As a child, I remember having to do chores, and now my daughter has her own to do. While it might not be the most fun part about being a parent, it is necessary. Age appropriate chores teach kids responsibility and the value of hard work. There is something a child can do at every age almost, and while they might not always be done perfectly, they will get done and your child will learn and improve.
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Age Appropriate Chores
I think chores are amazing for children. They teach them hard work and responsibility, and it helps me out around the house as well. For chores to be effective though, they need to be age appropriate. I mean, my four year old can’t do the same chores that an eight year old could do. Now, there are a lot of things that she can, and does do to help out. Everything might not be done perfectly, but she is learning. So I have compiled a few simple age appropriate chores into a list that parents can easily use when deciding what they should have their kids do around the house.
The Chore Chart
Now, before we dive into all of the different chores that your kid can, and should, be doing. I would like to discuss the chore chart. This may not work for everyone, but I have had really great success with it. Personally, I grabbed a chart from Amazon, like this one here. I am not a super crafty mom, so making my own was not really an option. There are so many inexpensive options on Amazon though. They have magnetic ones, dry erase, chalkboard; really the options are endless.
I also grabbed some stickers from the Dollar Tree as rewards. Once my daughter completes a task, she gets a sticker on her chart. When the chart is completely filled up, she gets a special reward. This is usually picking out a toy at the Dollar Tree or going out for ice cream. While the rewards are nothing extravagant, they help teach her than when you work hard you are able to earn nice things. I feel like it is a lesson that will stick with kids through adulthood.
Chores By Age
These are obviously just my suggestions. They are not the end all be all of chores for your kids, but it is a good starting point.
Your toddlers aren’t going to be able to perfect many chores, but they can start learning. This is the perfect age to teach them how to pick up their toys and throw away their trash. I say teach them, because at any age, children are going to need to be shown, most likely numerous times, how to correctly complete a task. Your 2 and three year olds can easily help you water indoor plants as well. They will probably even think this one is fun because they get to help the plants grow! I would say for the toddler age, stick to simple tasks.
This is the range where my oldest currently falls. She is actually a great little helper and does quite a bit around the house. In this age range, kids are perfectly capable of cleaning up their rooms, feeding pets, putting dishes in the sink, and helping set the dinner table. Again, they will probably not be done perfectly or up to your standards, especially not the room cleaning. I do promise that they will eventually get it. At first, my daughter would just throw all her toys in a corner, but after me helping and showing her where it all goes, she now will put everything away in its proper place (mostly).
Within the seven to nine age range is where kids start getting even more responsibilities. I remember this was when my nieces and nephews began having “real” chores and even earning a small allowance. Some age appropriate chores here would include vacuuming, folding laundry, and putting away groceries.
Kids aged ten to twelve are truly capable of doing a lot to help our around the house. Now, they might not want to (as is evident from some of my nieces) but allowances seem to be a great motivator. In this age range your kids could do things like laundry from start to finish, taking out the trash, light cleaning such as dusting and windows, and even helping with some of the yard work.
As teenagers, I feel like kids should be doing a decent amount around the house. They want to go out with friends on the weekend? Do some chores and earn it! Teens can easily cook some meals, wash vehicles, and even babysit younger siblings.
Personally, I think chores are amazing for kids and helps them learn skills that they will need later in life. It is important to keep in mind though, that you need to be patient, as these kids are learning and they will need you to chow them the ropes. Do what works for you and your family, but I hope my suggestions help you out a bit.
So what does work for you? DO you use a reward chart or an allowance, and what age appropriate chores do you have your children do?