How do you get your kids to do chores? What chores are good for kids? Learn about age-appropriate chores for kids.
Chores For Kids to Do
As parents, out job is to raise our kids to become adults who will one day take care of themselves and possibly others. We need to teach them life lessons in the everyday little things so that they know how to do those things as they get older.
Having kids do chores is a great way to do this. Chores can teach kids so many helpful life lessons. They teach kids personal responsibility, how to set goals and reach them, and how to do basic things that will help improve their life as they mature.
Below are different ideas for chores that are age appropriate for kids. Learn what basic tasks your kids can do whether they are toddlers or teenagers and every age in between.
How to Get Kids to Do Chores Without Reminders
Before looking into the many chores your kids can do at different ages, let’s take a moment to figure out getting your kids to do their chores in the first place.
Once you know what chores your child is able to handle, getting them to actually do the chores will be your first hurdle.
Remember: keep trying and don’t give up on your child. You need to help your child understand that chores are part of their personal responsibility as a member of the household.
1. Be Consistent
You need to be consistent when trying to teach your kids about chores.
It’s important not to take over the chore if your child doesn’t do it or does it poorly.
They need to understand that there will be consequences if the chores are not done, like lost privileges. You need to be consistent even with these consequences.
It may take time, but your kids will learn that you mean business when it comes to getting the chores done.
2. Start Chores at a Young Age
Many parents make the mistake of not starting chores when kids are young. Even kids as young as 2 or 3 can do certain chores. Start them young with little tasks, and it will be easier to get them to do chores as they get older.
3. Don’t Worry About Perfection
Face it now: your child may not complete the chores exactly as you would. You don’t need an IQ test to figure that out!
Effort is what’s important. If you are concerned about certain things, like clean dishes, you can supervise.
With other things, like folding laundry or making the bed, give them a little wiggle room. Judging them for their mistakes will make them more likely to dread chores, making things harder for you in the future.
3 Praise Your Child
Kids doing a great job? Make sure they know!
Every time they do a chore on their own without being asked, do a chore correctly, or keep up with the chore chart, let them know they did a good job.
Should Kids Get an Allowance for Chores?
Should kids get an allowance for chores? This may vary family to family.
Many parents find that giving their kids an allowance works well for their family. Some parents feel that this is teaching kids they will get a reward every time they do something that they should already be doing. Others believe it teaches kids good work ethic for the future.
It is your choice. If you do choose to give an allowance, it’d probably be a good idea to teach budgeting as well.
Chores For Toddlers and Preschoolers
At 2 or 3 years old, kids are usually old enough to do some smaller tasks. They can begin learning personal responsibility, even with the small things.
Since they won’t be able to do many things on their own, it is a great age to have them help you with things.
Two and Three Year-Olds
Little kids can pick up their toys when they’re done playing. They can help you make the bed. They won’t be able to completely do it on their own, but let them assist you while you make it.
At this age, kids should also be able to help with spills, feeding the pets, and putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
Folding towels is a great way to let little kids help, especially with hand towels or tea towels. It helps them with their dexterity while also teaching them how to fold laundry.
Four and Five Year-Olds
When kids get a little older, they can do more things on their own. This includes:
- making the bed
- picking up things in the living room and bedroom
- getting dressed on their own
- cleaning off the dinner table
- wiping off countertops
- folding blankets and towels
- putting dishes in the dishwasher
Basically, if it’s within their reach and they are physically able to complete a task safely, let them at least try.
Kids of this age range should also be able to help with some things in the kitchen, such as stirring or gathering ingredients. Outside, they can water plants, rake leaves and put them into bags, put away groceries, and take dirty dishes from the table and put them in the sink.
What Chores School-Aged Children Can Do
By first or second grade, kids should be comfortable with doing chores and possibly even on their way to being capable of doing even more in the house. That means there should be plenty of chores they can now do without supervision.
Six and Seven Year-Olds
Six and seven year olds should be able to make their own beds without help. Remember: it is okay if it isn’t perfect.
Here is a list of other tasks and chores kids at six and seven can handle:
- Vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and mopping
- Taking out the trash, with your help
- Folding and putting away laundry
- More food prep, with your help
- Cleaning up their room
- Cleaning up and organizing toys
- Getting dressed by themselves
- Setting the dinner table
- Feeding the pets, with help
- Cleaning windows
- Cleaning off countertops
Between the ages of 8-10, kids start to become more independent. They can choose their own clothes, help with laundry and dishes, and hopefully make their bed and clean their room each day. They may need reminders here and there, but they are more capable of handling tasks on their own.
Now you can add a few more chores, including cleaning their bathroom, filling and emptying the washer and dryer, watering plants, weeding the garden, and taking out the trash.
Chores For Pre-Teens
By the pre-teen stage, which is between 11 and 12 years old, kids should do many things on their own. For instance, they should be able to do their own laundry, keep their rooms clean, clean up after themselves in general.
Pre-teens can also do the following chores themselves:
- Dust wood furniture
- Vacuum and mop all rooms
- Change their bed sheets
- Do more yard work, such as pulling weeds or mowing the lawn
- Preparing simple family meals
- Cleaning windows and mirrors
- Doing the dishes without help
- Clean up after pets
Chores for Teens
When your child is a teenager, it’s time to start preparing them for adulthood. It’s best to teach them as many basic skills as possible before they reach 18, so that by the time they leave to go to college or move out on their own, they know how to take care of themselves and their spaces properly.
To do this, they need to be responsible for the chores they need to do every day.
Life skills are vital to learn in the teen years. For 13 year-olds, start introducing them to life skills, in addition to the chores they should already been doing.
Keep having them make their bed each morning, do the dishes, and continue working on their own laundry. They should also start doing some things they will need to do on their own as an adult, such as replacing the bag in the vacuum cleaner or emptying out the cannister, ironing their clothes, and mowing the lawn.
With supervision and guidance, they can also start doing things like changing light bulbs, painting walls, patching holes in drywall, etc. Learning how to use tools to maintain a home is a vital life skill to teach.
14 and 15 Year-Olds
Fourteen and fifteen year olds can complete almost any chore in the home without supervision. In fact, they should be completing many of the chores without needing to be told, especially since now they will want more privileges and freedom.
Kids at this age can prepare more elaborate meals by following recipes. They can learn how to make a grocery list based on the ingredients you need and accompany you to do the shopping. They can wash the car. They can clean out and organize the garage. They can learn how to hang pictures or mirrors on walls.
You want to teach life skills that help your teens take care of themselves.
16 and Up
By 16 or 17 years old, kids should be doing everything you are doing. This includes cleaning out the refrigerator, doing any housework or yard work, washing cars, making a grocery list and shopping on their own, planning meals, and deep cleaning around the house.
This is also a great age to start teaching your teens about financial budgeting since they will most likely start their first job at this age.
Chores for Kids
Want a free chore chart to help you get started? Get one in my Resource Library!
Continue to introduce new chores to your kids each week and add to the chore chart. By helping out at home, kids will learn to take care of their own places and spaces when they grow older. By the time your teens move out of the house, you can feel confident they know what they are doing and can handle life skills on their own.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below!