Cleaning With Kids: Age Appropriate Chores

For thousands of years, kids have been doing chores (defined as: a routine task that benefits the household) to help their families survive, whether it be out in the fields harvesting food or inside the house keeping it tidy and warm, it’s a longstanding tradition that many families to this day still follow. Thankfully, we don’t have many fields to sow, cows to feed or fire wood to be chopped anymore, but children these days still have many uses around the house. So, when is a good age to have your child jump on the bandwagon and start helping out with daily/weekly routine cleaning tasks? That is ultimately up to your family. Keep in mind that every child matures at a different speed. Be aware of your child’s skills and talents, overall what they are capable of, you may be surprised what they can do at a young age. After all, children’s brains tend to soak up information like a sponge!  Below we have put together an example list of chores for children according to age. Some of these are daily tasks, some of them are weekly tasks, but they are never meant for one child to do (every task) every day of every week. Take these examples below and incorporate them into a chart that fits your families/households and Child’s needs.

Household tasks for children:

Ages 2-3

  • make their beds with instruction and assistance
  • pick up toys after play (with adult supervision)
  • take dirty clothes to laundry basket
  • dust easy to reach surfaces with a cloth (try finding a few microfiber cloths in their favorite color!)
  • fill pets water and food bowls (with assistance)

Ages 4-5
any chores listed above, plus:

  • check/fill pets food and water bowl when needed
  • set and clear kitchen table (with adult assistance)
  • help clean floors with a broom or dry mop (you can easily make a game out of this, with a quick search online you can find many creative ways to make small tasks fun. A favorite of ours is making a designated area or square (usually marked by tape on the floor) and see how much dust and dirt you can fill that square in one minute! Sounds silly, but it works!)
  • pick up all toys and personal items from family space including from in the car
  • hand wash dishes with adult supervision

Ages 6-7
(by this age most children can follow a family chore chart with a little supervision and prompting from time-to-time)
any chores listed above, plus:

  • put away dishes from dishwasher (except sharp objects)
  • empty small indoor wastebaskets
  • fold laundry with supervision/help from an adult
  • help clean up any spills or messes
  • vacuum their bedroom

Ages 8-10
any chores listed above, plus:

  • wash the dishes
  • clean the bathroom with instruction and supervision (until they master it on their own!)
  • use the laundry machine with adult assistance
  • put away all personal laundry
  • take indoor trash outside

Ages 11-13
any chores listed above, plus:

  • change/wash bedsheets when needed
  • dust all areas of the house
  • vacuum all carpets