Age-Appropriate Chores For Kids
By Patricia Davis, MS
Nov 27, 2018
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
You could use some help around the house. Between work, and keeping track of your kids, you just aren’t making it through all of your household chores. You think your child is old enough to help out with chores, but you aren’t sure.
When’s a good time to start having your child do chores — and what kind of chores should your child be helping with? A lot of it depends on the age and development of your child. As expected, older kids are able to handle doing more chores — and more complicated chores — than younger children. This quick guide can help guide you as you begin assigning chores to your kids.
If you think your young kids can’t help with chores, think again. Even toddlers can help with chores. In fact, most 2-3-year olds are willing and enthusiastic about helping around the house. Keep in mind, they may not be as “helpful” as you’d hope, but building a sense of excitement and accomplishment is a valuable experience for your younger children. You’ll probably need to supervise and help your toddlers complete these chores, but here are a few they should be able to handle:
Preschoolers, aged 4-5, are usually able to tackle chores without constant supervision, and they’re still excited and willing to please. Kids this age love spending time with you, so if you can take time to work on a chore or project with them, all the better. Appropriate chores for this age include:
Your older child is probably starting to complain and lose some of their enthusiasm for doing chores. However, a spirit of independence will probably guide your child as they do chores without much supervision. Remind them that these are things they can do by themselves with no need for help from you. Such chores include:
Older children will do best with a set schedule and expectations. Let them know upfront what chores you expect them to complete and ask for their input about how they’d like to contribute. Keep in mind, older children often have more hectic schedules than younger children. This is especially true for teenagers. Be aware of their time constraints as you plan out appropriate chores. Like adults, teenagers can become overwhelmed if they’re overscheduled. That being said, as long as you’ve taught your older children how to do a task, they should be able to accomplish almost any chore you ask them to do. Remember, however, that an 8-year-old may need more help doing certain chores than a 16-year-old. The following chores are advisable for children 8 and up:
No matter how old your child is, it’s important to trust your instincts. Some kids can handle more responsibility earlier on, while others may need more time to master a task. As you supervise your child’s chores, you’ll be able to see what they need and can do.