Age-Appropriate Chores for Your Child

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My daughter recently said, “Hey, mom! Thanks for sharing some of your spare time with me. I know you have tons of it!”

I had to laugh, because the very idea of a mom with loads of spare time is hilarious. Instead, we have loads of laundry … but that is an entirely different, non-hilarious topic.

What your children can reasonably help with varies by age. We want real help, not a mess to clean up afterwards! 

As moms, our time is precious. So allow me to let you in on a secret that has helped me gain a little more peace of mind, and some much-appreciated spare time too: ­Child labor Teaching my children about the small ways they can help around the house, taking some of the burden off my shoulders.

Of course, what your children can reasonably help with varies by age. We want real help, not a mess to clean up afterwards! Here are a few ideas of things your children can help you with, based on their ages.

Three- to Four-year-Olds:

Between three meals a day, snacks, and constant requests for a drink, and homework, coloring, crafts, and much more happening at the table, my kitchen is Grand Central Station! There’s always something that needs to get cleaned. Three and four year olds are perfect “Mommy’s Helpers.” They’re really interested in what you’re doing and get truly excited when they become a part of it. Here are a few things Mommy’s Helpers can safely do within the kitchen:

  • unloading and putting away Tupperware and utensils from the dishwasher
  • sweeping the floor
  • wiping down countertops and table
  • rinsing soap off of dishes
  • putting away any toys that have made their way to the kitchen
  • setting the table for any family meals, and clearing the table afterwards
  • stirring ingredients together when you’re baking

Aside from the kitchen, Mommy’s Helpers can also:

  • pick up toys
  • vacuum (with supervision)
  • put away folded laundry
  • help move clothing from the washer to the dryer
  • feed pets
  • plant seeds and help weed a garden
  • run “retrieval” errands for mommy
  • make their own beds

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Age-Appropriate Chores for Your Child

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6 comments

  1. Claudia says:

    I love this article all my other mom friends do everything for their children and I’m the weird one for giving my child responsibilities. All I ask is that she picks up after herself she’s five and her chores are picking up her toys and clothes, cleaning her room and getting herself ready for school. Everything else she wants to help with is extra and she gets rewarded for it.

  2. Heide says:

    My 16 month old helps me carry things, and he almost never forgets and takes them somewhere else. I look forward to when he’s a little older and can help more. He really wants to learn sweeping, but I think it’s because he likes the broom.

  3. Bethany says:

    I think it’s great to get kids to help out at the house. Starting them out young will hopefully help them when they’re older. At this point, my 3 year old thinks it’s fun to help. He loves to feed the dog and put things in and take things out of the dryer. He’s also a great help getting me things for his baby sister.

  4. stephanie says:

    my 2 and 3 yr old don’t do much. Just help put their toys away ( which my 2 yr old sometimes gives me a hard time with) and baking/cooking and putting their toys away. I should introduce making the bed to my 3 year old. that would be nice 😀

  5. Wiley says:

    When our son was 2 he loved to keep his toys picked up and in their proper place when he wasn’t playing with them. Now that he is 3, he loves to help us with our chores like sweeping the floor and washing and drying dishes but we often need to tell him to put up his toys he has pulled out but he’s gradually getting better about it again.

  6. JESSICA says:

    In our home my 7,8, and 9 year old rotate the dinner chores. They each have two from the following:
    1. Wipe off table and chairs 2. Wipe off refrigerator and breakfast bar 3. Take out trash and smash pop cans
    4. Put away leftovers and condiments. 5. & 6. Help mom or dad with chore
    Usually number five and six consist of laundry (taking clean clothes out of dry & putting in clean clothes basket or putting wet clothes from the washer to the dryer), bringing in firewood, cleaning the bathroom sink, or emptying the fireplace ash can. Each morning they are responsible for cleaning their own rooms before they come out.

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