Age appropriate chores: How to get your Child to Help around the House

Age appropriate Chores

It is really useful to have a simple list of age appropriate chores your children can do around the house. After looking at a lot of age-appropriate chores lists I found that there are some chores I wouldn’t want my children to do, which is why I created my own.

Encouraging children to do simple chores is a great way to develop their independence. From an early age my son has helped with simple tasks. He is now nearly 5 years old and he is able to complete all of his age appropriate chores from the list with minimum help from me. These life skills really helped him when he started school because he was able to do a lot of basic things for himself while other children had help from the teacher.

Should Children do Age Appropriate Chores?

It is important for everyone to contribute to chores in the house because you are all part of a family that works as a team. You don’t need to tell younger children they are doing chores, just ask them to help mummy and daddy out with a job. If children see other people in the house completing these tasks they often want to join in anyway. If you start this with younger children, they will grow up understanding that everyone does things to help in the house.

Also, teaching children to complete simple tasks around the home is a good way for them to develop life skills. All of the chores they learn to do will be skills they will need as an adult. Learning these skills will give them more responsibility and independence.

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Is it safe for my Children to do Chores?

All children mature and develop at different rates. So although there is a list of age-appropriate chores only you can decide what your child is ready to do. This is why I created my own editable list, so I can tick any that both my son and I think he is ready to do.

I supervise every task until I know he can complete it safely on his own. Some tasks I will always be there to help with, such as when he is cooking or preparing a snack.

How do I get my Children to do Chores?

1. Give them lots of encouragement and praise

Obvious I know, but easy to forget when you are rushing around trying to get all the chores done. Try to stop and say a positive comment to them when they do something to help. This will show that you appreciate them.

2. Don’t interfere

Even when the chore takes twice as long as it would if you had just done it yourself! Let them be responsible for finishing the chore, this will teach them to persevere and they will also enjoy being independent.

3. Don’t expect them to do the chore perfectly.

They will make mistakes and sometimes make more mess than you started with. But if they feel like they can’t do it right or that you will just redo it they will quickly lose interest.

4. Build up the amount of chores they can do slowly.

I slowly built up the chores into our daily routine, so they are not chores but just tasks that we always need to do.

5. Be consistent.

Once you have introduced a chore into your child’s routine encourage them to keep doing it. Otherwise they will begin to think chores are a one-time thing.

6. Give instructions

When you introduce a new chore always help them to begin with. This is really important as they get older and you are teaching them to make their own snack or cook.

Age appropriate Chores

What are Age Appropriate Chores?

This list of age appropriate chores is only a guide. Only you know what your child is capable of achieving, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As they get older they build on each list, so a 4 year old will be able to do all the chores in the 2-3 year old list and then start to learn chores from the 4-5 year old list.

2-3 years

  • Put away toys
  • Put books back on the bookshelf
  • Put their own washing in the basket
  • Help dusting or wiping surfaces
  • Make their bed with help

4-5 years

  • Put own dishes in the dishwasher
  • Lay the table
  • Empty the washing machine
  • Put some of their own washing away
  • Help with cooking tasks that are appropriate
  • Fill own water bottle
  • Feed any pets
  • Make their own snack
  • Sweep the floor

6-8 years

  • Load/empty the dishwasher
  • Make their school lunch
  • Help with simple tasks in the garden
  • Mop the floor
  • Clean out their pets
  • Make their own drinks

9-11 years

  • Hoover/vacuum the floor
  • Complete some cooking tasks independently e.g. make a sandwich
  • Change the covers on their bed

12 years and up

  • Sort out and load the washing machine
  • Iron simple items
  • Clean the car
  • Cook a simple meal
  • Buy items at the shop
  • Clean the bathroom/kitchen
Age appropriate chore chart

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Children helping in the house
Age appropriate chore chart

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