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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kids and Chores

Recently, I posted Noelle and Bella's Reward Chart on the wall. They receive stickers for doing their chores which include; making their beds, and putting away their toys, books, and clothes. It may not seem like much, but its a start.

I hope to instill a value and appreciation for hard work in my children (and keep my home a little cleaner;) by setting an expectation for them to do chores as they grow up.

Below is a helpful article by Christine Field that explains what chores are age-appropriate.

Teaching Your Children How to Work

by: Christine Field

Age Appropriateness: What Can Your Child Do?

OK, you are looking down at your eighteen-month-old toddler and saying, "Sounds great, but I guess it will have to wait." Not so. A child of that age can be asked to fetch items, fold washcloths, pick up toys, and carry plastic dishes to and from the table. We can ask and train, even at this age. And as they mature, our children are capable of much, much more.

The following chart gives some ideas of what is possible at what ages. These are merely guidelines—your child may do more or less. Knowing that learning life skills is a process, don't expect perfection from him. The intent here is to give you ideas to try out in your family.

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

Ages 2-3
  • Begin to dress self
  • Put silverware in dishwasher
  • Help make bed—at least pull covers up
  • Help feed animals
  • Help wipe up spills
  • Pick up toys
  • Dry unbreakable dishes
  • Hang clothing on hooks
  • Sweep
  • Carry laundry to and from laundry area
  • Bring in newspaper
  • Mop a small area
  • Help fold towels
  • Pour from a small pitcher
  • Empty light trash cans
  • Pull weeds
  • Dust
  • Fetch diapers
  • Carry plate to sink after meals
  • Help pick up living room

Ages 4-5

  • Dress self
  • Help in kitchen—stirring, ripping lettuce, drying dishes
  • Make own bed
  • Clear dishes from table
  • Help carry and put away groceries
  • Set table
  • Retrieve the mail
  • Wash toys when needed
  • Dust
  • Help rake yard
  • Water plants
  • Help wash car and clean interior
  • Sweep patio
  • Sort clean clothes by family member
  • Wash floors, low walls with sponge
  • Sort dirty clothes by color
  • Put away own clothes—put dirty clothes in hamper
  • Hang towels after bath
  • Help load dishwasher

Ages 6-12

  • Make bed
  • Straighten up house
  • Take care of pets—clean cages and feed them
  • Wash, dry, and put away dishes
  • Clean bathroom completely
  • Cook simple foods—use simple recipes
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow
  • Weed and water garden
  • Make school lunches
  • Use washer and dryer
  • Help with yard work
  • Take out trash
  • Help wash car
  • Strip and change beds
  • Wash, hang, and fold laundry
  • Iron
  • Vacuum, sweep, and mop
  • Polish shoes

Ages 13 and up

  • Any of the above, plus:
  • Cook meals
  • Change light bulbs
  • Do all laundry functions
  • Replace vacuum cleaner bag
  • Iron clothes
  • Wash inside and outside windows
  • Do clothes mending, repairs
  • Mow lawn
  • Clean out refrigerator
  • Trim yard
  • Clean stove and oven
  • Wash and polish car
  • Prepare a meal
  • Maintain a bicycle—fill tires with air, oil squeaks
  • Make grocery lists
  • Shop for groceries
  • Help paint and caulk

Ages five to twelve or so are golden years for teaching children at home. These kids are increasingly capable and yet not too preoccupied with school and extracurricular activities. Make sure you start to give both boys and girls the opportunity to do outside chores and to do maintenance-type tasks with Dad. Don't neglect teaching both your son and your daughter to do chores inside the home, like cooking and cleaning. You will shortchange them for life if you do.[back]

Excerpted from Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field, Copyright © 2000 Chris Field. Used by permission of Shaw Books, an imprint of WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, Colo. All rights reserved.


  1. Very good post!
    Lots of praise when they have succesfully done what is expected or attempting to do new chore or helping out.
    Autumn blessings to you,

  2. Great post.I'll see what chores I can add on to the ones the kids are already doing.

  3. When Sarah was about 3 years old, she would love to stand in the bathroom when I scrubbed the tub. When she turned 4, she asked if she could scrub the tub. I was a little hesitant because I thought it would be too much for her at a young age. Well to my surprise Sarah scrubbed that tub so good and she's still scrubbing it today :)

  4. Great post honey. So this is why the house has been so clean lately!?

  5. Great List! Thanks for the reminder. I need to keep in the habit of having them do it, sometimes I forget and just do it myself. It is hard to take the time to train them.
    p.s there is an award for you on my blog. Yo do not have to get it if you have already done this!

  6. we do this too! thanks for some great ideas though :)

    i think it's helpful to switch up the chores from time to time so they dn't get bored w/ it.

  7. You sound like a great mom, and I love your chart idea. The list of age appropriate tasks is very important and a super resource for parents.


Your ideas, questions, and comments are welcome!