I’m a big believer in chores for kids. Chores teach children responsibility, stewardship and life skills. Chores help to show value—how we value our home, our clothes, our food, our property. And of course, as adults, we hope that chores help our children grow into responsible, self-sufficient adults.
That said, I am by no means a neat freak or a clean freak. But I do enjoy a tidy home, which is an ambitious undertaking considering six people live in it. That basically means that about an hour after I get it nice and tidy, we have to truly live in the home again—so much of that newfound neatness flies out the window. BUT, my kids are chipping in more and more as they get older so that the burden of chores is spread out instead of falling entirely on Mama.
Oftentimes, we assign our kids chores because we are trying to get the house back in working order and a family of six can really throw kink into any ideas of orderliness. Other times, we assign our kids chores because we get tired of the fighting or being stuck inside (winter or rainy days) and need to give them a distraction.
So I thought I’d share a list of chores that my kids perform, broken down by age group. I will not claim that they do a specific chore such as clean the bathroom every single week. But they have done all of these chores at some point—some (such as vacuuming) more than others.
Chores for Kids by Age
Chores for Ages 2-3
Even young kids can help with chores. Of course, it’s much faster for parents to complete chores for toddlers, but unfortunately that doesn’t teach them much. The earlier your children learn to help around the house, the easier it will be as they get older. Many toddlers love to help out and copycat their parents, so they are at the perfect age to begin basic chores. Here’s a short list of chores that kids ages 2-3 can complete. Some toddlers will even be able to begin helping with these tasks before they turn two years old.
- Pick up toys and books
- Clear dishes
- Put dirty clothes in hamper
- Help clean up food and liquid spills
- Help water indoor and/or outdoor plants
Chores for Ages 4-6
Once kids hit four years old, they are coordinated enough to start more advanced chores. Sometimes, my kids beg to help with chores such as setting the table or prepping meals. I love that they want to help me and learn in the process. Other times, my kids don’t think of certain tasks as chores because they are so much fun—car washing, watering plants, picking up (aka throwing) rocks and sticks out of yard. But of course, they are still kids, so for some chores we have to set a plan. Once we finish our chores (such as vacuuming or laundry) THEN we can move on to something more fun such as go to the park.
- All chores listed above
- Use the handheld vacuum
- Clean windows
- Set the table
- Help wash the car
- Take the recycling bin to and from the curb weekly
- Laundry: sort socks and underwear, fold wash clothes and hand towels
- Help prep meals (salad toppings, sprinkling spices, stirring)
- Scrub carpet spots
- Put up clean silverware
- Help put away clean clothes
- Clean out their specific area of the family car
- Help pick up rocks or sticks before mowing
Chores for Ages 7+
My oldest child is 7 years old and it’s clear that he can handle the next level of chores. Not only is he plenty coordinated at this age, but his reasoning has taken root. This means that when he’s using a household cleaner, he will be careful not to touch his eyes during the process. Or if he’s helping to brown meat on the stovetop, he’ll be careful not to burn himself. Self-preservation is very apparent at 7 years old—though I can’t claim this is true for my 5 year old yet.
- All chores listed above
- Take the large trash bin to and from the curb weekly
- Clean bathroom (with non-toxic cleaners)
- Help fold clothes
- Help change sheets and pillowcases
- Help cook (brown meat, saute veggies)
- Rake leaves
- Use leaf blower
Overall, chores are a great learning tool for kids that teach responsibility and value. Chores are a great way to guide children to becoming productive adults by introducing them to work and stewardship early on.
What are your go-to kids’ chores?