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Inside: If you are looking for age-appropriate chores for kids, you’re in the right spot. Scroll down for a detailed chore list for kids by age.
Here’s the thing:
Having kids help out around the house is extremely beneficial in SO many ways.
Giving your children chores helps them feel wanted, learn crucial daily-life skills, and get used to — well — a not-so-lazy environment.
Recent studies suggest giving children chores from an early age helps them learn essential lessons of life — responsibility, self-reliance, and work ethic (just to name a few).
Children, no matter their age, are capable of handling much more than you might think.
Even tiny toddlers can help with light chores, and by the time they grow up into teenagers, they’ll be capable of managing most of what you do.
Can you give chores to a 5-year-old? What chores can an 8-year-old be in charge of? When can you give your kids more important things to do?
These are all excellent questions!
To better answer these questions, below is a useful chore list for kids divided by age group. (With some awesome free or paid chore charts to choose from.)
I bet you can’t wait to get started so you never have to step on a Lego again…
Me too. Let’s get to it!
Why Chores for Kids?
The key to creating tiny humans who LOVE to help out is to start the process at a young age and then slowly start introducing more complicated chores as they grow up.
Don’t worry if you’ve missed those golden toddler or preschooler years, you can STILL get your kiddo started on the chore train.
(You might want to gobble this article up: How to Create A Chore Chart That Actually Works)
As Lythcott Haims (Author: How to Raise an Adult) says, “By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their laundry — they realize ‘I have to do the work of life to be part of life. It’s not just about me and what I need at this moment.‘ If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them, and so they’re absolved of not only the work but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the whole.”
Below are oodles of age-appropriate chores for kids to select from.
So let’s get to raising some self-sufficient adults.
Chore List for Kids (Divided Into Age Groups)
Chores for Toddlers (Ages 2 to 3)
Toddlers love trying new things.
I can still remember when my young son thought cleaning the washroom was the most exciting thing ever.
Really mom, do I get to squirt this bottle all over the counter?
Take advantage of this while it lasts. (Because it won’t last long, trust me).
Toddlers love helping out. And even if they are more, well, how can I put this nicely, more of the worst tiny helper ever, it’s important to keep their eagerness alive.
I promise you, letting them help will be worth the extra effort.
Toddlers will always need help and supervision with their chores. Every little step of the way. Period.
Snag these 32 adorable routine cards today!
List of age-appropriate chores for toddlers:
- Pick up toys and books.
- Fill up food or water in the pet’s bowl.
- Take laundry to the laundry room.
- Help make the bed.
- Pile up or arrange books/magazines on shelves.
- Mop small areas.
- Help wipe up messes.
- Dust or wipe with socks on their hands.
Chores for Preschoolers (Ages 4 to 5)
One of my favorite things about preschoolers is that they still have the same cute desire to help out (like toddlers).
They are little copycats, and they adore individual time with adults.
And believe it or not, they can actually be helpful.
If you take the time to teach them, they’ll be pro helpers in no time flat.
By this age, there are a number of chores preschoolers can do without eagle-eye supervision.
Typically, these are chores that they started learning when they were toddlers. Like feeding the fish or wiping a counter.
Note: Be careful with feeding the fish. We’ve had more than one disastrous fishy bowl overflowing with fish food incidents, poor Buster, although he always pulls through (and this definitely creates a ton of extra chores for mom or dad).
The best way to turn these chores into daily healthy habits is through rewards.
In comes chore charts.
Kids love rewards! We go into detail on some awesome chore charts below, but if you can’t wait, you can grab our free chore chart printables here.
I like tying chores to an allowance. It fosters independence by allowing kids to choose their own rewards.
Below is a list of age-appropriate chores for preschoolers:
- Make their bed without any guidance.
- Carry light groceries in.
- Dust dirt off furniture and appliances.
- Assist an older sibling with setting the dining table.
- Take responsibility for feeding the pets on time.
- Match their own socks.
- Wash plastic dishes under supervision.
- Put away clean utensils or arrange them in drawers and blocks.
- Water flowers.
- Sort the laundry into colors and whites before wash
- Pull out weeds
Chores for Primary Schoolers (Ages 6 to 9)
When kids get to primary school age, they can naturally handle much more responsibilities with less supervision.
They can start doing more complex duties because they are getting older and they’ve learned the foundation to do so.
Don’t be discouraged if the enthusiasm your little one once displayed has diminished (or disappeared completely).
School-aged kids might even start “rebelling” against the idea of chores.
Don’t punish your child for this resistance. Resistance is completely normal. You just need to get a little creative!
In time, kids will learn that helping out around the house is not an option. It’s expected.
And, of course, some kids may never rebel against their chores (lucky you, sing your praises to the heavens above). It completely depends on their amazing little unique personalities.
Below are some age-appropriate chores for primary schoolers in addition to the chores mentioned above:
- Vacuum and mop.
- Empty indoor garbage into the kitchen trash and take out the garbage.
- Clean their bedrooms and make their bed with minimal supervision.
- Sweep the floors.
- Take the dog for a walk outside (with supervision).
- Help a parent prepare dinner for the family.
- Fold and put away the laundry
- Load or empty the dishwasher or drain.
Chores for Middle Schoolers (Ages 10 to 13)
Middle schoolers (also called preteens) can do many tasks independently and be held responsible without you having to nag over and over.
I have one word of advice for you:
Let your middle schooler know your expectations.
If you throw a ton of unexpected stuff on them, get ready for the next major volcanic explosion.
Again a chore system is an excellent idea here. Kids can be held accountable, know what is expected of them, and hopefully, you won’t have to hover over their shoulders.
Let your child have control over creating and changing their responsibilities. And I’d also suggest rewards for successful completion and light negative consequences for unsuccessful completion (to keep everyone accountable).
Below are age-appropriate chores for Primary Schoolers:
- Help wash the car.
- Clean the bathroom.
- Wash the dishes and load the dishwasher without any assistance.
- Babysit younger kids in the house with parents at home.
- Operate the washer and dryer.
- Prepare easy meals without help.
- Take the trash out to the bins.
Chores for Teenagers (Ages 14+)
By this age, most teenagers can do nearly any household task you ask of them. Woohoo!
Enjoy this time.
One thing to consider is teens’ restricted schedules, as they can find themselves struggling to maintain an overflowing workload.
This is the perfect age to ensure your child is prepared for when they will start living on their own in the coming years (which come surprisingly soon, sniff sniff).
Below are age-appropriate chores for teenagers:
- Do their own (or all the family’s) laundry.
- Help clean the kitchen more deeply (appliances, cabinets, and drawers).
- Mow the lawn.
- Prepare grocery lists and prepare meals.
- Wash windows and clean furniture.
- Empty the fridge and clean it.
- Babysit younger siblings without any supervision for short periods.
- Iron clothes.
- Care for pets independently, including taking them for walks.
- Clean the toilet, sink, shower, and bathroom.
- Accomplish tiny shopping trips alone.
I hope you find this giant chore list for kids helpful; below, we have some free chore chart printables and tips.
Chore Chart for Kids
When it comes to having a chore chart for kids, consistency and fun is very important.
If you are creative, then use your imagination to make it shine.
But if you aren’t the chore chart-creating type, there are so many options for you to choose from.
All chore charts start with a basic list of chores, and you put them on the chart, and the child can tick off using fun stickers, markers, or others when they have completed the chart.
They know what’s expected of them, and anything visual is a bonus for young kids.
Snag this free chore chart bundle here!
Motivating your child to do their chores is important. Whether you use money, privileges, or other.
Later, they will just start to realize how good it feels to accomplish tasks, and it will become a feel-good intrinsic exercise.
But for now, pick a reward system that works for your family.
Premium Chore Chart for Kids
If you love chore charts as much as I do, you might want to check out our printable premium chore chart for kids.
This customizable set comes complete with 42 task cards, a daily and weekly chart option, and the age-appropriate chore poster shown above. You can get this bundle here, or it’s also part of our GIANT Happy Calm Confident Kids Bundle here.
Include kids in the creation of your chore chart
Definitely use free or paid printable age-appropriate chore charts or ideas for young children, but you should also ensure they feel like they have some control in picking the chores or setting responsibilities.
For younger kids, this may involve painting, drawing, or using stickers.
(Our premium chart uses stickers so kids can sticker that you can add velcro to for easy take on and off.)
It is also an excellent idea to encourage your kiddos to use colors, shapes, and even design parts of the chart themselves. By being directly involved in the creation, they will enjoy doing their chores more.
I would also suggest putting your chore chart in a room where you want them to do their chores, like the kitchen or bedroom.
Younger kids can feel special by having their chores listed in a particular color, like red or blue. This way, they will have a sense of belonging and a sense of what they need to accomplish to keep their room looking neat and clean.
And, of course, for older kids, make sure your chore chart isn’t too babyish.
Final thoughts on Chore List for Kids
Make sure you understand that children mature at their own speed, and not every kid will be capable of advanced or complex tasks at the same age.
On the other hand, some children may even be ready for complicated chores at a younger age, and it varies from child to child.
Just supervise and use your judgment based on your child’s needs and abilities.
It’s unnecessary to wait until a certain age to advance kids through more challenging chores once they have adequately mastered the basic ones.
I hope you find this chore list for kids helpful and love using the fun and free chore charts!
I’d love to hear your thoughts below! And don’t forget to snag our free chore chart.