Age-Appropriate Chores For Children

Age-Appropriate Chores For Children

by Rachel Wells


“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do themselves that will make them successful human beings.” – Ann Landers


It’s so important to get children actively involved in helping around the home, and while chores can get a bad rap, having kids help with them can be incredibly beneficial for the whole family. Start by teaching your child small household tasks first, and then slowly add in more complicated chores over time. If your child starts doing simple chores when they’re young, there’s a good chance they will be able to manage most of what their parents can by the time they’re teenagers.


Research has shown that kids who do chores when they’re younger actually lead happier lives. On top of that, chores provide many other benefits for children including:

  • Improved confidence
  • Ability to handle essential life skills
  • Helping to ease the workload of parents
  • Creating a solid work ethic
  • Developing responsibility and independence
  • Building closeness as a family unit by contributing to running the household


It’s important to choose chores that are age appropriate for your child – and for younger children, stick to one chore a day. Show them how to do the chore first, and don’t expect the task to be completed as quickly, or as perfectly as you may do them yourself.  It’s all a part of the learning process! Keep in mind that you know your child best, and every child matures at a different pace, so don’t be afraid to adjust the chores you select for your kids accordingly.


Be sure to keep a positive attitude, set a good example, use positive reinforcement when needed, and don’t give in if your child starts to whine or complain about having to help around the house. Eventually they will know that chores are expected of them, and it will feel like a normal part of each day. And even if they whine about chores now, they will thank you later!


If you’re not sure how your child can help around the house, check out this list of appropriate chores for kids aged 2 – 18:



  • Picking up toys
  • Dusting furniture
  • Putting their laundry into a basket
  • Filling pet bowls with food
  • Wiping up spills
  • Bringing their plate and cup to the sink after meals



All the chores listed above as well as:

  • Choosing and laying out clothes for the next day
  • Making their bed
  • Helping put laundry into the washing machine
  • Folding towels
  • Watering plants


Early Elementary

All the chores listed above as well as:

  • Setting the table
  • Unpacking and putting away groceries
  • Cleaning their room
  • Folding laundry
  • Moping or vacuuming floors
  • Filling pets food and water bowls
  • Collecting garbage from around the house
  • Putting clean laundry away
  • Washing dishes
  • Getting the mail
  • Putting dishes in the dishwasher
  • Helping with meal prep


Upper Elementary

All the chores listed above as well as:

  • Washing the car
  • Chopping food
  • Cleaning bathroom sinks, mirrors, and counters
  • Taking garbage and recycling bins to the curb
  • Changing bedsheets
  • Packing their own lunch
  • Walking dogs


Middle School

All the chores listed above as well as:

  • Using the washer and dryer
  • Gardening and yard work
  • Watching younger children
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Shoveling snow


High School

All the chores listed above as well as:

  • Help with any chore you do!


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