101 Age Appropriate Chores for Kids | i should be mopping the floor
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101 Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

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Implementing Age Appropriate Chores for Kids can be an easy process...and one that can lead to a lifelong feeling of ownership and responsibility of one's space. Even the smallest tasks help run a household. My son and I sat down and compiled this list together based on his 17 years of experience doing chores in our household. 

Age Appropriate Chores
From cleaning the blinds with a sock on his hand as a little kid, to detailing the family car last weekend, my oldest son has lots of "chore memories" (some he probably likes more than others). I'm sharing below the reason we put together this list right now (it's actually very bittersweet), but I think this is a list that is a great reference for families with kids of any age. Hoping these 101 Age Appropriate Chores give you a few ideas to use with your own kids.

101 Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

The idea behind today's post came a few weeks ago around the dinner table. Our oldest son, Ben, is about to be a senior in high school. He actually already knows where he wants to go to college next year (wayyyyy far away...hold me) and is making plans on what life will be like when he gets there. Although, we still have a full year until that train leaves the station, I know it will fly by. Our chat was about the things he would need for the on-campus studio apartment that most freshmen at this school have. Then we sort of went into the parental rolodex of, "have we taught you all the life skills you'll need to know to live away from us?" With a bit of a sigh and wave of relief, we *think* we have created a fairly functional kid who can do a lot of things because of years of household chores. 

The only thing he came up with that he is truly concerned about? He doesn't know how to make my (somewhat complicated) spaghetti sauce recipe from start to finish. That's his top priority for the next twelve months, y'all. 

How to Sort Laundry
That 17-year-old boy I was talking about? The above photo is him a few years back. He's loved doing his own laundry for years now...he's very independent and gets it done several times a week. Having a pile of clothes in his hamper actually bugs him. Hilariously, his younger brother is the exact opposite.

After our initial chat that day, Ben and I worked to put together a fairly comprehensive list that other families can benefit from, too. I've included a (no-frills, no-designs) printable version you can download for reference, too.

Kids' Chores by Age

I do need to add a BIG disclaimer that this list of age-appropriate chores is full of suggestions that have worked in our own family. And I should also add that not every chore works for every child (I definitely have one kid I would not turn loose with the weed eater, no matter what age he gets to!). This is purely based on our own experiences. You definitely have to figure out the best chores for your own kids and their abilities and personalities (because "want to" sometimes has to factor into the equation).

Helpful Hints for Age Appropriate Chores

  • Getting kids involved at a young age is a big factor to having kids who are accustomed to chores all throughout their childhood and helping run a household.
  • Whether you choose a reward system for chores or go by the "if you live here, you contribute" philosophy, there really isn't a wrong way to go about implementing chores.
  • Sometimes, the simpler the system, the better. At the bottom of this post, I'm sharing a variety of printable chore charts and DIY chore systems to get simple practices in place for household tasks.
  • Everyone is different. As I mentioned above, not all chores work for all kids. This may take some "family research", but eventually it'll work itself out.
  • Having kids take ownership of their jobs is always helpful. The idea is that eventually nobody has to be asked to do a task, as it becomes a regular habit. 
  • When beginning new chores, work together until they understand the process. 

Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

A printable version of this list is available further below in this post.

Toddler Appropriate Chores

  • Picking up and sorting toys
  • Sorting laundry by colors (with assistance; we always used this as a color-learning opportunity)
  • Taking plate, cup, and silverware to sink after meals
  • Wiping kitchen table with cloth and water after meals
  • Dusting baseboards with cloth
  • Folding wash cloths
  • Wipe dust off window sills
  • Put dirty clothes in hamper
  • Helping to move laundry from the washer to dryer (if able to, especially with front loading systems)
  • Choosing clothing for next day
  • Straightening pillows on couch
  • Helping make bed (learning to pull covers up, etc.)

Chore Ideas for Toddlers

Chores for Ages 4-6

  • Learn to dust non-breakable items (we always implemented these dusting gloves to make this chore fun, or a sock on the hand works great, too)
  • Dust blinds with sock on hand
  • Bring laundry to laundry room or area
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher basket
  • Rake leaves
  • Take laundry back to personal spaces and put it away with some assistance (to me this always reiterates the "putting things away" idea)
  • Match socks and fold
  • Set table: be sure to use my free printable table setting teaching placemats here to help with this task.
  • Help clear table after meals and projects

Chore Ideas for Kids

Chores for Ages 7-9

  • Get the mail
  • Put away groceries
  • Clean out items from under bed
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture
  • Clean out lunch box at end of school day
  • Wipe down table with sponge/cloth and water
  • Shake smaller rugs out in the yard
  • Feed pets
  • Water plants
  • Fold laundry
  • Hang laundry
  • Dead-head flowers
  • Wipe down patio furniture
  • Sweep interior floors (my kids have always used one of these lightweight stick-vacuums on our hard-floor areas)
  • Clean off surfaces in own room to dust
  • Clean mirrors
  • Sort recycling
  • Weed flower beds
  • Sweep out garage
  • Sweep off front or back porch
  • Sweep sidewalks/path around exterior of house
  • Mop floors (we use this "less splashy" mop so it's an easier job)

Cleaning out lunchboxes

Chores for Ages 10-12

  • Vacuum Floors
  • Vacuum Automobiles
  • Fold laundry 
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances
  • Empty crumb tray on toaster
  • Clean microwave
  • Make lunch for school
  • Empty household waste baskets
  • Shovel snow
  • Put laundry away without help (or without being asked)
  • Walk dog
  • Wash and dry dirty dishes by hand
  • Load dishwasher
  • Vacuum carpeted stairs
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Dust picture frames on walls
  • Set out sprinklers for lawn watering
  • Coil up hoses after watering
  • Carry firewood
  • Clean out animal cages
  • Change or clean HVAC filters
  • Clean out vacuum canister
  • Help with meal preparation (chopping, cooking on stove, etc)
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Clean bathtubs/showers
  • Clean toilets
  • Clean countertops/sinks
  • Wash interior side of windows
  • Wipe walls down
  • Take garbage can out to curb for pick up
  • Put garbage can away after trash pick up
  • Pick up after pets in yard
  • Dust for cobwebs using step stool and feather duster

Kids Chore Ideas

Chores for Teens/Older Children

  • Start-to-finish laundry
  • Create meals from start to finish
  • Change sheets on beds
  • Iron
  • Clean ashes out of fireplace 
  • Vacuum drapery
  • Small sewing tasks (replacing buttons, mending hems/seams)
  • Mow the lawn
  • Weed-eat/edge
  • Pressure wash driveway
  • Pressure wash patio areas
  • Wash exterior side of windows
  • Trim shrubbery
  • Trim small tree limbs
  • Clean fish tanks
  • Mulch flower beds
  • Wash exterior of automobiles
  • Detail interior of automobiles
  • Change out lightbulbs
  • Deep-clean tiled floor grout
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
  • Help with small home repairs
  • Watch younger siblings
  • Paint
  • Organize storage closets
  • Organize shed
  • Organize attic

Chore Systems and Printables

Having a variety of chore ideas is one thing, having a system that works well is another. For us, we've done both printable charts, as well as a chore board throughout the years, both with much success. The key, of course, is to find out what works best for your family and kids and then be consistent with it. Below, I've listed out several options of printable chore charts or systems, both from this blog and friends around the web.
Printable Chore Chart

Printable Chore Charts

DIY Chore Board

DIY Chore Systems

  • We have also enjoyed our simple, but effective, DIY Chore Boards. They utilize the included printable chore cards for more options kids can choose from.
  • This Chore Card System, from The Life of Jennifer Dawn, is room-specific and very thorough. 
  • For younger kids, Pretty Providence, has a simple Velcro Chore Chart System that is perfect for visual learners.
  • And this Magnetic Dry Erase Chore Chart, from Grey House Harbor, is easy to customize with fun tapes and such.
  • I really like how simple, but really effective, this Clothespin Chore Chart from Mouths of Mums is. 
  • This Work for Hire Chore System from That Inspired Chick looks really awesome. All those visual rewards would certainly inspire me. 
  • And I'm loving the sentiment behind this "Mom, I Need Money" Job Chart from One Good Thing by Jillee. It's a really clever system, too.

Teen Chore Ideas
I would love to know if you have any additions to this list that have worked in your own family. Let me know in the comments. 

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