish.
As parents, you can motivate them to keep doing their chores daily by guiding them to be self-sufficient in their chores – using a chore chart to keep track of their responsibilities. Seeing their completed tasks will motivate them to do more.
Here are list of chores they can do;
- They can do all chores above
- Sweep floors
- Help make and pack lunch
- Weed and rake leaves
- Make and Keep bedroom tidy everyday
- Vacuum and mop.
- Take out the trash.
- Fold and put away laundry with supervision
- Brush teeth
- Comb hair
- Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed
- Be responsible for a pet’s food, water and exercise
- Put away dishes from the dishwasher
- Help prepare food with supervision
Ages 8 to 11
At this age, Kids will appreciate a set schedule and expectations. They may get upset if you throw a lot of unexpected chores at them. But if you create a schedule system for them, you’ll have a smooth transition. Try not to change it without their input and support.
This schedule system should have rewards and penalty for chores.
Here are lists of chores you can assign to them;
- They can do all chores above
- Put away groceries
- Help make dinner
- Make own snacks
- Sew buttons
- Make own breakfast
- Cook simple foods like toast
- Mop floor
- Take pet for a walk
- Wash dishes.
- Wipe bathroom sinks, counters, toilets with supervision
- Fold/hang laundry
- Clean microwave
- Take care of personal hygiene
- Keep bedroom clean
- Be responsible for homework
- Be responsible for belongings
- Wake up using an alarm clock
- Wash the family car with supervision
- Learn to use the washer and dryer with supervision
- Take the indoor trash can out
From Age 9 and above, if you have trained your child well, then you have a real worker on your team.
Here are chores they can handle;
- Any of the chores above
- Make simple meals
- Take garbage out to dispose
- Wash/ dry clothes
- Clean toilets
- Mop floors
Ages 12 and 13
At this age, they can do chores without supervision.
Here are chores they can do;
- Take care of personal hygiene
- Belongings and homework
- Set their alarm clock
- Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
- Change bed sheets
- Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning
- Change light bulbs
- Clean mirrors
- Mow the lawn with supervision
- Baby sit with supervision
- Prepare an occasional family meal
- Clean tub/ shower
- Clean out fridge/ freezer
- Supervise younger children’s chores
You definitely have a worker there for yourself.
Ages 14 and 15
At this age, they are capable of handling nearly any chore in the home as long as they’ve been properly taught.
However, they can find themselves struggling to maintain a heavy workload. You can help them adjust if you monitor their schedule, adjust their activities and chores accordingly.
Here are list of chores suitable for this age;
- Fold laundry
- Clean bathroom
- Wash car
- Iron clothes
- Do laundry
- Baby-sit younger siblings
- Clean kitchen
- Change their bed sheets
- Replace light bulbs and vacuum cleaner bags.
- Wash windows.
- Clean the refrigerator and other kitchen appliances.
- Prepare meals.
- Prepare grocery lists.
- Do assigned housework without prompting
- Do yard work as needed
Your children at this age can do chores without supervision and you can be rest assured of a tidy and cleaner home.
Also, acknowledge that children mature individually at their own pace – not all kids will be competent of advanced chores at the same age. More so, some children may be ready for more difficult chores at a younger age. It all varies.
However, as a parent, you are in the best position to supervise and evaluate your child’s abilities. Remember to advance your kids through more challenging chores as they master the basic ones. And of course! You should expect that your child may put up some resistance. If you are advancing your child to do more work around the house, you can’t dump the entire list on them all at once.
Pick one or two new chores, show them what to do and how to do it correctly till you are confident they have learned the chore.Inspect to see if the chore was well done. If not, show them how to do it and then tell them your expect it done that way from now on. Let them know you will be checking on them.
With all these awesome ideas, I hope some of them will help you start getting your house in order and teach the kids how to be responsible!