What Chores Do Kids Need To Be Doing?
Are you wondering at what age and what chores your kids should be doing? Honestly, it depends on the child and their maturity.
I have 4 children and all of them didn’t start out with doing the same chores.
I do believe you start them out as soon as possible with just simply picking items up when they are toddlers.
Make it fun and play a game while doing the pickup. Sing a song. Kids like making-up songs and the sillier they are the more they will get into it.
I have to admit that I’m not the best at dealing out chores. Well besides keeping things picked up, vacuuming, dusting, loading dishwasher and simple cleaning in the bathroom.
I’ve always just done the majority of the housework. I think it’s kind of a control issue. I feel if my kids do it and don’t do it right then I will just have to go back over it.
This doesn’t save me anytime. But yes I realize that it’s not about me it’s about giving them responsibilities and a sense of accomplishment.
By helping out and having a list of chores teaches a child responsibility which is very beneficial for their future. I’ve witnessed evidence of this.
My 2 older girls are not the best housekeepers of their own houses. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a neat freak but I do like things picked up.
So I have been trying to be better with our younger two kids and giving them more responsibilities. I really do need them to be more independent.
They both have some issues with executive functioning skills. I’ve been told that I do too much for them and don’t give them enough independence.
Well, with this information I knew I needed to let them help me more. I also needed to teach them how to properly do these household chores.
So I’m going to give you a list of chores for kids according to age. Of course, remember this is just a guideline.
Chores For Kids – Toddler Thru Preschool
Before I start listing, I want to tell you a short cautionary tale that happened when our oldest 2 were young.
I really got tired of telling them to keep there room clean and to keep their toys picked up. I kept threatening them that I was going to bag up all their toys.
So that threat turned into a promise and I did just that. But my plan wasn’t fooled proof and turned south when I forgot to tell my husband what I did.
Well, I’m sure you are already guessing but yes he threw 3 bags of toys away. I was sick, kids were crying but they forever have that burnt into their memories.
You would have thought they would have learned their lesson, but it was short-lived.
But what I discovered was that since a lot of their toys were gone they still found ways to entertain themselves. They played with objects that were not toys.
Especially our second daughter she could find anything and make fun just playing with anything. Goes to show that kids don’t need a whole lot of STUFF!
Here is a list of chores for kids under the age of 5.
- Putting away toys
- Help fold towels
- Wipe up simple food mess
- Dust low places but make sure you clear the table first
- Help put clothes away
- Pull weeds or pick up sticks
- Sort simple toys and put into correct bins
- Help feed pets
At this stage of development, it really is useful if you let your child come beside you and try to mimic simple chores.
This helps them with developing large and small motor skills and to copy what you are doing.
Chores For Kids In Early Elementary Ages 5-7
This is a really good age to give them a little space and maybe weekly chore list so they know what is expected of them.
They are really seeking some independence at this age. So step back and observe. Your child will let you know when they need help.
Here is a list of chores for kids aged 5-7
- Whipping down walls
- Set the table
- Unload dishwasher
- Clean room
- Take out trash
- Sort laundry
- Bring in groceries and put away
- Feed Pets
- Help prepare there lunch
- Make beds
- Sweep (Swiffer is easier)
- Check mail
Chores For Kids Ages 8-12
At this age is where a chore chart that gives them weekly chores that they do daily and weekly. Have them check them off and then you can go and inspect their work.
This is also a good time to show them if there is something they missed or possibly redo. Believe me, they need to learn proper instruction but with positive reinforcement.
This was one of the biggest mistakes I made with my own children.
- Clean the bathroom
- Load dishwasher
- Mop floors
- Make simple meals
- Change sheets out on a bed
- Do simple prep work in the kitchen
- Clean bathrooms from top to bottom
- Organize room
- Help gather groceries from a list at the grocery store
- Clean and help wash car
- Sort recyclables
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Chores For Kids Ages 13-15+
At this age, you will slowly be preparing them for the world. For when they leave the nest and are adults.
Your teen should be able to do most chores with no assistance.
Encourage independence and chores to be done in a timely manner.
- Go into a store and purchase items or groceries
- Mow lawn
- Do simple maintenance on a car (check tire pressure, put gas in, check oil and fluid levels)
- Watch siblings and inspect that they did their chores
- Prepare and make meals
- Do there own laundry
- Wash windows
- Clean mirrors
- Organize cabinets
- Unload, load and wash dishes
- Run family errands (16+) they need to drive
I know this seems to be a lot of chores for kids to do. I bet your asking when will they have time for activities, school work, and some downtime for themselves.
Well, I would say that a fourth of what I listed will be done a monthly basis. Some will be done once per week. The simpler ones on a daily basis.
Believe me, they are able to get this done and not miss out on their childhood. Your children need to have these skills to function outside of the home and to live alone.
It’s also good to have a chore chart so kids know what they are supposed to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly.
There are so many on Pinterest and most of them are free. All you have to do is print them out. Or just make your own.
This will make them more of a productive and responsible adult.
I have a few more post that teaches kids more independence:
I hope this post has helped you out and gives you direction on what chores your children should be doing by age.
I would love to hear from you so you can either email me or drop me a comment.
Domestic Engineer Mom