What Type of Chores Can I Ask My Kids to Do?

kid-doing-chores

I have to admit – in my house, getting my kids to pitch in and help with the chores used to be a big challenge. After getting tired of nagging and reminding them, I would just give up and do everything myself. Then for several weeks, we used a chore chart and it worked like a charm. Now I don’t need any more chore charts or nagging – it became part of the daily routine. The kids know what’s expected of them, and do it themselves. Phew!

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Here’s some inspiration of what types of chores you can ask your kids to help with, by age:

Toddlers (Ages 2-3)

  • Help make their bed
  • Pick up and put away toys after play time
  • Put their dirty laundry into laundry basket
  • Help clean up spills and messes
  • Fill water and food bowl for the family pet

Preschoolers (Ages 4-5)

  • Make their bed
  • Pick out clothes to wear
  • Get dressed with little or no help from the parent
  • Help parent sort laundry (e.g., match socks)
  • Set and clear the family dinner table
  • Help parent shop for groceries at the grocery store
  • Help parent prepare lunch or dinner
  • Clean up spills and messes without being asked
  • Be responsible for feeding the family pet

Kindergarten and 1st grade (Ages 6-7)

  • Make their bed every day
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Pick out clothes to wear
  • Get dressed independently
  • Clean their room with vacuum or wet mop
  • Sort and fold laundry (with supervision)
  • Put away dishes from the dishwasher
  • Empty indoor trash cans into outdoor trash cans
  • Be responsible for the family pet’s food, water and exercise

Elementary School (Ages 8-11)

  • Brush teeth, comb hair, take a shower or bath
  • Keep their room tidy and clean
  • Wake up using an alarm clock
  • Do homework with little or no supervision
  • Be responsible for packing backpack
  • Help pack lunch box for school
  • Wash and put away dishes
  • Learn to use the washer and dryer
  • Wash the family car (with supervision)
  • Prepare snacks and easy meals (e.g., sandwiches)
  • Sort and put away laundry (with supervision)
  • Take out the garbage on pick up date
  • Do light gardening and yard work (e.g., rake leaves)
  • Be responsible for the family pet’s food, water and exercise

Middle School (Ages 12-13)

  • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  • Set their own alarm clock
  • Pack school backpack and lunch box
  • Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
  • Make up their own bed every day
  • Change bed sheets
  • Keep their room tidy and clean
  • Change light bulbs
  • Change the vacuum bag
  • Dust and vacuum all rooms
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Do and put away dishes
  • Take out the garbage on pick up date
  • Mow the lawn (with supervision)
  • Prepare an occasional family meal
  • Start earning spending money (e.g., by delivering newspapers or babysitting)

Junior High School (Ages 14-15)

  • Responsible for all personal and school chores for ages 12-13
  • Do all assigned chores without prompting (e.g., laundry, dishes, cleaning, garbage, yard work)
  • Earn spending money (e.g., by delivering newspapers or babysitting)
  • Prepare food (e.g., make grocery lists, buy items (with supervision), prepare an occasional family meal)
  • Wash family car

High School (Ages 16-18)

  • Responsible for all personal, school and family chores for ages 14-15
  • Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
  • Responsible for maintaining any car they drive (e.g., gas, oil changes, tire pressure, etc.)
  • Prepare family meals as needed (e.g., make grocery lists, buy items, cook meals)
  • Deep cleaning of household appliances (e.g., defrosting the freezer)

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