A question from Nikki.
Can you write posts about each age – what you have them do total? I am not naturally organized, so this would help me implement gradually.
I think it has more to do with ability than age. I’ve had some children who were ready to use the stove at eight or nine and others who I’ve felt needed more time to mature. Only you know what your child is capable of doing when it comes to chores.
Remember to keep in mind your child’s age, ability, and maturity when assigning jobs around the house. Also, young children need supervision while doing their chores for two reasons. First, you want to make sure they are learning the correct way to clean and second you want to make sure they are not doing anything that could harm them or the house.
Finally don’t mistake laziness for inability. I’ve found that the earlier you give your child ownership of chores the more they can do at a younger age. Most children are very capable you just need to motivate them.
I’m sharing with your our family’s chore list. Just because the two year old can do the chores on the list doesn’t mean she does all the chores on the list. I use the list as a guide when it comes time for chores. Each child does two or three chores each depending on the size of the job.
Toddler (ages 2 and 3)
- Pick up/ put away toys
- Unload the dishwasher (silverware, plastic cups, tupperware)
- Dust with a feather duster or microfiber rag
- Swiffer the floor
- Put clothes in the dirty clothes hamper
- Collect dirty clothes
- Help get clothes from washer to dryer
- Put clothes away
- Make bed
- Wipe cabinets
- Wipe baseboards (soapy water)
Preschooler (ages 4-5)
- Any toddler chores
- Load the dishwasher
- Vacuum couch/ chairs/ cushions
- Take out recycling
- Set table
- Clear table
- Wash dishes (with supervision)
- Clean windows
- Wipe out bathroom sinks
- Match socks
- Fold dish towels
Early Elementary (ages 6-8)
- Any toddler and preschool chores
- Meal prep (wash produce, find ingredients, simple cutting)
- Wipe bathroom sinks, counters, toilets
- Hang out laundry
- Collect garbage
- Get mail
- Fold/hang laundry
- Clean microwave
- Rake leaves
- Make simple meals
- Any previous chores
- Take garbage/ recycling to the curb
- Wash/ dry clothes
- Clean toilets
- Mop floors
Middle School (12-14)
- Clean tub/ shower
- Make full meals/ meal plan
- Clean out fridge/ freezer
- Mow yard
- Supervise younger children’s chores
High School (15-18)
By the time my children reach high school age I expect them to have the ability to do almost everything around the house. While they don’t do everything I know they are capable in all areas of home management.
When a child becomes proficient at a chore it is time to give the chore to a younger child. I take the lowest common denominator approach to chores in our house. This means the youngest child who is able to do the chore gets the job. When the child is learning their chores they are supervised by a sibling or a parent.
While our family isn’t perfect when it comes to chores my kids are all encouraged to work together to keep the house clean and organized.
The only thing I would change in our family is starting chores when my kids were younger. When I only had two young children it was easier to just do it all myself. Not anymore. Having kids that can help around the house keeps the house cleaner and gives everyone more time for fun activities.
Download the free Age Appropriate Chores for Kids printable here.
Another awesome resource that you might want to check out is the free online chore chart from My Job Chart! It helps motivate your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!