Part of being a parent is taking the time to teach kids about responsibility. Assigning kids chores is an ideal way to do just that, and also a way to instill self-discipline, routine, and the importance of being a contributing member of a family and eventually a self-sufficient member of society. Chores also help kids learn practical skills that will help them throughout their lives.
It’s often easier and quicker just to do these tasks on your own, but remember you’re teaching valuable lessons by taking the time to assign and enforce a chore routine in your family.
You can improve your success rate – get kids to be excited or at least not whine and complain too much about doing their jobs – by assigning chores that are age appropriate and building them into your daily routine. It’s also helpful to keep the list short and simple so it’s not overwhelming for anyone, and decide ahead of time how you will motivate, enforce and possibly reward the work. Some say kids shouldn’t be rewarded for basic chores, i.e. doing what’s expected of them, and should instead earn a reward when they go above and beyond expectations.
We bet you’ll be surprised at what kids are capable of doing! Take a look at these suggestions for chores for kids age 2-8 years.
Ages 2-3: Toddlers
This is the age group that likely enjoys having a job to do and is most eager to help. You’ll get much better success if you accompany them in their work.
- Pick up toys and books.
- Take dishes to the sink after a meal (stick with plastic!)
- Dust furniture.
- Help put away groceries.
- Water plants and flowers.
- Put dirty clothes in a hamper.
Ages 4-5: Preschoolers
These budding learners can do a lot more than you think!
- Toddler chores.
- Empty trash cans.
- Put clothes in their drawers or hang them in the closet. Hang a second, lower rod to make it easy for them.
- Make a simple bed.
- Help set the table.
- Fold towels.
- Get the mail.
Ages 6-8: Early Elementary
Here’s the group most likely to put up a fight over doing their chores. Remember, positive re-enforcement and encouragement go a long way.
- Toddler and preschooler chores.
- Wash dishes and load/empty the dishwasher.
- Fold clothes.
- Pack lunches.
- Sweep the floor.
- Help with dinner. (Prepping, washing produce, measuring ingredients)
- Wipe the bathroom counter.
- Take out the recycling.
Use a chore chart to help your family stick to it and track when chores are done. We’ve found a few especially handy, printable chore charts to help. Find one that works best for you. And, don’t forget to keep the babysitter in the loop so she knows the routine and what’s expected.
Free, Printable Chore Charts
- Family style chore charts from Brought To You by the Letter B
- Make it your own chore chart with weekly goals from She Knows
- Simply cute chore chart from Leah Remillet