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When your kids can start helping around the house by doing age appropriate chores, life gets a whole lot better! Gone are the days of mama doing it all. To make this work, however, you have to help them do the chores that they can physically do well and avoid overwhelming them by expecting too much. Here is a helpful guide to help you know what your children could reasonably be expected to debased on their ages.
2-3 years old
- Help pick up toys
- Dust furniture
- Get dirty clothes into a laundry bin
- Make their bed (Getting the pillow on the bed and the blanket somewhat tidy is appropriate as they won’t be able to truly make their bed fully. This is a good start though!)
4-5 years old
- Anything on previous list
- Feed pets
- Set and clear the table
- Load and unload the dishwasher
- Wipe down cabinets and walls
- Make bed more fully than the previous stage
- Pick room up generally
- Help bring in groceries
- Help weed outside
6-8 years old
- Anything on previous lists
- Move laundry from washer to dryer
- Fold and put clothing away
- Make simple breakfast of cereal and toast
- Take the garbage out
- Wipe down bathroom sink and counter, clean mirror
- Clean windows
- Get the mail
- Water plants
- Clean bedroom more fully
9-11 years old
- Anything on previous lists
- Do a load of laundry from start to finish
- Change the sheets on their bed
- Help put groceries away
- Help cook simple meals
- Clean bathroom fully
- Rake leaves
12-14 years old
- Anything previous lists
- Make full meals
- Wash car
15-18 years old
- By this age, our kids can help with anything around the house that is needed!
Tips for Success
- The earlier you start age appropriate chores as an expectation, the better. This practice encourages responsibility and independence as well as reduces the inclination for feeling entitled to being taken care of.
- It is ok for certain things to to be outside of the chore category and instead be something that expected because it helps keep the family moving. For example, in our home these include everyone being responsible for making their own bed, keeping their room picked up, getting dressed each morning as well as brushing hair and teeth. Additionally, we expect everyone to help keep communal areas picked up so that everyone can enjoy those spaces stress free.
- These daily responsibilities do not earn our children any reward. They are just expected due to being part of our family. Any age appropriate chores done could have a reward option.
- Age appropriate chores work best if you take the time to walk the child through it the first few times. Help them understand your expectations and how to accomplish it.
Enjoy! Put these age appropriate chores into place and hopefully more hands on deck make lighter work for you, which saves your energy and sanity but also allows you to spend more quality time with your kiddos. And those kiddos will turn out to be the awesome, responsible and independent adults we are aiming to raise.