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


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!


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)