Age Appropriate Chores For Children
Chores are a great way to start teaching your child about responsibility and how to be a productive member of your family, but knowing what are age-appropriate chores for children is a bit harder. We’ve put together a list to get you started with some chores that are perfect for every age group and discuss the pros and cons of paying your child for the chores they do.
Chores for Toddlers
For children ages 2-3, you’ll want to choose chores that are easy and quick or your child may lose interest. Also, you’ll need to choose things that are lower to the ground so they can do them with the least amount of assistance. Here are some great ideas to try:
- Put the clothes into the washer and dryer
- Sort the socks from the clean laundry
- Put toys and books away
- Wipe the cabinets down
Chores for Preschool-Age Children
For children who are 4-5 years old, they can do all the chores mentioned above, as well as chores that might take a bit more coordination and fine motor skills. Things like:
- Empty the dishwasher
- Set the table
- Match the socks from the clean laundry
- Water plants
- Feed pets
- Wipe and clean door handles and light switches
- Help put groceries away
- Simple food prep
Chores for School-Age Children
Children who are ages 6-9 years old, can now help do things around the house that might involve cleaning products and multiple-step instructions. In addition to all the things mentioned already, children at this age can do things like:
- Cleaning bathrooms
- Folding and putting away clothes
- Sweep or mop the floors
- Pack their lunch
- Pull weeds
- Load and unload the dishwasher
- Take out the trash and/or recycle
- Get the mail
- Help make family meals
Chores for Middle School Children
Middle school-age children should be able to help with most things around the house. They are able to think more logically, follow more complex directions, and are more physically able to perform tasks. They can help with any of the chores listed above as well as the following:
- Wash, dry, fold the laundry
- Make simple meals
- Meal plan
- Mow the lawn
- Clean the bathtub/shower
- Wash the car
- Change lightbulbs
- Help with the grocery shopping
To Pay or Not to Pay for Chores
To pay or not to pay for household chores is a question that every parent has to answer when their children are old enough to help with things around the house. It is 100% a personal choice and varies from family to family. Here are some popular ways to tackle payment for chores:
- A weekly or monthly allowance: The idea here is that your child understands what is expected of them to do within a given time and if they do so will receive a fixed amount of money for them. This is a great option if you want to instill a good work ethic and teach them about job responsibility and making money. Some parents however don’t like this idea because the chores their children do are contributing to the overall wellbeing of the family and the home and don’t want to pay for things that MUST get done for the home to function.
- A per chore payment: Using this method you reward your child for work they choose to accomplish. This can be an especially useful method when you are trying to get your child excited about helping or earning their own spending money. You can either set the same amount of money for each chore or set an amount based on the difficulty or length of the chore needing to be done. The downside to this option is it gives your child the choice to do chores and which ones, and you may not get the help you are looking for.
- A hybrid model of payment: In this situation, parents pay a weekly or monthly allowance for a set list of chores, while also offering other more extensive chores to do for additional money. This method allows parents to give their children a sense of responsibility for the items they are in charge of regularly, while also giving them the autonomy to do more and earn more. This is a good method for older children who might be saving up for something special they want who can learn to work hard and save for something.
- No money but earning something special: Some parents feel they shouldn’t have to pay for chores their child does to contribute to the family. However, they want to give their children the opportunity to earn something special. Maybe your child wants a lego set or a trip to the amusement park or a special ice cream treat, doing chores is a great way to earn that special something. This method allows children to get rewarded for their hard work and allows parents to gift something other than just money.
Providing age-appropriate chores for your child not only provides structure and a sense of responsibility but also helps develop their fine and gross motor skills. If you’re looking for more ways to help your child learn and grow, check out our online preschool program. We offer a free trial class to you so you can make sure our program is a good match for your child. Try it out today and see why parents and children all over the country are loving our program!