At what age should kids start helping around the home?
How young is too young?
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.
Starting chores young can be beneficial in so many ways. Not only will it teach kids responsibility, but it will also help foster independence and discipline. This is why it’s important to consider when to start assigning chores for children at home. Ideally, chores should begin from 5 or 6, when the child starts to understand basic concepts and tasks.
What kids should be doing?
Chores don’t need to be too complicated. For example, having them put away their toys and other items can help them develop good habits from an early age. The key is to let your child know that some responsibility comes with every privilege.
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:
When it comes to chores around the house, there really is no universal answer for how young kids should start chipping in. While some parents may find it appropriate to introduce chores sooner, others may decide to wait until their children are up to the task.
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:
Ultimately, chores are an important part of growing up and teaching responsibility: it’s a chance for kids to learn the value of hard work and how it contributes to home maintenance and order.
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:
Whether you choose a suitable introduction or decide chores can wait until your child is ready, setting expectations and being consistent will not only assist with household growth but help create positive learning habits as well.
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!