I always say that our family unit is a team, and in order to be successful, we all have to pull our weight to make the dream work. A lot of time, that comes in the form of household chores. We believe that we are all responsible for keeping our home presentable and livable, so we all pitch in to get the job done. There are age-appropriate chores for every member of the family, at every stage. Setting that expectation early serves to make family clean up a little easier down the line.
Ages 2 to 3 Years
Instilling a knowledge of age-appropriate chores Encourage little ones to put away their toys after play, and put garbage in the trash can. You can give them a small rag and show them how to dust surfaces. They can even help put away clean dishes like cutlery and Tupperware. Little ones love to help so take advantage of their enthusiasm while they’re young! Check out more age-appropriate chores for toddlers here.
Ages 4 to 6 Years
Time to step it up! Kids in the four to six age range can build on earlier tasks. Give them a broom and dustpan or let them take the vacuum for a spin. Let them use a wipe to give final touches to the bathroom and kitchen counters. They can learn basic kitchen tasks too help with meals. More age-appropriate chores include setting the table, sorting dirty laundry, putting away clean laundry, and making the bed. This is also a great time to enforce tidying rooms and common areas.
Ages 7 to 11 Years
As our children get older, our list of age-appropriate chores also grows. Have a family pet? Kids in the seven to eleven age range are at a great age to handle walks, feeding, habitat cleaning, and similar tasks. They can take out the trash and recycling, get more hands-on in the kitchen, and learn to mop. This is a great time to add clearing the table, as well as loading and unloading the dishwasher (teach ’em young, am I right?).
Ages 12 and Up
At this point, your kids should be ready to tackle some of the bigger and more complicated tasks around the house. Yardwork, including mowing (with adult supervision), is a great chore to add to the list. Depending on the laws of your state, older children can babysit their siblings, or at least occupy them when you need some quiet time to tend to other things. They can help cook meals, and it’s even a great time to offer them input on the weekly menu. At this point, children can really be available for almost anything you might need around the house, and it’s great to have those extra hands!
What About Allowance?
Our 12-year-old does have the opportunity to earn an allowance. It’s important for children to earn their own money and see what goes into that process. However, we only payout when he goes above and beyond his expected set of chores (bonus if he doesn’t ask what he can do, and takes the initiative to do it on his own). Washing the car, watering the plants, and weeding the gardens all fall into the category of age-appropriate chores he can take on to earn that allowance.
What kind of chores do you encourage your children to do at home?