Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Getting kids to help with age appropriate chores:

How young is too young for kids to start helping around the home? It’s a tough one
By Jody Allen
Date: January 06 2012
Editor Rating:

All kids should help their parents with the running of the home within their ability.  It’s good for Mum and Dad of course, but for the child it develops confidence, independence and a sense of self.  After all – you don’t want them to move out of home at 18 and not be prepared for the big wide world.

Here is a very broad list of ages and what they can do! Remember that all children are different – and this list is very broad!

From Ages 2 – 3 

  • Pick up and put away their toys
  • Swiffer the floor (get a mini swiffer – great fun for kids – of course don’t expect a great job!)
  • Put clothes in the dirty clothes basket
  • Put clothes away
  • Keep their room tidy

Ages 4 – 5

  • All above toddler chores
  • Load the dishwasher (with supervision)
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum couch/ chairs/ cushions
  • Set and clear the table
  • Wash dishes (with supervision)
  • Clean windows
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks
  • Match socks
  • Fold tea towels
  • Weed

Ages 6 – 8 Years

  • All toddler and preschool chores
  • Assist with meal preparation (grating cheese, following a recipe etc)
  • Wipe bathroom sinks, counters, toilets
  • Hang out laundry (if they can reach)
  • Vacuum
  • Collect the bin from the footpath
  • Collect the mail
  • Fold/hang laundry
  • Sort washing
  • Clean microwave
  • Rake leaves

Ages 9 – 11:

  • Make simple meals from scratch
  • Take the bins to the footpath
  • Be able to use the washing machine and dryer
  • Clean toilets (hooray)
  • Mop floors

Ages 12 – 14:

  • Clean tub/ shower
  • Make full meals/ meal plan
  • Clean out fridge/ freezer
  • Mow the yard
  • Supervise younger children

Ages 15 and up:

By age 15 most kids should be able to do everything you can do – whether they do it or not is a whole other story!  Remember that you have more chance if getting a child to do their chores if you help them up for the first few years.  This gives them confidence and guidance.  Once a child has become proficient at a job, it’s time to assign them a tougher task so they are always learning and growing.

Encourage your children to do things without being asked, especially picking up toys or items that someone may trip over.  Teach safe practices from the start and be very careful when teaching them how to use the stove and microwave.

Don’t give up and do it yourself just because it’s easier that way – teach your children early and you will reap the rewards later on.  It is a family’s job to keep a house neat and tidy – not just yours!

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum - The Secret to Living on One Wage:

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Recent Comments
4 Total Comments
Anne says: 2012 01 06

Well put Jody - as a grandmother I plead guilty to taking the ‘it’s quicker to do it yourself than insist’  cop out route.  Now my married daughter still can’t make a bed properly!

Katy says: 2015 09 17

Unicef UK are developing an online resource for children in Scotland, to teach them about their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The resource is called Child Rights Launchpad, and is accessed by children through an adult guide who will work through the content with them. The site is behind a password, and all adult guides are approved by us before they are given access.

I am emailing to ask if we have permission to use this photo of a the child washing up.Please could you let me know as soon as possible whether this would be possible? We’d really appreciate it. 

I would be happy to provide as much information on the site and how we would like to use the video as would be helpful.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Katy Brown
UK Programmes Support Officer

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