Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Those who are familiar with this blog probably know I'm a big believer in having kids do chores.* Yet even so, I often forget to reconsider what chores I should give to the kids. Children grow and mature rapidly. As parents, we must remember this, offering new chores to challenge our kids and give them more responsibility.

Today, I marked my calendar with a large star every other month. That star is there to remind me to consider whether or not my children should be doing more - or more complicated - chores.

Not only is this best for them (kids love hearing, "You're getting so big! I think you're big enough to..."), but it's good for me, too! Letting the children be responsible for a few additional chores really lightens my burden - which makes the whole family happier.

To help you decide what your child might be capable of doing, consider these ideas:

* Pick up small amounts of toys
* Put books away
* Sort the socks out of the laundry
* Wash their own hands and face
* Brush their teeth (a parent should brush them afterward, too)
* Put dirty clothes into the hamper
* Wipe up their own spills
* Help make bed
* Straighten throw pillows
* Bring his or her own dirty dishes to the kitchen counter


* All of the above (except they should be able to pick up more toys)
* Dust
* Set the table
* Help put away groceries
* Help clean windows and mirrors
* Feed pet
* Vacuum and mop
* Get dressed with little or no assistance

6 to 8:
* All of the above, except he or she should be able to dress without any assistance (with the exception of zippers and buttons in the back, and perhaps shoe strings)
* Tidy his or her own room
* Put his or her own laundry away (after it's been folded by parent)
* Sort all the laundry
* Wipe down the sink and counters
* Put utensils and dishes in the dish washer
* Put utensils and dishes away
* Help prepare food
* Make simple foods (like a peanut butter sandwich) on his or her own
* Take out smaller trash bags
* Put laundry in the washer
* By 8, fold and put away laundry

9 -12:
* Do the dishes
* Clean the bathroom
* Do their own laundry
* Get up on his or her own, using an alarm clock
* Make bed without assistance

13 and up:
* Clean the refrigerator
* Make meals alone
* Create grocery lists
* Clean any room in the house

This is the age when most kids should finish learning how to take care of a home. By the time they are 18, your child should have the skills to start running his or her own household.

* Here's why: It gives them a sense of accomplishment and belonging, helps with self esteem, lets them learn life skills, teaches them responsibility, and helps them learn a biblical sense of servanthood.


  1. I also feel this is important. My oldest girls, 8 and 7, have made their own bed each day for at least a couple years now. They also have chores and a "helper," meaning one of their younger siblings. This, in turn, trains the little one how to do the jobs, too, and working together is more fun than alone for kids. The kids are thrilled when it is their turn to be the "kitchen helper," which is helping Mom make a meal. Gives us some special alone time. I'm sure to some you can sound like a real slave driver, but my kids have always been expected to pitch in and don't know any different. They are HAPPY to be needed, and it's training them up for a home and family of their own one day, too!

  2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends also lawn mowing after age 11. Our son has actually enjoyed that task!

    1. Lawn mowing is after age 12 or 14 not 11.

    2. Greetings!

      I could not disagree with you on the subject of children and chores more. That a child is capable of doing something doesn't make it age appropriate nor the child's responsibility. Teaching children skills and making them do regular chores is not the same thing. Although we should teach our children skills we should not burden them with regular chores. Play is the work of childhood

      I have examined the research. There is not any study to the effect that chores really help kids [not even the Harvard Study, which I have examined]. In fact, the only study I found that came close to testing this idea was a 2003 study by the University of Amsterdam. In this study, researchers found,“A direct (negative) path was found between the number of chores assigned and school success (GPA)” … that negative correlation was likely because “too many chores and responsibilities interfere with schoolwork.” Again, there is no evidence that doing chores contribute to a child’s success. The Minnesota research was not peer-reviewed and thus unreliable.

      Kids should NOT be made to do chores. The housework is NOT the child's responsibility. The parents are the carers and providers. The children are NOT the help. Kids should PLAY not WORK. Schoolwork including home school academic work is plenty enough. Chores are not difficult to learn anyone can in MINUTES. It's not the child's role to contribute to the family. As for self-confidence, deep relationship, pride, etc. can be gained via many other ways. These include play, art, sports, family time, etc.

      Absolutely EVERYTHING can and is taught without chores thus making them redundant. The only reason any parent would insist on making kids do chores is so the parents have less work which is a bad reason and amounts to taking advantage of kids. By chores, I mean tasks such as doing the laundry, mopping / sweeping floors, washing the family dishes, loading / unloading dishwashers, cleaning toilets / bathrooms, etc. obviously a parent can teach a child how to do anything WITHOUT making it the child's job / responsibility.

      I am thankful that my parents did not require regular chores from my sister and me growing up in the 1980s. I am grateful we had true parents who respected our childhood. And I NEVER had problems with performing any chore. Both my sister, me and EVERYONE I grew up with are living proof that regular chores for kids are worthless... well maybe just take a load off lazy parents. Do you know how long it took me to learn for example laundry? 10 minutes! I had the cleanest room at Seminary or everyone said so. So the nonsense doesn't stick with me.

      Themistoklis J. Papaioannou

      PS: Even the phrase "we are not raising children, we are raising adults" is wrong. No, you are raising CHILDREN who will GROW INTO adults. RESPECT CHILDHOOD.