This post, “Chores for kids” is a guide to parents on how to assign age-appropriate tasks to their kids.
Kids doing chores is a tradition in many homes, it helps kids learn responsibility and it also gives you some help around the house.
You don’t have to worry if your kids will like house chores or agree to work around the house, we will give you tips on how to make chores for kids fun and less of a chore for everyone.
We all need to feel needed and to know that we are making a contribution and this applies to kids too. It is human nature.
However, kids can’t feel this way if you don’t give them chores and make them contribute to the family. Children have to have some responsibilities.
The Importance of Chores For Kids
- It will teach them responsibility from a young age.
- They will learn how to do things for themselves thereby being independent
- They will take better care of themselves and their homes when they become adults
- Chores for kids will make them feel good about themselves by allowing them to contribute to family life.
How To Make Chores For Kids Interesting
Don’t insist they must do things perfectly
No one is perfect thereby you should have a more relaxed approach when expecting your kids to do house chores.
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If you want them to do things perfectly, you might end up struggling with them and they will detest doing house chores because it will always point them to their imperfections.
If you always want them to be perfect, and never praise them for their efforts, they will avoid house chores or you may do it for them instead and this will undermine the whole point.
One mistake a lot of parents do is that they think that their kids are too young to do house chores. But your kid may be more capable than you think.
Kids can do a lot of chores at an early age, even as young as 2 years of age. They can clean up after dinner, put their toys away, or get clothes to the laundry.
Don’t hold on for too long thinking that they have to be ready first, this will put the cart before the horse. Kids learn by doing.
Praise their efforts often
Don’t be stingy with praise, kids love praise, it encourages them to do more.
Always give them praise for their efforts right away. Don’t even wait until the chore is done, praise them while they are still working.
This will encourage your child to do better even while the work is still in progress. It is important to build positive momentum in young children most especially.
Inconsistency can make kids nonchalant.
If you don’t expect your kids to follow through, they will start putting off chores hoping that someone else will do it for them.
How To Assign Chores For Kids
The first step to assigning chores for your kids is to make a list of every job in your home that keeps your family going. Then have your kids pick out the chores they will like to do, and then you create a chart for them.
You have to ensure that everyone has an age-appropriate chore.
After that, divide the chart into three columns: the first column is for the list of chores and who it is assigned to, the second column is for deadlines, while the last column is for putting a checkmark when the chore is done.
Place the chart where everyone can see it, this will help them do their work on their own.
Another way to make things easier is to have two chore charts for kids. One should be for daily household chores while the other will be for weekly household chores.
When listing out chores or instructions on the chore chart, be specific. Instead of saying “clean your room”, write it in a more specific way, or else your kids will interpret it in any way they choose.
Instead write this: “put your books on the shelf, toys in the toy box, dishes in the kitchen, and clothes in the closet”.
Also, show your kids how to do these chores step by step. Then, when you are sure that they’ve seen it, you let them help you do it.
Allow them to do it as you supervise them and once they’ve mastered this, you can let them go solo.
Another tip to help you manage your chores for kids is to go easy with the deadlines and reminders.
You can make use of the “when/then” technique when you want the chores to get done instead of micromanaging them. For instance, you can tell your kids “when you feed the pets, then you can have your dinner”.
Should We Give Kids Allowance For Chores?
Well, this is a controversial topic. Some parents are in support of this while others aren’t.
Also, most parenting experts don’t buy the idea of giving kids money for chores. And we also buy into this idea.
Chores for kids are about responsibilities and teaching kids how to do household chores which will help them when they live on their own as adults.
Chores for kids are not about earning money. Yes, we believe kids should learn how to handle and manage money but not by doing what they are supposed to do anyway.
If kids want to earn money, they can engage in craft making and selling. They don’t even need a shop, they can sell their crafts online, on platforms like Etsy and other online marketplaces, and make money.
However, there is an exception when it comes to allowance for chores and this applies to older kids who already know how to be responsible.
You can use the money to motivate them to do extra chores above and beyond their usual tasks. You can allow them to bid on those extra chores and then you pick the lowest bid.
Chores For Kids By Age
When assigning chores, it is important to ensure it is age-appropriate. Don’t give a 2-year-old a chore that a 10-year-old can do and also, don’t underrate your kids, they can do more than you think.
For instance, a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily use the dishwasher.
Also, don’t leave preschoolers out of your chore lists, remember to have them start young. They can handle one or two simple jobs which shouldn’t be more than 2 steps.
Older kids can handle more chores. Below is a guide on age-appropriate chores for kids.
Chores for Kids Aged 2 to 3
1. Put toys away
Little kids this age can put away their toys after playing with them. Put the toy box in a place they can easily have access to and teach them how to arrange their toys in the box when done.
After much practice, they will do this on their own and the house will be neater.
2. Fill pet’s food dish
Little kids love pets, so they will definitely love this task. Your job here is to prepare the pet’s food and dish it into a bowl. Then give your little one to go and put it in the pet’s dish.
They will appreciate this task and look forward to it daily.
3. Put clothes in hamper
This is one of the easiest tasks a 2 or 3-year-old can do. Put the hamper or basket in an accessible location and teach them how to put clothes in them.
4. Wipe up spills
This is also a very easy task for very young kids. Put the kitchen towels or chamois cloth in an accessible and kid-safe location, whenever there is a spill, teach your kid how to clean them, and over time, they will get use to doing this on their own.
You can teach your 2 or 3 year old how to dust the furniture and other surfaces in the home.
6. Pile books and magazines
This should be done under parental supervision so that kids don’t tear the books.
Teach them how to arrange books according to size or how to arrange them.
Chores For Kids Aged 4 to 5
Kids in this age group can do any of the above chores followed by the ones below:
7. Make their beds
It is important to teach kids this skill early enough. Kids as young as 4 or 5 can make their own beds, and even yours, if you ask them to.
Show them how to do this first, then allow them to do it while you watch them. With time, they will be able to do this on their own without supervision.
8. Empty wastebaskets
They can throw out and empty the waste baskets at home, teach them how to do this in a neat way and also train them to wash their hands after doing this.
9. Bring in newspaper or mail
Kids this age can be bestowed with the responsibility of checking the mailbox daily and bringing in the content they find there, be it mail or newspapers.
10. Clear table
Kids this age can clear their tables after meals, they can also clear that of their parents. Teach them to also clean the table after each meal.
11. Pull out weeds
Children like playing in sand, they love playing with plants, so why not use this as an opportunity to teach them about gardening?
If you have a garden, you can teach them how to identify the main plant and weeds and have them pull the weeds out. This is better than using harmful and dangerous chemicals that affect one’s health and the environment.
12. Use hand-held vacuum
You can teach your kids in this age group how to use a hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs from the floor.
Show them how to do this before giving them the device.
13. Water flowers
Kids this age can help look after a garden. If you have one, they can help with the weeding and also help you water the flowers.
14. Unload the dishwasher
Kids this age can safely unload the dishwasher. This is also a way of preparing them on how to use the dishwasher when they get older.
15. Wash plastic dishes at the sink
Yes, you can allow your little one to wash plastic plates and cups at the sink. Please don’t give kids this age knives and other dangerous utensils to wash.
If your kid is too short to reach the kitchen sink, you can use a learning tower.
16. Fix a bowl of cereal
Your kid this age can fix themselves their favorite bowl of breakfast cereal. Show them how to do this, the quantities of milk, water, and cereal they are to use and watch them do this.
Then later, you can allow them to make their breakfast cereal unsupervised while you do other things.
Chores For Kids Aged 6 To 7
Kids in this age group can do any of the above chores followed by these:
17. Sort laundry
Kids this age can sort laundry for you. They already know their colors and this is a good way for them to apply that knowledge.
Have them sort the clothes according to colors and explain to them that this is done to avoid damages to clothes. Clothes with deep colors can bleed their dyes and stain lighter clothes.
Teach them to group dark, medium, and light colored clothes separately. This is also the first step in teaching them how to do their laundry when they get older.
18. Sweep floors
Teach them how to sweep the floors, have them sweep the floor of their room every morning before going to school. When they get used to it, you can add the living room floor and other areas of the home.
19. Help make and pack launch
Kids this age are already curious about things that go on in the kitchen. They want to know how their favorite food is made and so on.
You can teach them how to make simple meals and also how to pack lunch.
20. Weed and rake leaves
Kids this age can weed your garden, however, if you are giving them rake, you should supervise them all through the period of use.
21. Keep bedroom tidy
Give your child the responsibility of keeping their bedroom tidy always.
Pay a visit to their bedroom regularly and commend them for their efforts or tell them to tidy up when their bedroom is untidy.
Give them rewards if they try to keep their bedroom tidy always to encourage this good habit.
Chores For Kids 8 To 9
Kids in this age group can do any of the above chores and these:
22. Load dishwasher
Kids this age can be taught how to load the dishwasher. Supervise them while doing this and teach them how to properly handle kitchen ware.
23. Put groceries away
At this age, your child can know where you keep certain things in the house and kitchen and put groceries away by putting them in the right place they belong.
You can teach an 8 to 9 year old how to safely use the vacuum and clean the floor.
25. Make dinner and snacks
Dinner is usually the lightest meal of the day, you can teach your kid this age how to make dinner and their favorite snacks.
You can also teach them how to cook simple foods like toasts, how to make salads, smoothies, fruit juices, and other simple recipes.
Kids this age can also make their own breakfasts or make breakfast for the family if you choose a simple recipe kids can make.
26. Clean table after meals
Kids this age can clean tables after meals. They’ve already learnt how to clean spills when they were younger.
27. Put away their own laundry
After you’ve done the laundry, teach them how to put it away. Teach them to hang the clothes after washing, and how to fold and put the clothes in their closets.
28. Sew buttons
This is a bit tricky but if your child can be taught how to handle needles safely, he or she can sew their buttons that fell off their clothes.
29. Peel vegetable
Kids this age can help out in the kitchen. You can start by giving them a kid-safe knife and show them how to peel vegetables.
30. Mop the floor
Teach your child how to mop the floor. Have them mop their room floor every morning before going to school and during the weekend, they can add the living room floor.
31. Take pet for a walk
Kids love animals and will gladly do this, in fact, they might remind you every day that they have not walked the pet.
Chores For Kids 10 Years And Older
Kids in this age group can do any of the above chores and these:
32. Unload the dishwasher
Kids this age can be taught how to safely use the dishwasher. They can load it and unload it.
33. Fold the laundry
They can be taught how to fold clothes and put it in their closets.
34. Clean the bathroom
Teach them how to wash the sink, walls, and clean the bathroom floor.
35. Wash car
Kids this age can wash car, just show them how to do it, supervise them for a few times, and they will master it and won’t need supervision again.
36. Cook simple meals
Kids 10 years of age and older can cook simple meals but with supervision.
Teach them safety tips to follow when in the kitchen, things they shouldn’t do when close to the gas, and how to safely use a knife. Here are more skills you can teach them.
37. Iron clothes
Teach them how to iron clothes and have them iron their school uniforms.
38. Do laundry
Kids age 10 and older can do their own laundry and even that of their siblings.
They can even change their bed sheets.
39. Baby-sit their younger siblings
Kids of 10 years and older can look after their younger siblings under adult supervision.
As they get older, they will be able to do this on their own.
40. Clean the kitchen
Kids this age can clean the kitchen, clear the sink, and arrange clean dishes on the rack.
Chores For Kids To Earn Money
As we said above, some families don’t believe in giving kids money for doing chores because every member of the family has a role to play while some families give out pocket money for chores.
If you believe in giving out pocket money, there is nothing bad about it. It even encourages a child to do better. You can tell your child that if you don’t do your home chores, you won’t receive your pocket money.
This will also help children learn how to manage finances at a young age.
Some families do not link chores to pocket money which is also good.
So families who believe in paying kids for chores can give them little stipends for helping out in the house. It can be weekly or monthly.
Kids who come from homes where they don’t pay for chores can still make money from the chores they learnt how to do at home.
They can do the following chores for people in their neighborhood and get paid:
- Walk pets for people
- Weed and water gardens for people
- Clean the floors
- Deliver newspapers to people
- Make crafts and sell
- Make cookies and sell
There are lots of busy people looking for people to do house chores for them for money, kids who have already learnt how to do some chores at home can make money by offering their services.
This is why it is important to teach kids household chores and how to take care of themselves.
We believe you’ve learned from this post how to create age-appropriate chores for kids and also how to make them interested in house chores.
If you have any other chore for any age-group, please you can let us know in the comment section.