As parents, we all want our children to learn the skills they’ll need. We also want to teach them to help out around the house and be responsible for their belongings! It can be tough to know what to have them do, and when. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of age-appropriate chores for children!
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This list covers toddlers to upper elementary students. Preteens and teens are in another post, though! Both lists let you know what to expect and how to help, as well as when to step back and let them learn.
There’s also a free downloadable checklist at the end to help you out. Be sure to grab it!
Chores For Younger Children
When your child reaches about 2 or 3 years old, they are usually old enough to do some smaller chores. This is a good age to get started so they can begin learning personal responsibility.
Keep in mind that they won’t be able to do everything themselves, but it is a great age to have them help you with things. This is a good way to start teaching your children to help others as well as to take care of their belongings.
Chores for Two and Three Year-Olds
You can have your younger children start helping to pick up their toys and blocks when they’re done playing and start helping 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.
Having a specific place, like a toybox or stuffed animal “hammock,” is a good way to help your children form a routine. It also helps to have a system that makes sense to them – we sometimes forget that what makes sense to us isn’t as meaningful to a preschooler!
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Kids at this age should also be able to help with spills, feed the pets with your supervision, and put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
Chores for Four and Five Year-Olds
When they get a little older, they can start doing more things on their own. This includes doing more of making the bed, being responsible for picking up things in the living room and bedroom, and getting dressed on their own.
Children of this age should also be able to help with some things in the kitchen, such as stirring or putting dishes in the dishwasher. They can help outdoors by watering plants, raking leaves and putting them into bags, putting away groceries, and taking dirty dishes from the table and putting them in the sink.
It might sound odd, but having “play” versions of things like groceries, lawn tools, or a broom or mop can help your children become excited about helping out!
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Chores for Elementary Children
By the time your child reaches first or second grade, they should already be comfortable with doing chores and on their way to being capable of doing even more around the house. This includes chores they have already started doing, but now can do without supervision.
Chores for Six and Seven Year-Olds
Your children should now be able to make their own beds without supervision. It is okay if it isn’t perfect, but this is a good age to stop helping them. Here is a list of other tasks and chores kids at this age can handle:
- Writing thank-you notes
- Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping
- Taking out the trash, with your supervision
- Folding and putting away laundry
- More food prep, with your supervision
- Cleaning up their room
Starting around this age, a lot of kids enjoy using a chore chart. There are a lot of fun, kid-friendly versions to choose from!
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Chores for Ages 8-10
This is a great age because your kid is starting to become more independent. They are choosing their own clothes, helping with laundry and dishes, and hopefully making their bed and cleaning their room each day.
You can also add a few more chores, including preparing easy meals completely on their own, washing the car, and cleaning their bathroom.
By the way, if you’re looking for an easy but effective way to teach these skills (and much more), check out Skill Trek! It’s a fun life skills curriculum for early elementary through high school, and it’s easy to work into daily life.
There are levels and products available for just about every age, interest level, and budget!
I hope this helps you in setting chores and expectations for your child, as well as in teaching them age-appropriate skills at each level. Be sure to pick up my printable chore list to keep as a reminder. By doing so, you’ll also get occasional emails from me with helpful info, money-saving tips and recipes, and fun new ideas!