When parents consider the work they do around the house, it can be fairly easy to construct lists of chores for kids. A good tip is to make sure that chores are age appropriate because overly difficult chores will turn kids off housework quickly. In contrast, chores that are too simple may be considered too juvenile by older kids, and they may prefer work that shows they’re growing up and are more mature.
Chores for kids who are very young should probably be supervised by parents. Kids aged two to four may be eager to help because they see what parents or older siblings are doing and want to be part of the action. It’s especially important to make chores easy to complete and give lots of praise to kids who perform them so they associate good feelings with housework.
Some sample chores for toddlers and pre-schoolers can include a lot of “helping chores.” For instance, children can help pick up toys or set the silverware on the table. Other chores for kids of this age include helping to dust with a cloth or a sock, cleaning the lower parts of windows while a parent cleans the top, and helping to make their beds. It’s recommended that children of this age shouldn’t use any types of toxic cleaners. Window washing, for instance, can use vinegar water instead of harsher window cleaning solutions.
School age kids greatly increase their capacity to do more complicated chores. These can include making the bed, gathering up laundry from their bedroom floors, and making sure all toys are put away. Beyond keeping bedrooms neat, household chores for kids can include unloading most parts of the dishwasher, drying dishes, sweeping, raking leaves or pulling weeds, and setting the table. As children age, use discretion to determine what chores they’re ready to do.
Preteens and teens can help prepare meals, make simple breakfast or lunch, wash dishes or load the dishwasher, do laundry, and vacuum. Other chores for kids ten and up include changing bed sheets, folding laundry, and taking care of pets. On this last chore, parents may want to follow up to be sure things like feeding pets is being done as needed so a pet doesn’t go hungry or thirsty.
Older teens, especially if they’ve been doing chores all their lives, are quite capable of doing most things adults do. They can clean out garages, shop for groceries, prepare most any meal, and do intensive cleaning. Teen drivers may be able to drop younger siblings off at school or run all kinds of errands for parents.
Just as age is important in considering chores for kids, it’s also a good idea to look at the requirements of kids from other sources. Intensive years in school, or going to school and holding a job may mean kids are already working enough. Parents don’t have to have everyday chores when kids are pressed for time. Instead the family can work on chore projects as needed and when each family member has a little extra time to get things done.