Start giving your kids chores that are perfect for their age level.
I’ve always been the “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself” kind of person, so I’m honestly the worst at delegating.
I hardly ever ask my husband for help around the house, let alone my kids—and that’s probably why severe burnout sets in and I get sick and tired of cleaning up after everyone.
But I’m learning that teaching my kids to do their own chores is actually teaching them how to be more responsible.
Because the truth is, it’s not about me.
The more I practice getting my kids involved around the house, the more responsible they’ll become.
For example, my 3 & 4-year-old hate cleaning their bedroom. And since they know they have to do it, I’ve noticed they’re starting to understand that the more toys they pull out to play with, the more toys they’ll have to put away.
Now they’re not this mindful every day, and that’s okay. Because when you’re dealing with toddlers, it’s better to strive for progress, not perfection!
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Easy age-appropriate chores for kids
When I first started giving chores to my kids, I started very small. But then, I discovered even more age-appropriate chores that I could easily delegate to them (without taking over).
I just can’t believe I didn’t get them involved sooner! So if that’s what you want to do mama, you’re in the right place.
Below, I’ve put together an incredible list of easy chores for kids by age from two-years-old to twelve and beyond!
Let’s dive in…
Toddler Chores for 2 & 3-Year-Olds:
- Put toys in a designated place (toy box, closet, etc.). They’ll do it even faster if give them a 10-sec countdown.
- Throw away small trash. The first few times they do this you’ll have to monitor what they‘re throwing away. Because once they’ve discovered that garbage can, it’s a wrap! 😂
- Put dirty clothes in a hamper.
- Dump clothes from the dryer into a basket or hamper. Although, you might have to help them if they can’t reach.
- Carry their own plastic dishes to the sink — unless it has food all over it. They could end up spilling it onto the floor.
- Getting undressed. I feel like this is the first thing my boys learned to do! They will come out of everything as soon as we get home.
- Clean chair seats, baseboards, and window sills. Simply hand them a wipe or cloth to get the job done!
Chores for 4 & 5-Year-Olds:
- Sort and fold small laundry items — like their socks, tops, and bottoms.
- Clean up small spills and crumbs off the floor. I like to keep paper towels and napkins at a height they can reach so they can clean it up faster.
- Straighten their beds and bedrooms
- Clear the craft table
- Set the kitchen table
- Use a dustpan and broom
- Wipe low surfaces
- Gather trash from smaller trash cans
- Water plants
- Feed pets
- Grab a small snack
Chores for 6 & 7-Year-Olds:
- Put away their own laundry — including hanging clothes in their closet.
- Sweep and vacuum floors
- Prepare basic meals in a toaster or microwave
- Shower, brush teeth and take care of basic grooming
- Pick out their own clothes to wear for the day
- Rake leaves in the yard
- Dust furniture
- Wipe counters and sinks
Chores for 8 & 9-Year-Olds:
- Load & unload a dishwasher, or wash dishes by hand with some guidance
- Take out the trash — things like pizza boxes and small kitchen trash bags
- Mop floors
- Put away groceries — or help to bring them into the house.
- Clean the shower/tub and toilet
- Help with basic meal prep (chopping, mixing, etc.)
- Prepare a school lunch
Chores for 10 & 11-Year-Olds:
- Do their own laundry — run the washer & dryer with help.
- Change bed sheets
- Supervise younger siblings
- Clean the kitchen and bathrooms
- Mow the lawn
- Use the oven or stove with supervision
Chores for Kids 12-Year-Olds and Older:
- Complete simple home repairs with guidance (painting, etc)
- Babysit younger siblings (depending on the situation)
- Cook a simple meal (pancakes, eggs, etc.)
- Shop for groceries with a list
- Wash and Vaccum a car
Assigning chores is the easy part
But following through is much harder.
I’m not the disciplinary parent in our house, my husband is. So my kids can smell that I’m a softy from a mile away and it drives me nuts!!!
I have a tendency to get impatient, step in and want to finish their chores myself when they don’t want to, which defeats the purpose.
So if you’re quick to give in (like me), I suggest waiting until the enforcer gets home (aka Dad) to make sure they follow through because (surprise, surprise) it just might actually get done.
Because remember, it’s not about you or your to-do list (Danielle!) — it’s about teaching your kids to be responsible for their own space.
And in the words of Kevin Hart…
Haha! 😂 — it’s my favorite quote from one of his stand-ups. But it’s so fitting because your kids can and will learn to do these easy chores…if you let them.
Now, getting into a routine won’t happen overnight. And don’t expect your kids to learn all of their chores in a day either.
Be patient with them and strive for progress — not perfection!