Kids (4-12)

Chores: Age-Appropriate Chores


“It’s just easier to do it myself.”

Have you ever caught yourself saying this, mom? I know I have. When the house is a wreck and you know the little ones will never do it right—you assume the role of the martyr and just keep cleaning. But what’s the long-term cost of this strategy?

Refusing to give your children more responsibility is a bad idea on two fronts: it deprives them of practical skills they need and the pride of a job well-done, and it forces you to do more than any one person can or should. Sure, the towels may not be folded in perfect 90-degree angles, but the pay-off for everyone far outweighs the imperfections. So consider how to get your children to be more helpful around the house with these age-appropriate chore ideas. 

2 years:

Getting diaper for self or new baby
Picking up small items from floor
Putting away toys

3 years:

Pouring measured items into mixing bowl
Help weed the yard

4 years:

Help with dusting
Sorting recyclables
Put clothes away in their room
Fold napkins for dinner

5 years:

Dusting lower shelves
Emptying small trash cans
Helping set table
Making bed
Setting table
Feeding pets
General straightening of rooms

6 years:

Unload dishwasher
Feeding baby
Clearing table
Weed on their own
General folding laundry

7 years:

Vacuuming
Loading dishwasher
Sweeping floor
Unload groceries

8 years:

Washing pans
Cleaning bathrooms
Beginning cooking skills
Sewing buttons
Reading to younger siblings
Cleaning baseboards
Water the plants

9–10 years:

Changing baby’s diapers
Washing car
Cleaning windows
Yard work—raking, planting
Taking out trash

11–12 years:

Yard work—mowing
Babysitting for short periods
Laundry

13–14 years:

Babysitting
Yard work—edging, trimming
Cooking on their own
Household maintenance—painting, repairs

At this age, the child should be able to learn any housekeeping skill, as long as you are willing to teach him. Certain skills, such as ironing, mowing lawn, and babysitting for siblings depend on maturity level and/or family circumstances. Parents know best.

 

Related Resource: Life Skills: Teaching the Excellence Edge

Used with permission of Barbara Curtis.









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