The Ideal Chores for Kids by Age
Parents are traditionally the heads of a household, and as such, they are pretty much responsible for everything that happens within it. They provide for everyone and manage all of the household’s affairs.
That, however, doesn’t have to mean they have to do everything. After all, there are chores to be done, and parents could use a little help from their kids in doing them.
Chores are good for children
Kids doing chores, however, are more than just about them helping parents out. If anything, getting kids to pitch in when it comes to chores around the house is also about helping them develop a sense of responsibility and gain important life skills that will prove to be useful for the rest of their lives.
There are also studies that show that people who did chores as kids fared better in real life. The opportunity to demonstrate their capability and the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a chore has contributed positively to their well-being. We can say then that doing chores can help our kids grow up to be happy, independent, and responsible adults.
Of course, the tasks that parents assign to their kids should be ideal for their age, because you just can’t ask a two-year-old to sweep the floor or help do the dishes.
So here’s a list of age-appropriate chores for your kids.
For kids aged 2-3 (toddlers)
- Picking up toys
- Assisting in making their beds
- Putting dirty laundry in the laundry basket
For kids aged 4-5 (preschoolers)
- Helping carry light groceries
- Setting and clearing dining table with supervision
- Filling pets’ food and water bowls
- Sorting laundry by color
- Helping in hanging laundry out to dry by handing you wet clothes
- Dusting picture frames, tables, with supervision
- Folding towels
- Straightening and fluffing throw pillows
- Assisting in cleaning their rooms
For kids aged 6-8 (school-age children)
- Watering the plants
- Emptying indoor garbage cans
- Assisting in food preparation, with supervision
- Folding clean clothes and putting them in drawers and closets
- Answering the phone with supervision
- Dusting and mopping individual rooms
- Taking dishes out of the dishwasher and putting them away
For kids aged 9-12 (tweens)
- Keeping bedrooms clean
- Washing dishes
- Preparing cereals and other easy meals
- Raking leaves in the yard
- Taking out the garbage to the curb for pick-up
- Cleaning the bathroom and kitchen
- Helping wash the car
- Putting away groceries
- Peeling potatoes and other vegetables
- Walking the dog
- Changing the bed sheets
- Washing windows
For kids aged 13 and older (teenagers)
- Mowing the lawn, with supervision at first
- Babysitting younger siblings, with supervision at first
- Preparing real meals
- Changing light bulbs
- .When old enough to legally drive, maintaining the car they’re driving
- Doing the laundry
- Don’t expect perfection
Your approach to getting your kids to do chores should always be relaxed, so don’t expect them to do their tasks perfectly. Just do your best to teach them the right way to do those tasks, and they will eventually master them in most cases.
Some say that rewarding—or paying—your children for doing chores will not do them or you any good, as it would attach a monetary value to what are essentially responsibilities that they have to fulfill as part of the household.
While there is some truth to this concern, most parents would see providing their children—teenagers in particular—allowances for doing chores as an opportunity to teach them some basic financial management skills. Aside from motivating them to do their tasks, paying them for chores will help them learn a thing or two about saving up and handling their money, which will, just like doing the chores themselves, serve them well in later life.
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