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Friendly Chores for Kids by Age

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Friendly Chores for Kids by Age

A family that works together and plays together is often more close knit than one in which the parents do all of the work. Teaching children how to take care of themselves and their personal and shared spaces encourages responsibility as well as establishing a strong work ethic. As soon as children are able to understand concepts about picking up, putting away or even handing something to someone, it's a good time to teach them a few simple chores.

 

2 and 3-Year-Olds

Children this age are just learning how to ask for the things they want. And typically they are not shy about it! This means they are also capable of performing very simple tasks that can include: picking up their dirty clothes and putting them in the laundry basket, putting back their toys, helping feed a pet and wiping up small spills they may have made.

 

boy holding block toy

 

4 and 5-Year-Olds

In addition to the above tasks, little ones in this age range can also make their beds, grab the mail or newspaper, clear dirty dishes from the table and take out the trash. They can also use small vacuums to clean their rooms or stairways. Helping unload the dishwasher is also an option. If your child spends a lot of time outside, show them how to pull weeds in your landscaping or garden and teach them how to water the plants. They should also be able to start breakfast on their own if you have early risers. Keep bowls on a low shelf in the cabinet so they will be able to fill with cereal and add a small amount of milk.

 

girl gardening planting flowers

6 and 7-Year-Olds

By the time a child reaches this age, they should be able to do more tasks that fall under the category of self-care. This involves keeping their room clean, sorting laundry, sweeping floors and picking up around the house. When it comes to the kitchen, they should be able to make their own lunch for school and prepare the dinner table. They can also help by assisting with dirty dishes and wiping down the table and kitchen counters.

 

Child reaching for strawberries kitchen

 

8 and 9-Year-Olds

Children who have already been performing the tasks listed above can start to add to their lists with things like carrying in and putting away groceries. They can also load the dishwasher, vacuum the floor, put laundry away, and make or pack their own snacks. It's also a good time to start teaching children how to use a microwave and the stove (with supervision of course). 8 and 9-year-olds can begin to be more independent when it comes to doing things for themselves such as cleaning up the bathroom and taking their clothes to the laundry room.

 

girl mixing baking in kitchen

 

10 Years and Older

When children reach the age of 10, many are ready to start taking on more responsibility such as doing a load of laundry, folding their own clothes, changing the sheets on their bed, washing windows and helping to wash the car. Children who have spent time in the kitchen often have helped with cooking enough to be able to take on small tasks such as making oatmeal or macaroni and cheese. Encouraging your child to help you cook at an early age will ensure they are ready for harder tasks when they get older.

Be consistent with your expectations and praise your child often. Let them know you appreciate their hard work and assistance with the chores. Remember that the work they do will not be perfect. Offer suggestions on ways to make things easier and encourage them to try new tasks once they master the old ones. Most children love to be good helpers and creating a chore chart can motivate little ones when there's an incentive or reward at different levels. Work together and encourage teamwork!