30 Age Appropriate Chores Your Kids Can Do!

30 Age Appropriate Chores
Image adapted from Flickr/ clogozm

With so much that we all need to get done around the house each week, who wouldn't think that assigning some of these tasks to our kids in terms of a “chore” is a good idea? I mean — we all would like to have a little extra help, right? But the reality of kids and chores (speaking for myself anyway), is that to get kids to do a task, and do it right, requires regular adult instruction and supervision. Which means that you aren't exactly freeing up your time to do something else … at least- not right away.

But teaching kids how to empty the dishwasher, make their beds, fold and put away laundry are all important life lessons that they need to master someday. Not to mention our kids should also learn how to prepare a meal, mow the lawn, and do simple repairs around the house like changing lightbulbs and unclogging toilets (hey — I'd settle for them learning how to change the empty toilet paper tube!) before they become fully functioning adults. (We owe this much to their future spouses, don't we?)

So let's talk about age-appropriate chores for kids. What chores should they be doing and what age? And should we tie chores to rewards such as allowances? We'll see what the experts have to say!

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Image via Flickr/ ThreeIfByBike

Chores for Kids Ages 2-5

  • Clean up toys, books, etc
  • Dust furniture
  • Dress themselves
  • Put clothes in the hamper
  • Take dirty clothes to the laundry room
  • Help set the table for meals
  • Clear plate after meals
  • Feed pets

{ MORE: What Is a Good Age to Allow Your Child to Have a Cell Phone? }

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Image via Flickr/ AngryJulieMonday

Chores for Kids Ages 6-11

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  • Make beds
  • Clean up bedrooms
  • Sort and start laundry
  • Fold and put away laundry
  • Load and empty the dishwasher
  • Wipe down the table
  • Pack lunches and snacks for school
  • Prepare easy breakfasts and lunches
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Bring in mail and newspaper
  • Pull weeds, rake leaves
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Image via Flickr/ sugarfrizz

Chores for Kids 12 and Up

  • Prepare a family dinner
  • Vacuum
  • Mop Floors
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Wash the car
  • Do their own laundry
  • Iron a shirt
  • Change bed sheets
  • Babysit younger siblings
  • Mow the lawn
  • Change lightbulbs

{ MORE: Young Motherhood }

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Image via Flickr/ David Reber

Teaching Kids to Do Their Chores

As we all know, it takes time and patience to teach kids how to do chores. Barb Hoyer blogs at A Life in Balance and in her post on Chores for Kids, she suggests that:

“As you introduce each chore, include time for a 4 step progression:

  1. teaching the chore,
  2. doing the chore with your kid,
  3. actively supervising the chore,
  4. inspecting the chore once it's done.

Use a chore buddy for a younger child if possible. Barb says “The older child learns to be a leader and teaches the younger child how to do something. The younger child has a coach and cheerleader along with learning a new skill.”

{ MORE: Can You Have the Kids at Home AND a Clean House? My Summer Experiment }

I also suggest that you don't insist on perfection. Be patient and give them time to learn how to do it right. And don't forget to heap on the praise!

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Image via A Lemon Squeezy Home

Using a Chore Chart

One of the keys to getting kids to do their chores is to be consistent about the assignment. As soon as you start letting chores slip, kids will learn that you don't always follow up … so they will wait to be nagged to get them done! Set your expectations and then be sure to follow through!

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track is by implementing a chore chart. I love this chore chart idea from Christie over at A Lemon Squeezy Home; all of her kids' chores are listed on the left side of their magnetic chart, and they move the items over to the right as they complete them. So simple to re-set for the next day, or change up what chores they are assigned- since they are just magnets!

Should Allowances Be Tied to Doing Chores?

As it turns out, the experts don't agree on this. Some folks, such as financial gurus Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman, suggest that parents tie allowance directly to chores. Orman believes by teaching your child to earn the money they receive you are teaching them to be money-wise. In this way, she suggests they are more likely to become money-wise adults and will respect their money more.

Other experts such as Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics at SUNY Buffalo, says parents should pay no allowance period–neither as an entitlement nor as a reward for chores.

{ MORE: Tame the Toys! The Best Solutions for Keeping Toys Tamed }

But perhaps the best solution (and one we are following in our own home) is setting the expectation that kids have a base level of chores that they need to do as a part of our family, and doing these chores are not tied to an allowance. But we do offer allowance payments for odd jobs that go above and beyond what those base level chores. So you don't get paid to make your bed or clear your plate and load it into the dishwasher. But pulling weeds and helping with a closet clean out project is definitely worth a few dollars!

What chores are your kids doing (and at what ages?). Do you tie allowances to chores?

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30 Age Appropriate Chores Your Kids Can Do!

My name is Sharon and I am the busy Mom of six children ages 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, and 8. People often ask me "How do you do it?" I tell them that my key to success lies in planning ahead, with a whole lot of creativity and organization thrown in! ... More

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