Chores That Kids Can Do

We all agree that kids should help around the house, but it can be difficult to know what exactly they should be doing.

Image from Cincinnati Family Magazine

Our kids aren’t as helpless as we think, or they sometimes act. In fact, we’re harming them by doing everything for them.

When determining what responsibilities your kiddo can handle, take into consider their age and personality. They aren’t always going to love doing their chores, but it helps when they are responsible for things they are somewhat interested in.

Image from Michigan State University

My daughter loves animals, crafting and helping. I also know my daughter has trouble focusing some times, and rushes through certain tasks as quickly as she can.. so we have given her chores that we can easily measure her progress and see that she has done a thorough job!

My 11-year old’s daily chores include:

• Feeding the family pets

• Cleaning the cat box

• Picking up dog poop

• Tidying up bedroom

That doesn’t go to say she doesn’t help me out with other things around the house if I have a full to-do list. Overall, she is learning how to work efficiently and effectively, which will help her in many other areas in life.

Pitching in around the house helps teach our kids the basics of cleaning, organizing, and even cooking. These are all things they’ll need to do for themselves one day!

A study from Michigan State University discussed various points supporting that kids who do chores at home and school are also learning a work ethic that is critical to their future success. Having to finish chores before playing teaches kids that they must honor their responsibilities in order to earn their free time. Kids who grow up doing chores at home learn the skills they need for success in college and their early careers, get along better with others, and are more self-sufficient adults. I called my mom to both apologize and thank her after writing this.

Chores That Kids Can Do By Age

As our kids grow older, they grow more capable, too. So, in addition to the chores listed under their age group, they should have mastered the tasks on the lists from earlier years.

Note: If you’re just starting to teach your child chores, begin with ones from an earlier age group and add more responsibilities as they become more confident and able.

Toddlers

• Put dirty towels in the hamper.

• Help make beds.

• Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the hamper.

• Pick up toys, books and games.

• Wipe smudges off of doors.

3 to 5 years Old

• Dust baseboards.

• Dust cold air returns.

• Dust mop the floor.

• Dust picture frames.

• Dust tables.

• Feed the pets.

• Empty the bathroom trash can.

• Clean their room with help.

• Strip bed linens.

• Shake out the Welcome Mat.

• Shake out the car’s floor mats.

• Basic food prep (wash produce, tear lettuce)

• Set the table.

• Fold towels.

• Sort and roll/fold socks.

• Stack magazines neatly.

• Straighten and fluff sofa pillows.

Image from Calroo

6 and 7 Year Olds

• Dust lampshades.

• Straighten book shelves.

• Sort the recycling.

• Vacuum edges of rooms with the crevice tool.

• Wash baseboards.

• Wash pet food bowls.

• Wipe bathroom sinks

• Use vacuum attachment under beds.

• Polish front door knob and kickplate.

• Help carry in groceries.

• Clean spills in the refrigerator.

• Clear the table after meals.

• Neatly stack food storage containers and their lids.

• Run the sweeper on the kitchen floor after dinner.

• Unload the dishwasher.

• Wipe appliance fronts

• Wipe cupboard fronts.

• Move clothes from washer to dryer.

• Help hang freshly-dried clothing.

• Sort laundry by colors.

• Pull weeds.

• Rake leaves.

Ages 8 and 9

• Help hang freshly-dried clothing.

• Sort laundry by colors.

• Collect garbage from every wastebasket in the house.

• Water house plants.

• Wipe down bathroom sinks and faucets.

• Clean tub/shower.

• Scrub grout.

• Clean their room on their own.

• Put clean sheets on beds.

• Get trash out of the car.

• Clean the microwave.

• Help cook meals (mix ingredients, cut vegetables, etc.)

• Help put away groceries.

• Put junk mail through the shredder.

• Take out the kitchen trash.

• Sweep front walkway.

• Pull weeds.

• Rake leaves.

• Clean smudges on the inside of windows.

• Sweep/vacuum dusty window screens.

• Vacuum entire rooms.

• Scrub toilets.

• Polish bathroom mirrors.

• Sweep garage.

• Sweep/hose off deck or patio.

• Wash patio/deck furniture.

• Make meals.

• Wash car.

Ages 14 and Up

• Wash windows.

• Clean any room in the house.

• Clean ceiling fans.

• Clean fridge.

• Clean oven.

• Iron clothes.

• Meal plan.

• Mow yard independently.

• Earn money babysitting.

Once you get a routine in place for your kiddos, it will become part of their every day experience. I hardly hear any grief from my daughter, and my toddler thinks helping is playing–so no complaints there!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope this helps you as much as it was therapeutic for me to write Xx

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