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How to set the right chores, for the right ages, right now!

It’s never too early – or too late – to let kids help out with chores.

Many parents know the value of having kids do chores – from teaching good life habits to building confidence as a contributing member of the family.

But sometimes it’s hard to think up the right chores for the right ages – at the drop of a hat.

So below are some age-based chore ideas to get you started (as well as 4 top tips to introducing chores to your kids).

2-3 Years Old

  • Put away toys
  • Fill pet’s food dish or bowl
  • Put clothes in hamper or laundry basket
  • Wipe up spills
  • Dust (Top tip: They may not be super helpful on this front. Especially when dusting anything above 3 and a half feet.)
  • Pile books and magazines
  • Fold washcloths
  • Wipe down the front of fridge, oven, trash can or doors with a wet washcloth

4-5 Years Old

  • All previous chores
  • Make their own bed
  • Empty bins/wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail or newspapers
  • Clear off the table and put away cutlery (put items they can’t reach on counter for parent to put away)
  • Use dustpan and brush or hand vacuum to pick up crumbs
  • Water the garden/flowers
  • Weed flowers/garden
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink
  • Pour a bowl of cereal
  • Straighten books on the bookshelf
  • Feed the family dog or cat
  • Help clean and tidy bedroom
  • Sweep the kitchen floor with a small broom
  • Fold towels

6-7 Years Old

  • All previous chores
  • Sort and fold laundry
  • Light cleaning of bathroom
  • Sweep floors
  • Unload the dishwasher with supervision (put items they can’t reach on the counter for an adult to put away)
  • Wash light loads of dishes and cutlery
  • Help make and pack lunch
  • Takes clothes out of the dryer
  • Move wet clothes from the washer into the dryer
  • Rake leaves
  • Keep bedroom tidy
  • Help put away groceries (put items they can’t reach on the counter for an adult to put away)

8-9 Years Old

  • All previous chores
  • Load dishwasher
  • Wash Dishes
  • Vacuum
  • Help make lunch or dinner
  • Make own snacks
  • Wipe off table after meals
  • Put away own laundry
  • Sew buttons
  • Make own breakfast
  • Peel vegetables
  • Cook simple foods, such as toast
  • Mop/clean floor
  • Take pet for a walk
  • Take rubbish/trash out
  • Organise toys

10-12 Years Old

  • All previous chores
  • Mow the garden/yard
  • Do laundry
  • Wash laundry by hand
  • Clean bathroom, kitchen or car
  • Light clean of the inside of the fridge
  • Wash windows
  • Wash car
  • Cook simple meal with supervision
  • Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home)
  • Change their bed sheets
  • Tidy basement/garage

13+ Years Old

  • All previous chores
  • Clean tub/shower
  • Make lunch/dinner alone
  • Iron clothes
  • Dust ceiling fans

Hopefully, this has sparked some ideas that suit your family!

But before you go…

Here are 4 extra tips we’ve heard from other families about how to effectively introduce chores.

  • Tip #1: Show that you are in this together! In the beginning, kids often appreciate seeing you demonstrate and help out with the task.  This simple action can decrease resentment, make the task feel less intimidating, and show your child that helping out is part of being a family!
  • Tip #2: Require certain chores before screens.  This sets clear boundaries and can take away the nag factor.
  • Tip # 3: Accept that most kids will complain at some point. (According to my son, those that don’t are undoubtedly miniature robots sent from the future to take over the world.)  Don’t worry, just ignore it secure in the knowledge that your consistency will eventually drown out the complaints – and lead to good habits.
  • Tip #4: A bit of music in the background goes a long way to getting chores done – and letting your kids choose the music goes even further.

Here’s to cheerful chores and helpful Habyts!

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