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Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

It’s important to teach children to pitch in and help with the housekeeping at an early age. After all, they have to start learning responsibility sometime. But how do you know which chores young kids will be capable of handling? If only you had an age-appropriate chore list to consult... 

Good news. We made one for you! Use the following handy chart to assign chores for kids by age, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher or babysitter. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to keep children motivated and chores fun. 

Age 2 – 3

  • Pick up toys
  • Help set the table
  • Throw trash away when instructed
  • Place their clothes in a laundry basket
  • Wipe lower cabinet doors

Tip: Kids this age love playing make-believe, so think of ways to turn chores into fun imagination games. 

Age 4 – 5

  • Put toys and books away
  • Set and clear the table
  • Pick out clothes for the next day
  • Sweep small areas with a handheld broom
  • Fold washcloths

Tip: Children aged four to five can be overwhelmed by too many instructions. Be certain to only assign one task at a time and consider singing silly songs as you work. 

Age 6 – 7

Tip: Give six- and seven-year-olds plenty of recognition for how well they’re doing, as their sense of confidence starts to develop around this time. You can make chores more enjoyable buy turning them into games. 

Age 8 – 9

  • Help prepare meals with supervision
  • Dust and vacuum
  • Feed, brush and walk pets
  • Empty trash cans
  • Fold towels and put clothes away

Tip: Consider buying kids this age their own brightly colored child-friendly kitchen utensils. This will ramp up the fun factor and will also make them feel more independent. 

Age 10 – 12

Tip: This is a good time to start incentivizing kids. Set up a routine list of chores for kids by age, and reward them with a weekly allowance, extra screen time or a trip to get ice cream or see a movie. 

Age 13 and up

Tip: Rewards and incentives still work well. Make sure you continue to recognize the additional responsibilities kids are able to take on, so they know they’re appreciated. 

Keep in mind that there may be a little trial and error involved when it comes to chores for kids by age. Every child’s development is different, so give kids a new task if they have difficulty completing the original assignment. 

Also remember that when dealing with children and chores, there’s no such thing as too much praise. Let kids know you’re proud of their efforts. It will make them feel good and they’ll want to keep helping so they can get more positive feedback. 

Looking for more insights on children and chores? Check out our post on keeping the house clean with kids. And if you’re finding that life has you too busy to think about your own responsibilities — much less think about chores for children — contact your local Merry Maids! We’re happy to lend a hand so you can free up more time to do the things you love with the people you care for most.