Age appropriate chores for children

As a busy stay-at-home mum it can seem unfair to give my children chores, I mean, I'm at home every day so why on earth should I tell my children they need to do chores? For me it's more about teaching than it is about them doing chores. It took me a long time to settle on jobs they could do around the house, I had no idea what age appropriate chores they could do. Which is exactly why I'm writing this post - so I can help you.

My boys are 9 and 13 and there are certain jobs I would expect my 13 year old that I wouldn't dream of asking my 9 year old to do. While my lists below have the jobs in certain sections I think any job can be given to a child that you think can handle it. If you have a tween that seems more capable you could try them out with a simpler task from the teen list.

Toddlers and preschoolers

Make their bed - Get younger children to help pull the covers into place, older children can make the bed themselves after being shown how. It doesn't have to be perfect as long as it's neat.

Picking up their toys - teach them to pick up after themselves from an early age. Tidying up toys they get out is teaching them that putting things away is better than having a huge mess to tidy.

A toddler picks up toys from the sofa, a great way to teach them about chores.

Taking laundry to wash basket - they may not be able to do the laundry for you (yet!) but you can start to teach them about what is required. Perhaps even talk to them about the washing machine.

Fetching the post - picking up the post when it arrives and bringing it to you is a simple task that they will enjoy doing.

Every child must have chores to do. It gives them dignity in work and the joy of labor.

Earl Hamner Jr.

School-aged and Tweens

Vacuuming -  depending on the weight of your vacuum cleaner your school aged children can do this well. My youngest is asking about this job, and I'm considering letting him give it a go - he's 9.

Washing the carWhether using the jet washer or a bucket and sponge it's a good way of them learning. Now you're not going to get a sparkling car when they're finished but a half washed car is better than a not washed car right?

Cleaning a car with a jet wash. The car is black. Age appropriate chores for children at school.

Dusting - One they'll actually enjoy doing - at least my youngest does. He'd been asking about doing dusting for a long time and I finally showed him, now he does the job enthusiastically.

Setting the table - A simple task that requires a little thought. LP, my youngest, has been doing this chore for a few years now.

Helping in the garden - Pulling up weeds, taking things to the bin, helping with moving things out of the way of the mower. LP loves helping out in the garden.


Doing the laundry - This isn't one I've got my 13 year old to do yet, but apparently it's a good one to start. Get them to load the clothes into the washing machine, add the detergent, and start a cycle. I'd say this one needs supervision until you're confident they can do it without.

Taking out the rubbish - This has been on BP's list for a long time. He takes out the bins on bin day and takes the recycling outside too.

Mowing the lawn - Again this one depends on the weight of your mower. We have yet to get BP to do this chore but it's on the list for the future.

Mowing the lawn, a great chore for teens.

Making a simple meal - Toast, sandwiches, something simple. BP is now at the age where I'm considering teaching him more complicated meals. I think it's an important skill to teach our children.

There are just a few chores, some my boys do, others I have yet to give them but they're on the list to try out in the future.

Writing this list has made me realise there are a few jobs I could now give to LP and give more complicated chores to BP. It's easy to let them get into a routine of doing nothing when they come in from school but giving them chores to do is a way of teaching them responsibility.

Do you know how you get the urge to clean your room, and it’s no big deal? But when your mom tells you that you have to clean your room, you don't want to? That's me, anyway.

Bill Konigsberg, Openly Straight

Of course getting the children to actually do the chores is another story. Sometimes they'll just get on with it, and other times it'll take them all day to do just one. I've tried all sorts of tactics to ensure the chores get done and it's still hit and miss, but I guess that's just one of those parenting mysteries that will never be solved!

A list of age appropriate chores for children to learn to do.

I hope you've found my list of age appropriate chores for children useful and I've got a printable chores list for you where you can fill in the chores of your choice.

Do you give your children chores?

If you enjoyed reading this you might also enjoy Why I give my children chores where I discuss the kinds of jobs my boys do and why I think they should be taught about household chores. If you're after something a little less "evil-mum like" and a little more Mary Poppins check out Why it's awesome being a mum to teens and tweens where I talk about the great things about being a mum to older children.

I'm talking about chores for children over on my Facebook Page today - do stop by and say hi!

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