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When you think back to childhood, chores probably don't show up as your favorite or most cherished memories. But maybe you do remember getting to college and being grateful that important life skills (like being able to do your laundry!) were taught to you by your parents. Chores are an important way to teach children about responsibility and to create a space where children feel needed, and able to make contribution to the family. Here are some chores that are appropriate for every age:

Ages 2-3

  • Assist in making their bed
  • Pick up toys when playtime is over
  • Bring dirty clothes to laundry hamper
  • Neatly pile books and/or magazines

Ages 4-5

  • Fill pet’s water/food bowls (with supervision)
  • Water plants
  • Clear the dinner table
  • Use hand-held vacuum for small messes, such as picking up crumbs

Ages 6-7

  • Keep the bathroom tidy
  • Sort laundry (try starting with just matching clean socks!)
  • Empty dishwasher + put dishes away
  • Choose outfit and get ready for each day independently

Ages 8-9

  • Put away groceries
  • Bring in mail from mailbox
  • Assist in meal preparation (peeling potatoes, preparing salad, etc)
  • Clean their room independently

Ages 10-11

  • Responsible for exercising pets once each day
  • Wash dishes
  • Vacuum carpeted areas
  • Learn to use washer and dryer

Ages 12 and up

  • Wash family car (with supervision)
  • Empty indoor trashcans, bring trash outside each week
  • Babysit younger siblings
  • Learn to use washer and dryer

Additional tips for assigning chores at every age:

  • Creating a chore chart can be an extremely helpful way to create a sense of routine and allow children to keep track of their responsibilities. Assign a reasonable amount of tasks and allow a reasonable amount of time for completion.
  • Know your children’s limits – younger children probably shouldn’t be responsible for chores every single day of the week. Realize that older children will be bringing home homework, which will compromise the amount of time they have to complete chores.
  • Reward your children for successfully completing their chores. Whether it is a financial reward or an extra 15 minutes of screen time is up to your family to decide.
  • On the same note, provide consequences when children do not complete their assigned chores successfully. This is key in teaching your children a sense of responsibility.