You may think that your young children can’t help with chores and wonder when it is appropriate to learn new tasks. Doing chores at all ages help kids learn responsibility and helps you out around the house. When determining the right task for your child, you will want to take age and maturity level into consideration.
When you choose appropriate chores with a doable timeline, you set them up for success. The complexity of the duties will vary depending on their age. Here is how to assign appropriate chores by age for your kiddos.
Why Chores are Important
When you involve kids with chores, it does more than get the house clean. Children who have chores are shown to have higher self-esteem, are more responsible and deal with frustration better than children who don’t have chores.
Chores with children are not about perfection. They are meant to be a more relaxed learning experience. They are learning new skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. Even if you think your child is too young, they are more than capable of starting to learn small things, even at a young age.
Ages 2 and 3
When you have toddlers, they always want to help with something. Although their help might not necessarily be helpful, you will want to keep that spirit alive. Even if you take the lead with their chores keeping the love of helping alive is worth it. Many young children love seeing a visual reminder of success, so stickers or star charts are a great way to remind them how well they are doing. Most of the chores at this age will require you to help, but it is excellent to create a positive habit for them. Some examples of what they can get involved with look like this.
- Picking up toys
- Putting dirty laundry in the basket
- Help clean up messes
- Dusting with socks
- Help make their bed
- Feed pets
Ages 4 and 5
Once your child is in pre-school, their eagerness to help may fade, but it is not entirely gone. They still enjoy time with adults, which makes it a perfect opportunity to introduce a couple of new chores. Usually, they are ready to start doing chores that don’t require you to get involved as much as before. Keep your same reward system going since they still enjoy seeing their progress. You can build up to bigger rewards by allowing them to choose what they want after trying chores. These chores can look like this:
- Setting the table
- Put away groceries
- Sorting laundry
- Watering plants
- Pulling weeds
- Make their bed alone
Ages 6 to 8
These ages may be when assigning chores becomes more difficult since their passion for helping start to fade. At this age, they begin to become more independent since they are doing things like school on their own. Children can start to do more significant tasks like mopping or sweeping the floors. If you are still worried about harsh cleaning supplies, you can use herbal teas or dish soap to dilute it and get a beautiful-smelling home that is extra clean.
This is the best time to assign tasks that allow them to do it independently and create a chart to let them keep track of it on their own. Recognizing completed chores and keeping them organized will motivate the children to keep up the excellent work. These are some chores they can take on.
- Raking leaves
- Folding and putting away laundry
- Make their snacks
- Take out the trash
- Sweeping or mopping the floors
Ages 9 to 12
Kids like to have a schedule with clear expectations and goals at this age. They prefer to avoid having new things thrown at them that are already in their plans for the day. For the most success, you will want a set system for them to follow to get smooth results. This goes for the whole family since having a set system helps everyone have clear goals.
Your rewards system will look different now that they are older. You will want to implement rewards but also negative consequences. If you have expectations and have laid them out in advance, they should be understood and taken care of accordingly.
- Help wash the car
- Make simple meals
- Cleaning bathroom
- Learn to wash dishes
- Load dishwasher
- Walk the dog
Ages 13 to 18
By the time your child is a teenager, they should be able to take on just about any chore in the home. You will want to ensure you teach them how to properly complete the tasks they are doing before assigning them and assuming they know how to do them. You don’t want to think they know how to clean your new air fryer and it gets ruined. Take the time to teach them how to do tasks before throwing them into it.
Teens have busy lives dealing with school, extracurriculars and work. They can get just as overwhelmed as you if they struggle to manage a busy schedule. Make sure you know their schedules and adjust chores to school work and other activities.
- Clean kitchen appliances
- Mow the lawn
- Preparing meals
- Ironing clothes
Get Your Chore List Started
The earlier you get your children into chores, the better. By the time they are grown into adults, they will have built qualities such as responsibility that everyone should have. There is no better time than now to get the chores started.