Best List of Age-Appropriate Chores 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…

List of Chores by Age Guide

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!

Plan Your Child’s Chore List

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!

Fun Printable Chore Charts for Kids

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!

14 Comments

  1. These are GREAT! It gives everyone an idea on where to start as far as chores! Please come share this on a party I cohost, DIY Sunday Showcase!

    Shelly
    minettesmaze.blogspot.com

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

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    ¤ ´ ¨)
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    ( ¸ ¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Raising-Reagan.com

  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?

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