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.

Chores for kids - 6 pictured age-appropriate chore assignments for household and yard work chores - Kids Activities Blog
Chores can be fun when you choose the right one!

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

Chores for Kids

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.


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 Chore List 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.


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!

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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