The subject of chores for kids is a difficult one. Difficult for the kids because they would prefer a chore-free world. Difficult for the parents to find the right ones and then make sure the work is done.
And the truth is, getting kids to help with chores without whining and complaining can be downright tough!
The good news is that the whole family benefits when chores are distributed! Kids Activities Blog is excited to tackle this subject.
No matter what time of year it might be, a routine can help keep things organized! Oh my beloved routine! Part of routine at my house means the children start a new batch of chores.
I think the word itself has such a negative connotation. I firmly believe that every member of the family contributes to helping run/maintain the household and each of my children have a part in that. They need these responsibilities and life lessons, so I don’t send them out into the world helpless.
Kids Chores By Age
Each school year, chores change for each child based on their grade and maturity level. As a mom, you know what your child can or can’t handle.
For instance, younger children may need you to make the chores fun as they are first learning to create these habits. Middle school girls can do their own laundry…middle school boys? That’s questionable.
And I always have to remind myself, don’t fret if they do a horrible job with a task. Have patience and show them how to do it – they will get it eventually.
Lastly, don’t give in when they whine or complain. My children know it is expected of them. And the earlier you start, the more normal it is for them to help out around the house.
Here are a few chore ideas for each age group. Keep in mind, you know your child’s ability best.
Toddler Chores (Ages 2-3)
- Pick Up Toys (show them how)
- Bring plate and cup to the sink after a meal
- Straighten covers on the bed
- Put dirty clothes into the hamper
- Wipe up spills
Preschooler Chores (Ages 4-5)
- All Toddler jobs
- Make the bed
- Help put clothes in washing machine/dryer
- Help put clothes away
- Take out recycling
- Load dishes into dishwasher
- Feed animals
- Water flowers
Elementary Kids Chores (Ages 6-8)
- All Preschool & Toddler Jobs
- Set table
- Wash dishes in sink
- Put clean clothes away on own
- Collect garbage around the house
- Get mail
- Rake leaves
- Put away groceries
- Wash car
Older Elementary (Ages 9-11)
- All Toddler, Preschool, & Elementary Jobs
- Help in meal preparation
- Clean toilets
- Clean bathroom sinks, counters, mirrors
- Walk dogs
- Take garbage cans to curb
- Mow lawn
- Clean animal cages
- Shovel snow
- Help make/pack lunch
- Change sheets on bed
Here is a whole list of age appropriate pet chores to try!
Middle School (Ages 12-14)
- All above chores
- Clean showers/tub
- Wash/Dry clothes
- Mop floors
- Gardening/Yard work
- Help supervise younger children
How you plan your week’s worth of chores and motivate your children to complete their tasks (i.e. allowance?) is up to you. There are lots of great ideas out there to try and with 3 children, I have tried a lot. It simply comes down to what works best for your family. If you’re having trouble getting your kids to do their chores, try these tips.
Regardless, encouraging your children to help out around the house in these ways make them a valuable, contributing member of the family. Think of the self-worth & pride you are instilling in them. Chores for kids doesn’t have to be so difficult. You’ve got this.
Fun Printable Chore Charts for Kids
Kids need a little motivation? We found a few fun chore charts that may be of help.
Here is a great printable we put together with chore lists by age! This includes toddlers, school age kids, and teens.
This adorable Lego Chore Chart with Reward Bucks is a must-have for all the Lego lovers out there!
Have a budding Star Wars fan in the house? If so, this printable Star Wars Chore Chart with Reward Bucks will make chores much more exciting!
Need more inspiration? Check out these 20 fun chore chart ideas we put together.
Should I Pay My Kids to Do Chores?
A question that many parents contemplate is whether or not they should pay their children to do their chores. While the answer will not be the same for everyone, let’s take a look at both sides. We’ll also take a look at how much to pay kids to do chores by age.
Why I should Pay My Kids to do Chores
For every family this answer will be different, but here are some criteria to consider when thinking about paying your children to do chores:
- Because it teaches them the value of hard work.
- It gives me the opportunity to help teach them financial responsibility.
- They can learn the importance of having a good attitude.
- Teamwork is a valuable asset for a child’s life skills.
When Not to Pay My Kids to do Chores
- It’s simply not in your budget.
- If they don’t have a good attitude (complaining, crying, etc.).
- When they refuse to do the work.
- They don’t do a good job.
- Because we think it’s part of the family responsibilities.
How Much Should I Pay My Kids to Do Chores?
While there is no hard or fast rule for this, here are some examples of what you could pay a child at different ages. Note that these suggestions are based on the chore categories by age at the beginning of this post. A general rule of thumb is to pay your child $1 a week per age. Of course this is relative to your family’s unique situation.
- Toddler Chores: $2 – $3 a week
- Preschooler Chores: $4 – $5 a week
- Elementary Kids Chores: $6 – $8 a week
- Older Elementary: $9 – $11 a week
- Middle School: $12 – $14 a week
How Kids Doing Chores Teaches Financial Responsibility
As children grow up and prepare to enter the real world, many of them are simply not ready to handle their finances properly. Why? Because they are not taught how to be financially responsible. And one of the greatest areas we can help prepare our kids for the real world is teaching them how to be wise with their money.
Doing chores can help our children grasp many basic (but necessary) skills to be financially responsible as they enter into the real world. Some of the ways that chores for kids will help your kiddos be financially responsible are:
- Chores can help teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees; you have to work for it.
- When children have chores it teaches them the importance of consistency. If you work, you get paid. If you don’t, you wont.
- Conflict resolution is also a valuable money skill. If your children have an issue with the boss (aka YOU) they can learn to work it out rather than “quit” their job.
- It gives you the ability to teach them about saving their money vs. spending their money. It’s best they learn these hard lessons under your roof with your guidance than out in the world alone with much greater risks.
- Children doing chores is the perfect time to teach them that even if they don’t “feel” like working, they should. After all, we don’t “feel” like paying our bills, but we do it anyway.
What kinds of chores do your children do? Do you pay them? We’d love to know!
Be sure to continue the conversation over on our Facebook page!