Age Appropriate Chore List for Kids

Getting kids to do chores is a really common pain point among families!

The subject of household tasks as chores for kids is a difficult one. Difficult for the kids because they would prefer a chore-free world. Difficult for the busy parent because they know that to be successful you need to find the right age-appropriate task, teach the child the skill to do new chores correctly and then follow up afterward to make sure the work is done.

And the truth is, getting kids to help with chores without whining and complaining can be downright tough…

Chores for kids - 6 pictured age-appropriate chore assignments for household and yard work chores

Chores can be fun when you choose the right one!

The good news is that the whole family benefits when chores are distributed! Kids responsibility is way more important than we originally thought. In fact, current research shows that kids who are assigned chores at home during their childhood have a much happier life.

That is one of the reasons why we have the best list of age-appropriate chores below!

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 daily household chores.

Yes, CHORES.

I think the word itself has such a negative connotation which isn’t fair! 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 with daily chores. They need to experience this sense of responsibility as a life lesson while they are young, so I don’t send them out into the world helpless.

Giant age appropriate chores for kids guide - Kids activities Blog - toddler washing dishes from stool

Let’s find the perfect chore based on your child’s age!

Kids Chores By Age

Each school year, chores change for each of my children based on their grade and maturity level. As a mom, you know what your child can or can’t handle.

For instance, younger kids may need you to make the chores fun as they are first learning to create these habits. Older kids can do their own laundry.

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 with a good work ethic. In the long run, this lesson of practical skills is more important to their life than clean bathrooms today.

Lastly, don’t give in when they whine or complain. It is extremely important to keep a positive attitude and set a good example. My children know it is expected of them and I back that up with positive reinforcement. The earlier you start with children chores, the more it just feels normal to participate in family chores the rest of their life.

Here are a few age-appropriate chore ideas for each age group. Keep in mind, you know your child’s ability best…

How many chores should a child have?

The overall goal of age-appropriate chores is to teach kids the responsibility of doing chores regularly and the ability to time manage those chores into their lives in a positive way. Depending on what age you start a child will likely determine how many chores they might do (and how long those chores last).

As a guide for time spent doing chores:

  • Younger Kids (2-7) may spend up to 10 minutes a day doing chores.
  • Older Kids (8-11) may spend 15 minutes a day doing chores but may have a project or two per week that takes longer like mowing lawn, changing sheets, etc..
  • Tweens & Teens may have a longer chore list up to 30 minutes a day with some weekly projects as well.

Age Appropriate Chores for Kids by Age

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
  • Sorting clothes (may need help)
  • Transporting clean laundry back to family members rooms
  • Wipe up spills
  • More toddler chore ideas!

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
  • Dust
  • 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
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • 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

Middle School (Ages 12-14)

  • All above chores
  • Clean showers/tub
  • Wash/Dry clothes – using both washing machine and dryer
  • Mop floors
  • Gardening/Yard work
  • Help supervise younger children

High School Kids (Ages 14+)

  • All chores for younger age kids listed above
  • Literally any chore the household might have…these are important life skills!
  • Literally any yard work chore…these are important life skills!

Chores for Kids - Chores By Age list - boy and girl doing laundry at home

You can even make laundry fun and games!

Kids Chore List Planning

I recommend planning your child’s list of simple tasks either weekly or monthly. The last thing you need is the complication of trying to figure out what the kids were supposed to do that day and have to issue specific instructions.

One thing that I recently learned was that kids are better off with the same task over time because it allows them to really learn the new skill needed for that chore, do it in a more efficient way and learn the valuable lessons associated with mastery.

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.

Go mom!

Chore list by age for kids - printable chore card chart from Kids Activities Blog

Print this chore list for kids!

Chore List for Kids (Printable Charts)

Kids need a little motivation?

We found a few fun chore charts that may be of help as a reward system to recognize good behavior and celebrate a clean house!

Age appropriate family chore chart - Kids Activities Blog - older boy carrying out the recycling bin

Should you pay an allowance for chores well done?

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.

Younger child - toddler using dustpan for chores - Kids Activities Blog

How much should you pay for chores?

How Much Should I Pay My Kids to Do Chores?

While there is no hard or fast rule for this but just some general guidelines. 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

Kids and chores - age appropriate skills making bed - Kids Activities Blog - preschooler helping dad make bed

Chores are more than a clean house…they are kids being responsible!

How Kids Doing Chores Teaches Financial Responsibility

As children grow up and prepare to enter the real world they need important skills.  Many of them are simply not ready to handle their finances properly.

Why?

Because they are not taught how to be financially responsible on a daily basis. 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:

  1. Chores can help teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees; you have to work for it.
  2. When children have chores it teaches them the importance of consistency. If you work, you get paid. If you don’t, you wont.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Kids age appropriate chore list - filling dishwasher - Kids Activities Blog

Daily chores can be a part of everyday life…happy life!

More Kids Chores Information & Resources at Kids Activities Blog

What kinds of chores do your children do?

Do you pay them? We’d love to know!

Also, if you have a suggestion for an age-appropriate chore that we missed, please add it in the comments below!

89 Comments

  1. Shelly- minettesmaze.blogspot.com/ says:

    These are GREAT! It gives everyone an idea on where to start as far as chores!

  2. love this post! I have a 4 year old and I think chores are a super important part of life, to help them understand responsibility. This breakdown is great, my son definitely has it easy compared to this list but It’s a great time to add a thing or 2 for him.

  3. Yes, I agree – consistency of chores is important to help children master what to us feels like a “basic” task. Responsibility starts simply with not forgetting about the chore 🙂

  4. This is a great list, not only will it teach kids to be helpful and responsible but it would help ease the workload for Mom!

  5. We have just started doing chores with our son, I will definitely be pinning this for later so we have some ideas for when he is older. Thank you for sharing this with the Less Laundry, More Linking party.

  6. Lanaya | Raising Reagan says:

    What an excellent list .. I am a big proponent of chores for kids. Reagan is definitely learning responsibility with her chores for sure.

  7. These are great guidelines. Our little ones are actually looking to do some chores as they’d like an allowance. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  8. Love this list! This will definitely teach them responsibilities and help me have some mommy time.

  9. Julia Borisva Ukraine says:

    I’m so sorry that I didn’t read it and didn’t start it earlier… Now I’m a Cinderella serving two children 10 and 14 y.o.Could you give me some advices how to involve them into these activities?

  10. Definitely going to incorporate this in our home!

  11. We don’t pay our kids to do chores right now. But I did play them during summer, and they loved earning a little money.

    I love the list of chores by age! Very helpful when deciding which chores to assign each child.

  12. Thanks for sharing! Tips are needed when your child has special needs! It’s a struggle but having him do chores independently is what I strive for?

  13. Great information! My children are grown, but I love to share information with the families of the children I teach. Children are empowered when they successfully complete their chores. Thank you!

  14. Kelly Landis says:

    Chores are so important. Have each chore worth a certain amount – each month have kiddos cash on their savings. Teaches a great lesson on the importance of money and teaches responsibility!

  15. Mostly just cleaning up after themselves

  16. These are great lists for each age group! Will definitely work more with my 3 and 6 year old to do these chores. It will help now that we have a newborn. Thank you!

  17. Lovestruck326 says:

    I pay my toddler her age ($3) for her chores. She has to make her bed, pick up her toys, and collect her laundry. Thanks for the printable!

  18. Jaime Landry says:

    These are great ideas. I always get stuck trying to come up with a chore chart. Very helpful! ??

  19. My three kiddos are autistic. They thrive on routine! They each have a clipboard with certain things to do chores (but also life skills) making sure their bed is made, clothes in the dirty hamper after bed ect. They get allowance depending how old they are. They get paid via Greenlight (they each have their own) and it has completely changed their independence! They are so happy and proud of themselves when they go to the store and use their own debit card(Greenlight) and the kicker they are wanting to save their money doing it this way! You can also keep track of their chores on the app and I also pay them for (caught you being good) my oldest helped one of his siblings make their bed bc they were getting frustrated! So proud of them ?

  20. michelle benoit says:

    when they are toddlers let them help while they want to and think it’s fun

  21. Sarah Toms says:

    Love this article, We have a 4 years old son and we wanted to start the chores, thanks for your precious advices.

  22. Great article and very informative!! It’s very helpful for the child to have expectations at home so that way when they go to other places like school it is not such a shock when they have to do things for themselves.

  23. Lisa Chiavaroli says:

    I have a just turned 4 yr old who is in charge of using the remote to turn off the TV, arranging her shoes in a bin, helping clean up her toys, putting her dirty clothes into the hamper, and putting her dirty dishes into the sink. She likes being in charge of these things. I love the list offered by age in this article!

  24. Amanda Burns says:

    I have a 15 yr. old son on the spectrum with ADHD and I’ve been trying to teach him life skills ever since he was about 3-4 yrs. old. He might not have understood them or what they were for, but he loved helping mama out! Now, since I was recently diagnosed with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), I’m needing the extra helping hands around the house because I can’t do all the cleaning that I once was able to do. I don’t do allowance because it’s part of the family responsibilities around the house. My stepdaughter, she was taught all the same life skills as my son but I’m the bad parent because I made her do all those things. She flat out refused to help unless she was paid, even when she didn’t do a good job, complained and became physically aggressive. This is why I didn’t have allowances in my household.

  25. Ann Gupta says:

    I love these Ideas. I used to do chores for my kids and they would select weekly which ones they wanted to do so they wouldnt get bord . They also had their on small baskets for their clothes that they would take up and bring down for themselves and they would get a allowance to use on something special.

  26. This is a great idea for young children! By teaching the kids at a young age about chores give them responsibly. Also, paying them for chores teaches the kids how to use their money wisely.

  27. Sharon Keller says:

    I have the toddlers pick up toys, help entertain the baby while I fix lunch and some set the table. They also help get lunch on the table.
    I have a 13 year old that I used to babysit with, that comes back now and cuts my grass. I do pay him for that !

  28. Kristen Yard says:

    I love all of this, Sharon! Toddlers love feeling helpful, and how cool is it that you can go full circle like that, hiring the kiddo you used to babysit to mow your lawn!

  29. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes! So many important life lessons, all wrapped up in one!

  30. Kristen Yard says:

    That’s awesome that you let them choose their chores, Ann! What a great idea!

  31. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes, cleaning, chores, and teamwork are important life skills for kids!

  32. Kristen Yard says:

    What a helpful kiddo, Lisa! So glad that you are liking our chore list!

  33. Kristen Yard says:

    So glad that you like it, Amanda! Yes, it is very important for kids to learn how to pitch in!

  34. Kristen Yard says:

    We are so glad that the article is helpful to you!

  35. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Chelsea! These are all wonderful ideas! What a great idea to use Greenlight!

  36. Kristen Yard says:

    I’m so glad that we could help, Jaime!

  37. Kristen Yard says:

    That’s wonderful! You are so welcome!

  38. Kristen Yard says:

    That’s an important life skill!

  39. Kristen Yard says:

    Totally agree!

  40. Kristen Yard says:

    I agree! Kids need to feel that sense of responsibility, purpose, and teamwork!

  41. Kristen Yard says:

    You’re welcome, Taylor!

  42. This is so helpful! I love giving my 5 and 7 year old chores. They don’t always like them, but I try!

  43. Ashley H. says:

    I love getting my girls involved around the house and they love it too … most of the time! ? My 5 year old is my laundry helper and my 7 year old is my organizer but it’s great to have lists like this around because sometimes I blank on what would be a good, age appropriate chore for them to help out with. I love making chores fun too by using incentives, games and charts. This whole post has wonderful information! Thanks for all the hard work you and your team put into making great content for all of us Mom’s just trying to do our best! ??

  44. Kayla Carroll says:

    I had 2 systems with my kids. First, they had to pick up there own rooms and take care of their pet, if they had one, without any pay. I also kept a jar with popsicle sticks in it that had extra chores written on them with the amount they could earn if they did it. These were the paid chores, and they were almost always done by the end of the week.

  45. Leslie U. says:

    I love the charts! My kids, we have six(16-2yo), do chores as well. We can’t afford to do allowances, so we usually take them and do something fun and make memories ?

  46. What a great list! So
    Comprehensive! I need to use it for my husband too:)

  47. Mary Beth Wolle says:

    I think that chores should be encouraged but if the child resists, then allow them to enjoy being a kid. I feel that their learning and play is inhibited by putting responsibilities on them at too young of an age. I have witnessed children holding back in their play since they do not want to feel the uncomfortable feeling. I try to make clean up a game and make it fun, almost always insist that they help but I do not force them to do it all themselves. I want them to be cheerful helpers. It is a privilege to have a good attitude about keeping things cleaned and organized. If they resist, it is on them and I hope in time I can convince them that happiness is just giving and they learn to do that without expecting anything in return. When they are young teenagers I offer to pay them an amount we both agree on so they can learn financial responsibility.

  48. Jena Bothun says:

    My 4 1/2 yr old son loves helping. He saw me always doing the laundry and I have always somehow made it look fun. By talking about colors or shapes and sizes he helps sort and now even knows what setting to set them at on the washer and dryer. He sets it and I press go. It is a fun game almost.
    He is always so proud of helping.

  49. We have 3 schedules that my kids rotate through weekly, so they do different chores every week and don’t get bored. We do pay them – they get 2.50 at the end of the week if chores were completed during chore time everyday.

  50. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a genius 3 year old at home that knows how to read yet. I LOVE charts and graphs and all of that but she doesn’t even remember to wash her hands every time in the bathroom! So I don’t have specific chores written down for her to do, we just kind of wing it as we go. If the kids are able to understand a direction, then we can practice with them every time. We’re getting ready for bed, “put your clothes in the dirty laundry.” I’m doing laundry, “can you help me load the washing machine and dryer?” They love closing the dryer! “If you’re done with that drink, please put your cup in the sink. As of now, she’s doing really good with the immediate directions, and following through immediately (unless of course I hear my own words come out of her mouth “in a minute”). For now, this works. I would love to graduate to not having to tell her every time, we’ll see how long that takes. 🙂

  51. Kristen Yard says:

    LOL, Beth! Kids always get us with our own words–too funny!

  52. Kristen Yard says:

    I love the idea of rotating schedules and chores!

  53. Kristen Yard says:

    Aw, they are such little helpers at that age, Jena! So sweet!

  54. Kristen Yard says:

    Thank you for your suggestions!

  55. Kristen Yard says:

    Haha! Yes, it works for kids of all ages–including husbands! 😉

  56. Kristen Yard says:

    So glad that you like this list, Leslie! Experience gifts are the best!

  57. My three year old loves cleaning and folding laundry! She even undoes other people’s folding so she can fold them.

  58. My girls got to make their own chore chart & they love using them to keep track of what they are doing/need to do. They get to Velcro them up to show when they are complete & it makes them feel accomplished & proud ?

  59. Carolyn Holland says:

    With $50 dollars I would donate some if not all to a fund for ukraine. Thanks.

  60. My kids and I do chores together. We turn on Alexa and dance and do chores together. My kids love music and family time, so putting music on seems to make it fun and allows us all to do chores together.

  61. My kiddos are grown and raising children of their own, but they had chores when they were growing up & they are all now very responsible and hard working adults. I always tried to use positivity because our family was a “team” and chores were part of being a family. I did pay them when they chose an “extra” chore from a list I kept. Each child had a different (age appropriate) list & $ it earned.

  62. Please remember when chores are getting done, especially when done by younger kiddos, they may not always be done 100% perfectly to your standards. This was 1 of my biggest struggles but it’s important to keep reminding yourself that they will get better @ the chore and thou “shall not” go behind them and redo it – LOL. (That also goes for husbands !)
    You can use a teaching moment…” I noticed when you made your bed, it looks like you had some trouble with…. I used to have trouble with that too, and then I learned that this really helps me…. share or show.
    Don’t forget to notice and tell them when they’ve done a good job being so responsible. And lastly- DON’T GIVE UP !!! So many great ideas in this post.

  63. Thanks for great ideas! Our girls(7&4) love to help with a few chores and not so much w others. I’m going to stick with one “new one” at a time to help them master it.

  64. KimberGreen says:

    This is a great list! I agree that children should participate in all aspects of family life, not just the fun ones. You can make chores fun though! Gardening is another area that our children help in daily. Watering plants was on your list, but ours also help prep the soil, start seeds indoors, transplant, water, measure rain fall, harvest crops and of course eat them. I’ve found that since we started vegetable gardening, our children eat all these things that we grow that they never would eat from a grocery store.

  65. I think many days I need help like everyone else but for the most part my kiddos to have chores to complete. The tasks are gaged by their age but each of them have expectations. We use stickers on a chart when a task is completed. after a certain number of stars they are able to select a prize from a prize box. I do not give incentives each time. I ask my oldest to be a role model but when one does excessively more than the other during clean the may earn an extra prize to show how proud I am.

  66. Bridgette says:

    This is a great tool for the classroom as well. This is a great way to teach students how to be responsible citizens and reward them. The money can be converted to “class dollars” and they can choose a prize at the end of the month! This is a great tool for practicing math as well.

  67. Little Miss is 2 and she has been helping me with chores really since she started walking! She thinks it is so fun to do laundry and push the basket around. She also loves to help me clean toilets ? Now we have added taking care of her dishes at mealtimes. Making it more like a game than a chore has helped her be motivated to help.

  68. Diane Hylton says:

    I love giving children chores and paying them for SOME of the chores (some chores they need to do just so they learn there isn’t a paycheck for everything in life and sometimes we do something just because it needs to be done); in turn they must purchase some of their own wants. This gives them a feeling of accomplishment, something to work for, and a goal to reach. It also teaches them how to handle and save money, as well as a sense of pride when they save enough to make the purchase(s) they have so diligently worked and saved for!

  69. For her second Christmas, I had noticed that my daughter likes to be around when we’re cleaning. I asked my brother to get some toys and we received the Melissa and Doug cleaning set. Great idea, but really bad in practice. I started sweeping, and she would sweep it out into a big mess again. But, half jokingly, I told my daughter we could get her a little vacuum cleaner. My husband took a little convincing, but buying the cheapest hand vacuum has been really fun! She is a lot more ready to help clean, and I think my son is getting the idea too. They have both been intrigued by vacuums since they were young.

  70. MuskokaGirl13 says:

    As a teacher and parent, kids benefit from chores. There are also household responsibilities that should be separate from chores. It’s important for children to also realize that they can contribute to the regular running of a household. Some jobs should be expected (i.e., keep your room tidy, replace toys when finished etc.) as part of being a family member. However “chores” may be above and beyond that which is expected. For these, children should be paid. Age/developmental level are good indicators (as listed above). It’s also beneficial for children, from a young age, to volunteer in their community or on a global scale. Financial literacy is a goal for chores and the income collected from these tasks.

  71. Kristen Yard says:

    Love this! Very good points!

  72. Kristen Yard says:

    Aw, that is so sweet! Great idea with the mini vacuum! My nephew had a toy Dyson that actually sucked dust up! He loved that thing, lol!

  73. Kristen Yard says:

    Very important lessons, Diane! Thank you!

  74. Kristen Yard says:

    That is so sweet! Kids just love helping at that age!

  75. Kristen Yard says:

    Love that idea, Bridgette! One of my teachers did something like that when I was in 5th grade. We were able to “cash out” whenever we wanted and use our classroom cash to buy little toys and candies that my teacher had in a box. We could also use it to get out of one homework assignment per marking period, instead!

  76. Kristen Yard says:

    I love a good sticker chart!

  77. Kristen Yard says:

    I agree, Kimber! It’s all about perspective!

  78. Kristen Yard says:

    So glad that you enjoyed them, Nicole! That’s a great idea!

  79. Kristen Yard says:

    Very important point!

  80. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes! Teamwork makes the dream work!

  81. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes! My daughter and I do this, too! Everything is more fun when it becomes a random dance party! LOL!

  82. Kristen Yard says:

    That is very sweet of you, Carolyn!

  83. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes! If kids can select their own chores they take more of an interest in it!

  84. Setting goals at an early age is important. I have found that my young girls find it more of a game with their chore chart & they actually enjoy it.

  85. At this time of the year, I ask my students-who are preschoolers with special needs (and my own kid still living at home, who is 15 years old)- to do a “Spring cleaning.”

    In class, students help clean their cubbies and put away their work. They also help clean the tables and chairs.

    For my own kids, I let them take an inventory of their gently used clothes and/or toys and gadgets that they don’t use or wear or use and have them donate to goodwill or Salvation Army or friends or anyone they know that will make use of them.

    These tasks give the students and big kids organizational skills and gives them ownership, independence, and caring for their things and others.

  86. Kristen Yard says:

    I agree!

  87. Kristen Yard says:

    I love this, Aimee!

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