Home Improvement and Repairs

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

Toddlers as young as 2-years-old are capable of helping out around the house, and providing age-appropriate chores can teach so much in the long run.

Chores are an essential aspect of childhood. Cleaning your room, helping with the dishes, or walking the family dog all shape you into the responsible adult you are meant to be down the line. Still, finding age-appropriate chores can be difficult for many parents. Thus, parents often give up altogether, and children fail to learn the responsibility that comes with completing chores.

Children are capable of handling much more than many people think. Not so long ago, childhood was not the social construct that it is today, and children were expected to work and help provide for their families. Labor laws, governments, and childhood activists changed the rules, and today the employment of children is not allowed in most countries.

While you cannot send your kids off to the factory to produce a paycheck, you can instill them with the tools they need to succeed in life. Toddlers as young as 2-years-old are capable of helping out around the house, and providing age-appropriate chores can teach so much in the long run.

Choosing age-appropriate chores for children:

Each child will have different capabilities, but your child is sure to be able to handle at least a few household chores independently. Consider your children’s skills, abilities, and life stage, and start looking for ways to help out around the house. Each age will have a unique set of capabilities, and each will effectively complete various tasks. While you will need to supervise younger children as they complete chores, they will gain independence and build responsibility with time.

Below are some age-appropriate chores that your children can complete at various ages. Use this is as a guide and create a set of tasks that work best for your family. 

Toddlers (Ages 2-3)

Toddlers as young as 2-years-old can be taught the value of hard work and the expectations that come with it. At this age, kids can understand basic directions and quickly help with short, simplified chores around the house.  

Toddlers will require supervision, but they can;

  • Clean up toys
  • Fill pet food bowls
  • Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the hamper
  • Help parents dust
  • Wipe down baseboards
  • Put books back on a bookshelf or stack them in a pile for parents to put away
  • Help parents make beds and put clothes away
  • Wipe or mop small areas of the floor

Preschoolers (Ages 4-6)

Preschoolers are always willing to help their parents. At this age, helping mom make dinner or do the dishes is fun. Preschool children learn from mimicking adults, and there is no better way to teach valuable life skills than through household chores.

While preschoolers will still require supervision, they are easily able to:

  • Make their bed
  • Clear the table
  • Pull weeds or help in the garden
  • Use a small handheld vacuum to clean up crumbs
  • Put away utensils that have been washed and dried
  • Assist in setting the table
  • Help parents carry in groceries or other objects after shopping
  • Help to sort dirty laundry
  • Dust
  • Care for pets by providing food and water

Primary Aged Children (Ages 6-9)

Children in primary school have learned about responsibility within the classroom. They can do more tasks independently and require less supervision. However, they still have short attention spans, so chores should remain quick and straightforward to complete.

Primary aged children can:

  • Sweep and mop
  • Help make school lunches
  • Rake leaves
  • Clean their bedroom on their own
  • Put away groceries and dishes
  • Set the table
  • Vacuum
  • Load the dishwasher or wash simple dishes
  • Help with dinner
  • Make their breakfast or lunch
  • Take out the trash
  • Put away laundry
  • Walk the family dog

Middle School Kids (Ages 10-13)

Preteens can do various tasks independently and should be expected to help with younger siblings and household chores. Nourishing responsibility is vital at this age, and household duties will help to encourage positive behaviors down the line.

Preteens can:

  • Wash dishes and load/unload the dishwasher without supervision
  • Wash the car
  • Prepare easy meals
  • Use the washer and dryer
  • Take out the trash and take the bins to the roadside
  • Babysit younger children for short periods)

High School Kids (Ages 14+)

By the time your children are in high school, they should be able to handle an array of household duties independently. They are on their way to adulthood and should be allowed added responsibility in the home.  

Along with the chores listed above, high school children can:

  • Clean out the fridge
  • Deep clean kitchens and bathrooms
  • Babysit younger children for more extended periods
  • Care for pets independently
  • Make more complex meals and use the stove
  • Manage small shopping trips independently
  • Iron wrinkled clothing
  • Sew on a button
  • Help with simple home and auto repairs

 Children are capable and usually willing to help out around the house. Kids can handle much more than many people believe and should be given responsibilities from as young as 2 years old.

Household chores offer parents the chance to teach their children valuable lessons while lightening their own load around the home. Consider what your children are capable of and create a list of chores for your kids today.   

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