Teaching kids to do chores from a young age is a great way to help them develop valuable life skills and grow their confidence. However, we all know getting them to actually do them can sometimes present a challenge.
Now we're locked down at home, it's the perfect time to get kids of all ages involved in helping around the house. We know it can sometimes feel impossible to get children to do chores, so making sure you pick age-appropriate chores can be key to motivating them to want to do them. We've put together a list of chores for children of all ages that you can use as inspiration for your home chore chart.
Of course, all children are completely unique, so the chore list below is just a guide for you to use. Feel free to adjust it to fit what you think is best for your child based on their maturity level and physical abilities. With a bit of personalisation (and a little bit of trial and error) this list of chores for children of all ages can be tweaked to suit your child and your family's needs.
Age 2 to 3
Starting young with chores can make it a lot easier to persuade children to do them as they get older. At this age, kids will usually enjoy helping with household chores, and your little one grows to understand how the house works a little bit more by being allowed to get involved.
Kidadler Becki says "Get the little ones helping out with chores around the home! My little boy absolutely loves hoovering, helping with the washing and dusting! Makes him feel all grown up and he gets a treat when he does... hopefully this will help when he gets older."
- Helping mum and dad to make their bed
- Picking up their toys and putting them away after using them.
- Helping parents clean up spills and dirt
- Setting placemats at dinner time
- Helping to feed pets with help from a parent
- Throwing things away - this is a good way to teach your child what things need to be thrown away and what things should be kept.
- Taking any dirty laundry to the basket
Age 4 - 5
When they get a little bit older, your child can get involved in more chores, and help you to do things that are a little bit tricker. This chores list includes tasks that encourage children to clean up after themselves, and jobs that are a bit more challenging than they can be involved in with a parent.
- Helping to set the table for dinner time and clear it afterwards
- Helping parents to make dinner
- Hanging up towels after bath time
- Putting clean clothes into piles for each person
- Picking up their toys
- Helping carry light shopping from the car
- Washing hands before meals and after the toilet
- Getting dressed in clothes laid out for them
- Watering the garden with supervision from a grown-up
Age 6 - 8
When kids are at school age, it's a great time to start a routine of regular chores that can be slotted into their daily activities, and will soon become second nature. While your children are doing their school work from home, chores for children like making their beds and feeding pets can allow them to maintain a sense of routine and keep them motivated. By this age, you can introduce a chore chart with house chores that need to be done regularly that are age-appropriate, and your child can begin to take some responsibility for their personal chores.
- Making their bed every morning
- Brushing their teeth
- Choosing an outfit and getting dressed
- Hoovering one room
- Helping to prepare food
- Feeding pets
- Cleaning the bathroom sink
- Folding washing
- Helping choose meals, write shopping lists and do grocery shopping
- Writing thank-you notes for gifts with help from mum or dad
- Helping put away dishes from the dishwasher
- Brushing their hair
- Emptying paper bins into the main bin
- Watering plants
8 to 11
As your child starts feeling more grown-up, it's important to adjust chores to make them new and exciting. This will give them a sense of achievement as they learn how to do things they couldn't before. Giving children some autonomy by trusting them to wake up with their alarm clock on their own, and recognise when they need to bath or shower can be important steps towards being independent in their teenage years.
- Keeping their bedroom clean and tidy
- Taking responsibility for their homework
- Being in charge of their personal hygiene
- Waking up with an alarm clock
- Being in charge of cleaning one bathroom
- Washing the dishes after mealtime
- Writing party invitations and thank you notes with supervision
- Starting to prepare easy dinners on their own
- Cook tricker meals with help from a parent
- Learning to use the washing machine
- Taking the bin bag out to the outdoor bins
12 - 14
For high school-aged kids, chores can notoriously become a little trickier to manage, so finding age-appropriate chores that give a sense of challenge for your children will make sure they stay motivated. By this age, it's great to have chores like clearing dishes and tidying their room as expected tasks that you don't need to remind them to do. It's also a good idea to think of some chores that they can be creative with, like tending to an area of the garden, or rearranging their bedroom.
- Being in charge of packing school bag and doing homework
- Changing their bedsheets
- Keeping their room tidy
- Mowing the lawn with help from a parent, and tending to a patch of garden
- Preparing family meals one or two times each month
- Cleaning the bathrooms regularly
- Doing dishes after meals
- Vacuuming the house
By this age, your teens will be likely to be doing lots of things by themselves, and you hopefully shouldn't need to nudge them as much in the direction of brushing their teeth or showering, so these should be seen as a given. The same goes with tasks like cleaning up after themselves and keeping their room neat and tidy. This is a great time to make sure your teens can fend for themselves when they do move out, so letting them take charge of cooking and cleaning without any guidance from mum or dad can be really empowering.
- Doing homework without parents asking
- Take care of pets including walking dogs regularly
- Helping younger siblings with homework and other household tasks
- Planning a meal to cook, making a list of ingredients and serve the meal, once a month
- Buying their own clothes with a set budget
- Helping with any housework that's needed
- Deep cleaning household appliances like fridges and dishwashers when necessary