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This age appropriate chores list has been highly requested since I wrote “How to get kids to do chores.” This is just a guideline, and every household and every child are different! However, this is a great starting point to figuring out age appropriate chores for kids.
My daughter was able to do most chores at a much younger age than either of my sons. My youngest is no where near where either of his siblings were at his age. You know your child best, and you will be able to figure out what they’re ready for. If they’ve never done a chore in their life, don’t expect them to pick up and do everything perfectly from the start. This is why it’s so important to start early! If you haven’t, that’s okay too, just start slowly wherever you’re at.
I created a free printable of this list, along with a free chore chart that can be customized for your child! Make sure to read to the bottom of the page, so that you don’t miss it!
Age appropriate chores for kids
Just to be clear, I don’t think that any child should do every single task on these lists! If a child has one “big” chore daily (like the dishes) I wouldn’t add more than a couple other small chores. I do believe that children should help around the house, but I don’t believe they should spend every minute doing chores.
2-3 year old chores
2-3 years old is a great age to start helping with chores. Yes, you will probably have to go in and re-do whatever they do. This is part of the learning experience! If they have an older sibling, 2-3 year olds love to be “helpers” and help older siblings with their chores. Other good chores for 2-3 year olds include:
- Picking up toys.
- “Cleaning” things with a baby wipe.
- Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
- Helping to load or unload laundry (with front loaders.)
- Taking their plate to the sink after dinner.
- Get their own diapers or wipes (or those for a younger sibling.)
If you decide to do a “commission” or payment system for chores, it should look different for 2 and 3 year olds. Younger children, up until around 4, do not understanding waiting until the end of the week (or even the day) for a payment. Choose a small payment (a dime or quarter works well) and give it to them every time they do their chore instead.
4-5 year old chores
I once read that children should start making their bed at 5 years old. The article said that if they do that, it only takes a couple of months for them to do it well. With both of my older kids, I have fond this to be very true! 4-5 years is when most children really start understanding their chores, and at this age, they usually take a lot of pride in doing them.
- Making their own bed.
- Folding basic laundry (wash cloths, small towels.)
- Empty silverware (except knives) from dishwasher.
- Clean up room.
- Put away their own laundry.
- Load/unload washer and dryer (front loaders) with minimal help.
- Clean counters and baseboards.
6-8 year old chores
At 6-8 years, kids should be able to do all of the previous chores on their own. Of course, I don’t recommend making kids do all of the chores on the list. It’s up to you to choose an appropriate amount and to choose which chore is right for your child or children. My daughter (6) does a very good job folding laundry. My son, who is 9, doesn’t. However, he can easily do laundry start to finish (minus the folding) or load and unload the dishwasher with ease.
- Load/unload washer and dryer without help.
- Load or unload the dishwasher (remove knives or sharp objects first.)
- Rake leaves or help in a garden.
- Help with meal prep.
- Clean the table after dinner.
9-12 year old chores
At 9-12 years old, most children should be able to do all former chores independently. They should also be able to assist younger siblings with chores, and take on more complex tasks. Tasks like taking out the trash, and cleaning floors might be difficult for
- Take out the trash/recycling.
- Clean bathrooms
- Sweep and mop floors.
- Vacuum floors.
If a child has been doing chores since they were young, they will be able to do pretty much anything by the teen years. The following tasks will help them prepare for adulthood.
- Babysit siblings.
- Mow yard.
- Prepare meals.
- Wash the car.
- Assist younger siblings with chores.
If you are paying your children to do chores, it can also be a good time to teach them about budgeting and saving money. You can find out why we pay our kids (based on Dave Ramsey’s “commission” system in this post.
I hope that you found this list of age appropriate chores helpful! If you’d like to download a printable list, go here! Looking for the custom check-off chore list? I made one for every age group, and they’re free!. Click here to access them. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to share this age appropriate chores list with all your mom friends!