Technology & Innovation

Age-Appropriate Chores for Pre-teens

Chores should prepare a child for adult living, as well as making them more responsible, well-rounded people.

Chores help your children learn about self-reliance and responsibility. When you decide to give your child a task to help out around the home, you’re teaching them respect for their living space. Household chores place value in taking care of their environment, themselves, and others. 

An age-appropriate chore will be more successful than a chore that is too big or complicated for a child. Success can make a child feel more accomplished and gratified, so if they can’t effortlessly complete a chore, they might be more inclined to skip it.  


Pre-teen is a term usually given to a child between the ages of 10-13. The name refers to the stage just before adolescence, also known as preadolescence. A child stops being a pre-teen when they begin to go through puberty.  


Pre-teens are capable of much more than some parents give them credit for. Preadolescence is the stage when pre-teens can take care of certain chores that will begin to prepare them for adult living. 

While they don’t need overly complicated chores, like cooking a five-course meal, a simple task that you will expand upon in the future can teach them the beginnings of adult life. For instance, if you have a garden, you can get your pre-teen to water your plants for a few years before you teach them further plant care.

Why Chores are Good for Pre-teens

Chores will give pre-teens more structure that will then set them up for a routine. Routines are especially valuable for teenagers so they can learn to deal with responsibility and learn how to take care of themselves. Chores for pre-teens will begin to set your child up for learning to be responsible, and they will more easily take to bigger chores and living alone as they age and eventually move out.

Chore Ideas for Pre-teens

  • Cooking
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Pet care
  • Car care


Learning how to make simple meals will not only teach your child valuable life skills, it can also give you a break from cooking. They don’t have to prepare anything extravagant, and if they’ve helped out in the kitchen before, it’ll be easy to teach them a meal they can handle on their own.

Teaching them to cook is also an optimal time to teach them about kitchen safety. Pre-teens are old enough to learn how to safely use a knife, a stovetop, or a barbecue. Knowing how to properly use these tools will give them confidence and ensure fewer accidents in the future.

Bathroom Cleaning

By this age, your child should already be doing some household cleanup chores like sweeping or dishes. Cleaning the bathroom is an important skill to learn, particularly for hygiene purposes. 

Many teenagers refuse to clean bathrooms because it is “disgusting”. Pre-teens might feel the same way, but they will be more open to the idea that their actions are what make it disgusting, therefore their actions can also keep it clean. 

At this age, they are old enough for the responsibility of cleaning up after themselves.


Laundry can be quite a simple task, especially if all you have to do is load the washer and push a button. Like anyone, pre-teens are very capable of doing the laundry. All they need is to be clear on all the steps.

Often, laundry is thought to be too difficult for kids and something they should learn only when they’re about to leave for college. But laundry is a fundamental part of living, and the earlier your children learn how to do it, the better. 

Especially for pre-teens, who are about to experience puberty, laundry is a fundamental part of their hygiene. If they know how and when to keep their clothes clean, they will be more prepared to look and smell fresh for the rest of their lives.  

Mowing the Lawn

Learning about lawn or garden care can set your child up for caring for their own yard in later life. Mowing the lawn can be hard work, sometimes harder than other chores. This labor helps to give your pre-teen a work ethic so they can keep up a task to completion, even if they get tired.

Mowing the lawn will also give your child an appreciation for the outdoors and give them immediate gratification over a job well done.

Pet Care

Looking after a pet is a clever way for pre-teens to learn responsibility and caring for others. Particularly with pets, a child can learn to put another creature’s needs before their own. Small pets like rats, birds, and guinea pigs don’t require as much attention as a dog might but still need routines easily provided by pre-teens. 

Cleaning cages and changing water and food are simple tasks that are necessary for pet care. They help develop responsibility in children and don’t take much time or effort. Pet care can also build bonds between a child and their pet. Pets can provide emotional support to your child when they’re going through a difficult time.

Car Care

Simple car tasks like cleaning out the car with a vacuum or changing the oil are a great base to have when you want to teach your child car care. As your child grows and begins to drive, knowing how to care for their car will make them a more responsible driver and car owner.


Pre-teens are at the age where they can handle more complicated tasks. The best tasks for a pre-teen are precursors to bigger chores, such as preparing simple meals to more complicated meals. Chores should prepare a child for adult living, as well as making them more responsible, well-rounded people.


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