Best Chores For Kids By Age: Ideas And Allowances

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Chores... Your Magic Wand to teach kids life lessons.

As a parent, one of the purest joys that you can ever experience is to watch your little ones grow. You want your children to be responsible and mature enough to face the world and stand for themselves. For this to happen, you may want to start when your kids are still young. This is why you need to read the list of chores for kids by age. If you are thinking that we are talking about lecturing your child on the importance of responsibilities, then think again! We are merely talking about chores for kids.

Yes, that’s right – by assigning simple household chores to your kids, you are contributing a great deal towards their holistic development. Not only this, but you are also empowering your children to become contributing members of your family household.

Plus, you have an extra pair of hands helping you around the house! Now, you may be wondering if your children are capable of doing mundane jobs. You may even feel guilty about asking your little son to help you with the dishes. However, you should realise that your kids are capable of handling more than you think. And truth to be told, they probably should.

Best Chores For Kids By Age

At the same time, it is important to ensure that you don’t deprive your children of their childhood and all the wonderful joys that come with it. Remember – the idea behind giving household chores to your kids is to help them become responsible, not to overburden them. To find which household tasks are suitable for your children, you can scroll through our list of chores for kids by age.

However, more than the age, it is the ability of the child that matters more. As a parent, only you know what your child is capable of doing. So, while you do have a list of age-appropriate house chores for children, you should always ask yourself if your child can handle these tasks. Only then should you go ahead with assigning them to these duties.

1. Chores For Kids Ages 2-3

Children like to imitate adults doing chores. Engage them from a young age.

At this age, your kids can be assigned with small, simple chores such as:

  • Pick up books and magazines which are lying around
  • Put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, provided the top is low enough for the child to reach
  • Put toys in the drawers/bins. Once again, you have to ensure that the top is low enough
  • Put the toilet seat down and flush the toilet
  • Fetch diapers/throw diapers into the trash
  • Help feed the pet
  • Help make the bed
  • Water flowers

It’s fun to watch the little one pick up things and hand it back to you. Some of these tasks may require your supervision and as such, you must be around to make sure that your child does not end up hurting himself. However, you must also make sure to not do every little thing for them!

2. Chores for Kids Ages 4-6

Young kids can help with picking up dirty laundry and putting back clean cloths.

By the time your child turns four, he/she will be more than capable of handling small chores such as the ones mentioned above independently. As they journey through the exciting world of preschool, here are a few more tasks that they can do:

  • Make their bed
  • Help set the dinner table
  • Carry the dirty dishes to the sink/kitchen counter
  • Put the books back into the shelves
  • Take clean, folded clothes to their room
  • Help take the dishes out of the dishwasher
  • Water the plants
  • Dust furniture
  • Help clean the dinner table
  • Sort the laundry
  • Close the cabinet doors
  • Carry the clothes from the washer to the dryer

3. Chores For Kids Ages 7-9

Making peanut butter sandwiches are easy to make… and fun when you dress them up!

Your children are now going to enter the elementary school where they will make new friends and learn a great deal. To complement the knowledge that they get in the school, here are few of the household chores for your kids that you may want to consider:

  • Write thank you notes under supervision
  • Make the bed regularly
  • Clean the room
  • Help with cooking by performing simple tasks like washing vegetables
  • Take the pet out for a walk
  • Take out the garbage
  • Clean bathroom sinks
  • Get the mail
  • Pack the lunch
  • Feed the family pet/Be responsible for their food and water
  • Help take in the groceries
  • Sweep/Vacuum
  • Help with grocery shopping

4. Chores for Kids Ages 10 and older

Helping with gardening and vegetable planters help them appreciate nature and enjoy their meals.

As your children enter their preteen years and transition into teenagers, they will begin to view life from a different perspective. Not only will they develop their social circle and quite possibly, make friends for life, but they will also be tasked with schoolwork.

At this age, it is natural for them to be more independent and you should support them by giving larger tasks. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should let them do everything on their own – you should keep an eye on them to ensure that they don’t divert off the path. Here are some of the chores to consider for your kids once they turn 10:

  • Any of the aforementioned chores
  • Wash the family pets
  • Clean the mirrors in the house
  • Do the yard work, as required
  • Wash the car
  • Shovel snow
  • Mow the lawn
  • Help clean the kitchen
  • Help cook the dinner (under supervision)
  • Bake/cook, once again, under supervision
  • Clean the furniture
  • Wash the dishes
  • Clean their bathroom
  • Be responsible for belongings
  • Be responsible for homework
  • Buy groceries from a list prepared by you
  • Help serve the dishes
  • Babysit, provided the child is old and responsible enough
  • Empty the trash into a garbage bag
  • Wash/dry clothes

Once again, we would like to point out that before assigning any of these chores to your child, you should consider his abilities and maturity level. While we have listed these chores for kids by age, your little one may not be able to do a particular task, even though he is of that age.

At the same time, your child may be responsible enough to handle more significant tasks. Therefore, when it comes to such tasks, you should ask yourself if children are up for it. Remember – you want them to have fun and learn, not grow to detest these household chores!

All right, now that we know what kind of chores are suitable for your children depending on their ages, let us take a look at another important aspect – how do you get them to do their household chores? Well, the answer to this is a lot simpler than you think.

How Do You Get Your Children To Do Their Chores?

Let us face it, as a parent, one of the most demanding tasks is to convince your little one to do his chores. Whether it is making the bed or doing the dishes, it can be quite challenging to convince them. From their perspective, however, it is only natural not to want to do it.

After all, household chores are not as exciting as playing video games! Furthermore, they do not like the idea of doing something which is not as interesting or enjoyable as the activity that they were doing previously. Even though your child will get to it eventually, he is not going to be as excited as you would like him to be.

Luckily, there are ways around this. Contrary to popular belief, it is not difficult to get your children excited about mundane household chores. Many parents have benefitted by incorporating some of these simple, yet elegant techniques mentioned below:

1. Start Early

Children at a young age are highly impressionable, and by a young age, we mean toddlers and preschoolers. They are active, full of energy, and more importantly, they want to mimic what us adults do. So, if they see you do a chore, say carry the clothes or water the plants, sooner or later, they will want to pitch in.

The idea here is to use their enthusiasm in creating a mindset which is geared towards contributing and helping. You can start by giving simple chores such as the ones we have mentioned above for kids aged 2-3.

The important thing to remember here is that you should be there with them, performing these tasks. Like we said, young kids are highly impressionable and the only way they are going to inculcate the habit of doing chores is by watching their parents do the same.

Of course, your kids are likely to make mistakes; however, you must resist the urge to do the job yourself. Be patient and you will see your little ones take their baby steps to becoming a responsible human being.

2. Create A Reward System

This one is self-explanatory – if you want your children to be excited about doing household chores, then you need to combine it with a reward system which they find exciting. In fact, you can even time these tasks to make it more interesting.

For example, if your children make their beds promptly in under 10 minutes, then they get to stay up for another hour! Or, it can be something along the lines of ice-cream after dinner or a visit to the theme park over the weekend.

Another variation of this can be to turn the chores into a game. The power of gamification is something that you should not ignore. By transforming mundane jobs into an exciting game for your children, you are boosting their motivation and production!

3. Praise Them

A wise man once said that a little compliment goes a long way. The same holds good when it comes to getting your kids to do the chores! Whenever your child does a fantastic job, you should be sure to tell him what a great job he did! He will be sure to remember this the next time he is doing a chore.

Consider giving an allowance: This one may be somewhat tricky to navigate for parents. Giving an allowance to your children in return for the chores they have done has its own set of pros and cons. It teaches your kids about the link between work and money, that is, if they want something in life, they have to work for it. This philosophy can go a long way in life. It can further fuel their motivation.

On the other hand, as children begin to receive money for their efforts, they may gradually lose interest in the chores itself. Instead, their entire focus may shift to earning that allowance, instead of becoming responsible. In a way, this defeats the whole purpose of giving them the chores.

Plus, the minute you take away the allowance, your child may very well stop doing the task! Therefore, it can be seen that it is a very fine line to walk and a strong case can be made for both the sides. As a parent, you need to use your judgment on this one.

Final Thoughts

Chores are an excellent way to teach your children how to be responsible. As a parent, you must be patient and make sure that you don’t go about chasing perfection. Remember – kids are eager to help, and they want to contribute. Don’t suppress that energy by making chores seem like a tedious job. Keep it fun, engaging and more importantly, do the tasks with them. As they grow up, they will become responsible and get in the habit of doing the chores willingly, without any supervision.