Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

Your child may be able to do more than you think. “Keep in mind that a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily run the dishwasher,” Pantley says.
In general, she says, preschoolers can handle one or two simple one-step or two-step jobs. Older children can manage more. Here are her pointers on kids’ chores by age:
Chores for children ages 2 to 3
  • Put toys away
  • Fill pet’s food dish
  • Put clothes in hamper
  • Wipe up spills
  • Dust
  • Pile books and magazines
Chores for children ages 4 to 5
Any of the above chores, plus:
  • Make their bed
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail or newspaper
  • Clear table
  • Pull weeds, if you have a garden
  • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs
  • Water flowers
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink
  • Fix bowl of cereal
Chores for children ages 6 to 7
Any of the above chores, plus:
  • Sort laundry
  • Sweep floors
  • Set and clear table
  • Help make and pack lunch
  • Weed and rake leaves
  • Keep bedroom tidy
Chores for children ages 8 to 9
Any of the above chores, plus:
  • Load dishwasher
  • Put away groceries
  • Vacuum
  • Help make dinner
  • Make own snacks
  • Wash table after meals
  • Put away own laundry
  • Sew buttons
  • Make own breakfast
  • Peel vegetables
  • Cook simple foods, such as toast
  • Mop floor
  • Take pet for a walk

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Chores for children ages 10 and older.
Any of the above chores, plus:
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Fold laundry
  • Clean bathroom
  • Wash windows
  • Wash car
  • Cook simple meal with supervision
  • Iron clothes
  • Do laundry
  • Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home)
  • Clean kitchen
  • Change their bed sheets

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