If you have young kids then you are probably starting to give some thought to assigning age-appropriate chores for them to do to help out around the house and to teach them responsibility. Chores are great for educating kids about the realities of life. But you probably wonder what chores are best suited to which age groups. Here is some food for thought when deciding which household responsibilities, you want each of your kids to take on.
Allowance or Not?
One thing you may want to think about is if you want to tie doing chores to your kid’s allowance or even pay them a bonus for doing some chores. For younger kids, this is a bad idea as they don’t really understand money and it won’t be a useful tool to motivate them. Older kids need to learn that their adult life will involve a lot of household and life maintenance tasks in addition to any job they do to earn the money to live. Paying them to do regular chores may inhibit them from learning the difference between life chores and paid work.
The best approach is to give your kids a regular set of household maintenance chores they do without any pay and have a set of extra occasional chores that you give your younger kids compliments for doing and your older kids a bonus on top of their allowance.
Chores Should Match Your Child’s Abilities
When considering which chores to hand out to your kids you need to think about the complexity of each chore along with the physical aspects of the chore. Sort the chores by the number of steps required to do them, and then sort them further by the physical strength and body size required for the chore. Taking out the garbage is a simple chore but hauling heavy garbage bags is beyond the physical capacity of younger children, so you would usually give this chore to your older kids.
Here are some age-appropriate chores you might think about giving your kids to do. Most of the chores for younger children will also work for older kids.
For Toddlers and Preschoolers 2 to 3 Years of Age
Get them to put any toys they have left lying around away and straighten up anything they have disturbed. Get them to put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. If you have pets then get them to fill their food bowls and top up their drinking water. Ask them to do small occasional jobs like cleaning up water spills and stacking magazines and books.
For Preschoolers 4 to 5 Years of Age
You can get them to water your household plants, make their bed, dump out wastebaskets into the garbage, fetch the newspaper off the front lawn, and help clear the table after dinner.
For Young School-age Children 6 to 7 Years of Age
Ask them to sweep and mop floors, help make lunches, rake leaves in the garden, place and clear table dishes and cutlery, and sort the laundry.
For Young School-age Children 8 to 10 Years of Age
Have them put away the laundry, load dishes into the dishwasher, help with the vacuuming and dusting, clean tables and bench-tops, walk pets, and to help make dinner.
For Older Children Above 10 Years of Age
You can get them to help mow the lawn, iron clothing, wash the family car, do some babysitting as appropriate for their age, clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, clean the garage, unload and put away dishes from the dishwasher, and wash windows.
There are lots of age-appropriate chores you can get your kids to do to teach them to be responsible. Make sure that you are not handing out chores that are beyond the capabilities of a particular child and don’t be afraid to reassign chores if needed. Kids are all individuals who grow and mature at different rates so keep this in mind when picking chores for them.