Chores for Kids: An Age by Age Guide

It turns out that chores for kids are actually a really good thing!

With five people in our family, there’s a lot that needs to be done each day, and I literally could spend every spare minute cleaning. But I have learned that I just can’t do everything…and I shouldn’t either!

The verdict is out that chores are good for children! Children learn great life skills from chores, and it also helps them feel like contributors to the family. So don't feel guilty asking them to lend a hand. You are teaching them great life skills, even if there is grumbling and complaining. One day they will appreciate knowing how to do their own laundry and how to clean up before company comes over.

Science tells us that children who have chores have better self-esteem, are more responsible, and can even handle frustration and delayed gratification better.

There’s no need to wait until they are older either. I actually love introducing chores to my children when they are toddlers because they actually like it and feel like big helpers. My youngest is two-years-old now, and she can't wait to help unload the dishwasher with her big sister and brother. And they love telling her where to put all of the dishes that they can delegate to her.

I can remember the first day my mother taught me to wash the dishes. To me, it was like we were having a bubble bath in the sink for them. I even asked her, "Why doesn't everyone love doing the dishes?!?"

Now I know better.

I learned that even though doing dishes is not something I enjoy, having a clean kitchen is totally worth it.

It may not feel so helpful at first when we start teaching chores to our children, but eventually they will get the hang of it. And as a mom who has two less loads of laundry to fold each week, I can tell you that alone is worth it!

Chores for Kids

Chores for 1-2 Year Olds

Put toys, books, and stuffed animals away

Take dishes to the sink

Help move clothes from washer to dryer

Simple dusting (baseboards, stair rails, low shelves)

Put clothes in hamper

Hold dust plan for someone sweeping

Chores for 3 -4 Year Olds

Sweep using small broom

Match socks

Wipe up spills

Simple folding (washcloths, hand towels)

Make bed

Vacuum with hand extension or handheld vacuum

Sort and put away clean silverware

Feed pet

Pick up bedroom

Chores for 5 -6 Year Olds

Wipe bathroom counters

Fold pants and shirts (use a cardboard template to help)

Vacuum bedroom or other small areas

Prep simple food for meals

Set the table

Clear the table after meals

Empty trash cans around the house

Sort recycling

Sweep the porch

Chores for 7 -8 Year Olds

Pack school lunch

Bring in Groceries

Vacuum

Help cook meals

Load and unload the dishwasher

Clean the bathroom

Laundry Hack!

When it comes to laundry, here is an laundry awesome hack for helping kids easily fold clothes by themselves:

As as I said earlier, my children have helped me do two full loads of laundry with their combined team effort, and they only work on it a few minutes each day. What works for us is to have them fold the number of pieces of laundry as their age. So my eight-year-old folds eight pieces a day, my six-year-old folds six pieces a day and my three-year-old folds three pieces a day.

Happy cleaning!

Comments
No. 1-4
liz
liz

@Cindy1974 My 2 year old loves to clean up right now. Brings his dishes into the kitchen consistently without asking. My two older kids often need to be reminded so this is probably just a phase but I'll take it! He also LOVES to clean the windows.

Georgia A
Georgia A

great article

KatieMomMoments
KatieMomMoments

Editor

@Cindy1974 I hope so because my toddler loves to do that! She even went through a (short-lived) stage when she would cry if we forgot to ask her to help us unload the dishwasher. That age is too precious :).

Cindy1974
Cindy1974

Thanks for sharing! Just curious, are anyone else's 1-2 year olds taking dishes to the sink, helping move clothes from washer to dryer, simple dusting, or putting clothes in a hamper?? Impressive if so!