Chore Ideas for Kids Organized by Age

Chore Ideas by Age

When children are involved in household chores, they’re more empathetic, less self-centered, and research shows that they will become more successful adults. Read this article, the first in this series, on why chores are important: Why Chores are Good for Kids.

You’re probably here because you already know that chores are important and you’d love a list of ideas to put on a chore chart.

Chore Ideas by Age

The following chores are merely a guideline based on general developmental abilities and attention spans. You know your child and family needs best, so feel free to move these chores up or down into different age categories as you like. Pick and choose the chores that you would like your child to work on and add them to your weekly chore chart.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing chores:

  1. Children will be more invested if they choose their own chores
  2. Chosen chores should help the entire family, not just the child
  3. Be encouraging, yet limit praise around chores
  4. Limit the number of chores so children feel success and accomplishment

chore ideas for kids

Little Kids/Preschool/2-5

Pick up toys

Put laundry in the hamper

Color sort laundry

Bring in the mail

Help prepare dinner (salad tossing in the photo above)

Feed pet/s

Make bed

Wipe dining table

Dusting

Help carry in light groceries

Set part or all of the table

Big Kids/Elementary/6-11

Make bed

Set the table

Simple food prep or help

Clear breakfast table

Wash dishes

Fold laundry

Put clothes away

Vacuum

Sweep Floors

Take out garbage

Make breakfast

Make school lunch

Load/Unload dishwasher/drying rack

Wash the car

Put groceries away

Rake leaves

Bigger Kids/Middle and High School/12-18

Iron clothes

Clean bathroom

Cook a meal

Yard work

Babysit younger siblings

Get the customizable Chore Chart Here. The chart is part of a 5-page downloadable PDF that includes the list of chore ideas.

chore chart and ideas

Chore Chart Template

You might also like to read this article: Why Chores are good for kids:

Why chores are good for kids

 

 

 

Why Chores are Good for Kids

We all know that helping out around the house is important. But did you know research shows that children who participate in family chores, starting at ages 3-4, are more successful in their 20’s.(Marty Rossmann, University of Minnesota, 2002). There is still hope for those of us with older kids, but it does get harder as children get older.

According to Rossmann’s research, the later you start, the harder it is to catch up. If children are introduced to chores at a later age, there’s a greater chance that they will be more self-centered and will not see the value of pitching into help the greater good of the entire family.

Why chores are good for kids

My girls are 6 and 8, and while we have always included some chores in their weekly diet, my awareness of this research is prompting me to step my game up. Big time. No more “can you please help mommy by putting your toys away?” or “please put your plate in the sink after dinner.” These are nice, respectful questions, but they also make me the keeper of housework and household accountability. We’ve been playing with chore charts for a few weeks and I love how my girls know exactly what’s expected of them. They can do it at their own pace and all I have to do is remind them to check the chart.

Aside from falling off the bandwagon a few times: a birthday, grandparents visiting, and an overnight camping trip, the chart has been a success and my fingers are crossed that my kids will continue building toward some of the many benefits and values that come from doing chores.

Why chores are good for kids

Benefits of chores

Children will:

  • be more empathetic
  • have better relationships with family and friends
  • have higher self-esteem
  • be better at delaying gratification (read up on Stanford’s Famous Marshmallow Experiment for more on that)
  • be more responsible
  • be better prepared to get through difficult or uncomfortable life events
  • be less self-centered
  • learn the value of hard work
  • be held accountable
  • practice discipline

This article, Why Children Need Chores, is a fun read.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing chores:

  1. Children will be more invested if they choose their own chores
  2. Chosen chores should help the entire family, not just the child
  3. Be encouraging and limit praise around chores
  4. Limit the number of chores so children feel success and accomplishment

If you’re looking for chore ideas, I put together this full list of 32 Chore Ideas for Kids, organized by age.

chore ideas for kids

We’re tried all sorts of tools for encouraging our children (now ages 6 and 8) to help out around the house: gentle nagging, not-so-gentle nagging, laminated cards with chores on them, and simple hand-written charts. I finally gave up and created a printable chore chart that we can print off at the beginning of each week. It’s working for us so I made one for you to use.

Get a Customizable Chore Chart

If you’d like to grab your own ready-to-go, customizable chore chart, click here.

free chore chart

  1. Print it out weekly
  2. This chore chart includes blank spaces that you can write chores into. This keeps it flexible so you can change chores each week.
  3. There’s room at the top for your child to write his or her name. Use stickers, markers, colored pencils. Have fun personalizing it.
  4. Your child can x, check, or draw pictures in the boxes
  5. Some of the chores on my list are daily and others like “clean the hamster cage” are weekly. For non-daily chores, you could leave blank or pre-fill the boxes with color or checks.
  6. You can print this in color or black and white.
  7. Bonus: This PDF also includes a complete list of chore ideas for children ages 2-18.

chore chart and ideas