How young is too young for kids to start helping around the home?
It’s a tough one.
All kids should help their parents with the running of the home within their ability. It’s good for Mum and Dad of course, and also for the child as it develops confidence, independence and a sense of self. After all, you don’t want them to move out of home at 18 and not be prepared for the big wide world.
Here is a very broad list of chores for kids of all ages. Remember that all children are different, you may find yours will struggle or excel with those tasks set.
From Ages 2 – 3:
There isn’t an age ‘too young’ to start teaching your kids how to pick up after themselves. But very basic chores such as these should be encouraged.
1. Pick up and put away their toys
2. Swiffer the floor (get a mini swiffer – great fun for kids – of course don’t expect a great job!)
3. Put clothes in the dirty clothes basket
4. Put clothes away
5. Keep their room tidy
From Ages 4 – 5:
All above toddler chores plus…
6. Load the dishwasher (with supervision)
8. Vacuum couch/ chairs/ cushions
9. Set and clear the table
10. Wash dishes (with supervision)
11. Clean windows
12. Wipe out bathroom sinks
13. Match socks
14. Fold tea towels
From Ages 6 – 8:
All toddler and preschool chores plus…
16. Assist with meal preparation (grating cheese, following a recipe etc)
17. Wipe bathroom sinks, counters, toilets
18. Hang out laundry (if they can reach)
20. Collect the bin from the footpath
21. Collect the mail
22. Fold/hang laundry
23. Sort washing
24. Clean microwave
25. Rake leaves
From Ages 9 – 11:
26. Make simple meals from scratch
27. Take the bins to the footpath
28. Be able to use the washing machine and dryer
29. Clean toilets
30. Mop floors
From Ages 12 – 14:
31. Clean tub/shower
32. Make full meals/ meal plan
33. Clean out fridge/ freezer
34. Mow the yard
35. Supervise younger children
From Ages 15 and up:
By age 15, most kids should be able to do everything you can do, but whether they do it or not is a whole other story!
Remember that you have more chance of getting a child to do their chores if you help them up for the first few years. This gives them confidence and guidance. Once a child has become proficient at a job, it’s time to assign them a tougher task so they are always learning and growing.
Encourage your children to do things without being asked, especially picking up toys or items that someone may trip over. Teach safe practices from the start and be very careful when teaching them how to use the stove and microwave.
Don’t give up and do it yourself just because it’s easier that way. Teach your children early and you will reap the rewards later on. It is a family’s job to keep a house neat and tidy not just yours!