As children get older, you’ll soon begin to ask yourself, “what chores are appropriate for each age?” There is no cookie-cutter answer because each child is different in capabilities and interests. However, there are some general rules you can follow to guide kids into doing chores that they can succeed at. They’ll feel good about contributing to their household and learn responsibility at the same time.
Why do kids have to do chores?
The reason it is a good idea to have children do chores is because it teaches them responsibility for themselves, for other people and for property. Most of us parents have a goal of raising responsible kids and having them pitch in around the house is one way to accomplish that.
Benefits of kids doing chores
Like anything in life, the best way to learn is to do. That goes for learning to ride a bike, drive a car, or taking care of a home. Imagine becoming an adult and being given a car and told to drive it without having had any training or practice on how to drive it. It would be tough! And you would surely not do well, at least not at first. Giving kids chores to do at home gives them the training they will need to one day take care of their own home. It helps them establish good habits early on that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
There is even a benefit to kids learning basic house upkeep before they have their own place. Remember that messy college roommate? Maybe you haven’t experienced it personally, but you’ve seen it. A roommate that was extremely untidy. No one wants to live alongside someone like that. When we release our children into the world, whether that’s college or beyond, it will be nice for them to know how to separate laundry, cook basic meals and pick up after themselves.
Another benefit that comes from kids doing chores is that they have the freedom to learn how to be an adult while still in the safety of their own homes and surrounded by family. As with many lessons in life, having a safe place to ask questions, make mistakes and succeed is important. This is no different for kids.
Chores may seem like such inconsequential things, but they do help shape kids into responsible adults. They may complain about it now, but they’ll thank you later.
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Age appropriate chore lists for kids
With every age brings a different set of responsibilities and capabilities. We’ve gathered the best lists of household chores kids can do. Some tasks can be daily, some weekly and some monthly.
- Age appropriate chores for toddlers – Repetition is key at this age. Most toddlers and preschoolers think helping out around the house is fun so take advantage of this time and have them help you do chores over and over again. They’ll soon catch on and will be delighted to help.
- Age appropriate chores for 4 and 5 year olds – At this age, kids want a little more independence from mommy and daddy, so they are willing to try to do more on their own. Give them simple tasks that they can accomplish and feel confident in themselves.
- Age appropriate chores for 6 and 7 year olds – All the repetition from previous years starts to pay off around these ages. You can let go of the reigns a bit more and watch them soar as mini housekeepers.
- Age appropriate chores for 8 and 9 year olds – Time to step it up a notch! Now you can begin to introduce things like cooking simple meals along with all the other chores they’ve mastered at this point.
- Age appropriate chores for 10+ year olds – Now you can step back and give kids the freedom to choose how and sometimes when chores will get done. Allow them to feel like they are growing up and are capable of making good decisions. Remember, this is a safe and gentle environment for them to learn how to be an adult.
How to make chores fun for kids
It’s not hard to make doing household chores fun for your family. With a bit of creativity , you can turn almost any chore into something enjoyable. Most of these ideas for making chores fun can be applied to any chore.
Sing – Singing makes everything more fun! Make up a song that describes the steps to accomplish each task.
Dance – Dance your way through each chore. If the chore is to vacuum, push the vacuum to one end of the floor normally, but try to moonwalk back! Practice any new dance move while cleaning up!
Have a contest – Let siblings race to see who can finish their chores first or an only child can race a parent. Be careful that they still do it properly!
Use fun cleaning tools – Even as adults, we love things that inspire us. Especially when it comes to doing things we may not want to do. Using fun cleaning tools could make a huge difference in how kids approach chore time. Have a fun dusting mitten on hand for dusting furniture. Or try giving them their own personal cleaning tools in their favorite color.
Older kids often don’t think doing chores is fun anymore. They’re a tough crowd! But, there’s hope! The best way to find out what will help them with chores is to ask them. Check out this chore hacks video made by older children to show other older kids how to make doing chores fun.
More family chore management ideas
Having a family with multiple children means chores will be rotated between them. This can help keep everyone from wondering what their responsibility is. Make one list and rotate the names for each task. Keep it simple by rotating similar chores for similar ages.
Remember to keep chore time fun and age appropriate so have a good experience and won’t learn to dread chore time.
The bottom line is teaching kids to do age appropriate chores will help them to feel like a valued member of the family. It will also provide another pair of hands to assist in keeping the house clean, and produce the skills needed to become responsible adults.