Age Appropriate Chores

Age Appropriate Chores
Providing our children with opportunities to express responsibility and independence is an important part of raising our children. Encouraging our children to be active participants in running the house provides a multitude of benefits.

When we allow and require our children to contribute, we are paving the way for self-sufficiency. Children take pride in something they can “own”. Sure, they’ll grumble along the way, and we will often wonder if it is a battle worth braving. It is. Believe me, it is.

You do need to know your child. Some of your children will be able to do the chores listed below at an earlier age than I have categorized them. Others will need to be a bit older before they can handle the tasks.

This is a guideline to help you determine what tasks your child might be able to help with around the house.

Even as early as six months, you can involve your baby during clean up time. Hold the box of blocks near him and invite him to put the block into the box. Sing a clean up song to designate that playtime is over and clean up time is happening.

Toddlers: 2 – 3 years old
Help clean up the toys.
Put dirty clothes into the hamper.
Wipe the table (even if you have to wipe it again later).
Put shoes away.
Put the pillows and animals on their beds.
Throw trash away.

Pre-schoolers: 4 – 5 years old
Pull the sheets and blankets up on their beds.
Bring their toys and snacks in from the car.
Clear the table after a meal.
Put toys away after playing.
Water the plants.
Sort silverware – be sure to put the sharp knives away first.

Elementary school: 6 – 8 years old
Feed the pets.
Mop the floor.
Put their laundry away.
Help unload the dishwasher.
Empty the trash.
Bring in the mail.
Help in the garden.
Pack lunch for school.
Fold towels.
Sweep the floors.
Wipe off counters and mirrors.
Put clean laundry away.
Set the table.

Older Elementary School: 9 years – 11 years
Clean the bathroom.
Load the washer or dryer.
Answer the phone.
Vacuum the floors.
Be responsible for a tidy bedroom.
Carry in and put away the groceries.
Help with outside chores.

Do their laundry from start to finish.
Dust shelves.
Babysit younger siblings.
Help prepare meals.
Change their bed sheets.
Wash the car.

My children – who are currently between eight and thirteen years old - are each responsible for one room in the house. That means they wipe down counters, clean mirrors, sweep floors, put things away, and keep that particular room clean. This routine has helped my children to be more aware and to remember to clean up after themselves. They respect the time and energy it takes to keep a house running smoothly. More importantly, they are learning responsibility, accountability, self-sufficiency, and even to appreciate hard work.

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You Should Also Read:
The Value of Humility
Teaching Children Values
The Importance of Play

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