A Quick Guide to Age-Appropriate Chores for Your Kids

A little blonde girl in braids, jeans, and a long-sleeved shirt smiling as she mops the wooden floor of her home's living room.
Image Credentials: photo by VadimGuzhva, license #145163127

Assigning chores to kids is an excellent way to teach them responsibility, foster independence, and build their self-esteem. It also takes a few things off your never-ending to-do list!

However, kids should age into responsibilities. Here’s a quick guide to age-appropriate chores for your kids that will help them develop essential life skills at a good pace.

Toddlers

Even tiny tots can pitch in around the house! In fact, chores are important for toddlers to help them feel included and begin learning important skills early.

Here are some simple tasks they can try:

  • Picking up their toys
  • Placing clothes in the laundry basket
  • Wiping small spills
  • Feeding the pets
  • Watering plants

For all these chores, keep instructions straightforward and provide plenty of encouragement. Your toddler wants to feel helpful and capable, and these chores will do just that.

Preschoolers

As children transition into the preschool years, their motor skills and cognitive abilities improve. This makes it an ideal time to introduce slightly more complex chores, such as these:

  • Setting the table
  • Folding clothes
  • Making their beds
  • Dusting furniture

If you make doing these chores a game, you can keep your kid’s interest. Also, use positive reinforcement to help them feel pride in their contributions.

Elementary Schoolers

Elementary school-age children are ready to take on more responsibility. At this stage, here are some age-appropriate chores:

  • Loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • Sweeping and mopping floors
  • Carrying in and putting away groceries
  • Helping make simple foods like sandwiches
  • Carefully disinfecting countertops

Encourage your child’s independence by allowing them to manage these chores on their own, checking in to ensure they are done correctly. This helps build accountability and work ethic but gives your child the independence they want more of at this age.

Middle Schoolers

Middle schoolers are capable of handling a variety of household chores that require a bit more responsibility. Here are some options:

  • Handling laundry all on their own
  • Taking out the trash
  • Washing windows
  • Cleaning the car
  • Deep clean their rooms
  • Help cook family meals

High Schoolers

Finally, high schoolers should be equipped with the skills to handle tasks that prepare them for adulthood. By this stage, here are some chores they should manage:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Babysitting younger siblings
  • Minor maintenance tasks
  • Cooking family meals on their own

Highschoolers can also take chores they did in middle school to the next level. For example, if they washed the family cars, have them learn how to detail cars at home for a more thorough job that teaches them advanced cleaning skills.

By following this quick guide to age-appropriate chores for your kids, you can help them grow into capable, responsible adults at a comfortable pace. Will you be adding any of these chores to your child’s to-do list?

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