Chores for kids: The ultimate age-appropriate chores list

 Chores for kids: The ultimate age-appropriate chores list

Teaching kids how to do household chores is an important way to teach them about responsibility and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. Different ages have different abilities and maturity levels, so tailoring their chore list is important. This blog post will discuss the importance of getting your children to help with chores and give examples of chore lists for kids by age.

How to know your child is ready for doing chores

The first step is to know when your child is ready for chores. This can vary from family to family, but there are some general guidelines you can follow. For example, most kids can start doing simple tasks like putting away their toys or setting the table by ages 3 or 4. As they get older, they can take on more challenging chores like vacuuming or doing the dishes.


It's important to remember that these are just guidelines — some kids may be ready for more challenging tasks at a younger age, while others may need to wait a little longer. What can help, says Sue Atkins, Family Parenting Expert and author of Parenting Made Easy, “is empowering them and resisting the urge to rescue them so they can stand on their own two feet and be independent. The best way to do this is to set chores in an incremental way. Start with small, simple chores and gradually increase the difficulty and complexity so kids can learn new skills and develop a sense of responsibility.”


As parents, it's our job to assess our child's abilities and help them learn how to do chores in a way that's appropriate for them.


The benefits and importance of chores

Having to do chores helps children in a variety of ways. On one level, chores show kids what they need to do as part of a household and what they must do to look after themselves. On another level, chores teach your child the life skills they will need in adulthood. Additionally, giving your child a chance to earn pocket money by doing chores shows them the power of earning through hard work.

“If kids aren’t given any opportunity to earn money, but are just given money when they ask, they are losing an opportunity to practise financial decision-making skills and develop the habits that will inform their future financial capability.”


Louise Hill, Co-founder and CEO of GoHenry

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Age-appropriate chore lists: Chores by age

Chores for kids under 5:

Toddlers and pre-schoolers are keen to follow and copy you, so use this to get them started on chores that increase their independence and confidence in their abilities:

  • Cleaning their teeth

  • Putting their clothes on

  • Picking up their toys

  • Eating their dinner

  • Sharing toys with other children

  • Following simple instructions

  • Putting clothes away with you

  • Going to bed when you ask

  • Putting their shoes on

  • Doing up their coats

  • Turning the iPad or tablet off when you ask

  • Getting into their car seat


Chores for 5 year olds:

The great thing about 5-year-olds is their eagerness to help and mimic your actions. It’s why many of them love to help clear up at school. Use this eagerness to your advantage with a selection of chores for 5-year-olds that give them a sense of pride and teach them new skills. 

  • Tidying their toys away at the end of the day
  • Hanging clothes out on clothes horses
  • Folding clothes
  • Putting groceries in the shopping basket
  • Setting the table for dinner
  • Putting their shoes on
  • Helping you carry shopping bags
  • Putting their dirty cups by the sink
  • Putting rubbish in the bins
  • Clearing up after messy play
  • Doing their homework
  • Wiping spillages

Chores for ages 6-7:

Doing chores between the ages of 6 and 7 is good for children, as it helps them learn about responsibility and makes them happy to know that they've done something worthwhile. Teaching young children how to do chores can be a difficult task for some parents, but it is worth the effort.


Below is a brief chore list for kids aged between 6 and 7 years old:

  • Making the bed

  • Tidying their bedroom

  • Putting clothes away

  • Putting out clothes for the next day

  • Doing their daily school reading

  • Doing homework when asked

  • Setting the table and clearing it post-dinner

  • Getting ready for school 

  • Tidying their bed in the morning

  • Hanging coats and putting shoes away after school

  • Helping in the kitchen

  • Helping with younger siblings

For more ideas on age-appropriate chores for children aged 6-7, you can read our list of chores for 6 - 7 year olds.

Chores for ages 8-9:

Children aged 8 and 9 need to learn how to do chores as it helps them develop a sense of responsibility. It also helps them to develop skills such as organisation, motor skills (including fine motor skills) and hand-eye coordination. Plus, it benefits their physical health by encouraging them to move.


Here is an age-appropriate chore list for kids aged 8 and 9:

  • Putting clothes away

  • Help with meals

  • Loading the washing machine

  • Washing and drying dishes

  • Emptying the dishwasher

  • Hanging clothes

  • Putting clean clothes away

  • Doing homework

  • Help with putting away grocery shopping

  • Helping with breakfast and lunch

  • Wiping down kitchen counters

  • Cleaning the shower when they have used it

For more inspiration on age-appropriate chores for children aged 8 and 9, you can read our complete list of chores for ages 8-9-year-olds.


Chores for ages 10-12:

At this age, children are usually able to take on more challenging chores. They can also start helping with meal preparation and other household tasks. This is a great time to start teaching them how to manage their time and schedules.


It's important to continue to give them age-appropriate chores that are developmentally appropriate for them. So, here is a chore list for kids aged 10 and 12:

  • Clean up after dinner

  • Putting away dry laundry

  • Being responsible with younger siblings

  • Help with meal preparation

  • Fill and run the dishwasher

  • Empty the dishwasher

  • Homework and revision

  • Garden work like raking leaves and weeding

  • Vacuuming 

  • Dusting their room

  • Feeding and helping with pets

  • Making their breakfast 

For more ideas on age-appropriate chores for children aged ten to twelve, read our list for 10 to 12-year-olds.


Chores for 13-year-olds:

At this age, teens are becoming increasingly independent and friend-focused. If your teenager isn't used to doing chores, there is still time to help them see that they need to contribute to the household. This will give them a feeling of competence and start building the skills they need to succeed in adulthood.


Chores for 13-year-olds can include:

  • Wash the car

  • Mow the lawn

  • Weed the garden

  • Homework

  • Exam revision

  • Getting up on time for school

  • Sticking to curfews

  • Budgeting pocket money

  • Making their breakfast and lunch 

  • Helping out with smaller shops

  • Putting laundry on

  • Hanging Laundry


For more ideas on age-appropriate chores for children aged ten to twelve, read our list of chores for 13-year-olds.


Chores for teens:

Teens are usually able to do most household chores with minimal supervision. They might also be ready to start babysitting or pet-sitting at this age. The teenage years are also a crucial time to teach the importance of independence and responsibility. This will ensure that your kids are well-prepared for adulthood and can look after themselves when they leave home. 


Here are 12 age-appropriate chores for teens:

  • Vacuuming

  • Mopping floors

  • Taking out the rubbish and recycling

  • Laundry

  • Cooking dinner once a week

  • Doing smaller grocery shops

  • Homework and revision

  • Changing bed linen

  • Cleaning the bathroom after they use it

  • Loading the dishwasher and emptying it

  • Loading the washing machine and emptying it

  • Walking the dog/cleaning pet cages

For more inspiration, you can read the best chores for teens.


How many chores should a child have

When deciding how many chores your child should do, you should factor in your child's age, their ability to follow instructions, what chores elder siblings have, and how much time your child has for chores (if they are revising or have a part-time job this needs to be reflected in their chore quota). With this in mind, it’s better to start them with one specific chore a day - for example, reading, doing homework, or making their bed- and add extras as you see fit. 

Chore charts by age & rotas

Charts and rotas are excellent ways for you and your child to navigate the world of chores. A chore rota is great if you have a few kids doing chores, and everyone knows that they have to do their fair share of work and take turns at the lesser-liked chores. Chore charts are a great motivating tool for younger kids as they help keep them on track and motivated, especially if a reward is attached to the chart, like stickers or pocket money. A chore chart can encourage teens to take on more responsibility and feel more independent (and help avoid constant parental nagging).


Are you looking for chore chart ideas by age? Visit our articles on chore chart ideas for kids and teens.


Related: Free printable chore chart, Chore cards


Tips for managing household chores with the family

It’s not always easy to manage household chores between family members, so the best way to do it is with a family chore chart. By including everyone in your daily list of tasks, your kids can fulfil their chores and learn to work as part of a team. Alongside this, the chores will help them develop essential life skills like time management, self-reliance and problem-solving.


There are many ways to create a task chart for the family, from simple printables to whiteboards and jars. Which method you use depends on the size of your family, the list of chores, the age of your children and the number of tasks you assign each person. By involving the whole family in designing a chore planner, you can create a system that works for everyone.


Related: 4 tips to manage family household chores list, fairly split household chores


How to motivate your kids to do chores

Setting chores for your kids and motivating them to do them are separate things. If you want to avoid nagging them daily or threatening them with consequences, the best option is to work out the best motivation tool for chores for each child.


Offering a positive outcome to motivate kids can be beneficial, as children of all ages can respond well. In 2021, GoHenry kids earned a combined £2.9 million from completing tasks set through the GoHenry app. But other rewards can also work, for instance, the promise of a family day out, an extended bedtime at weekends, or a longer lie-in. Talk to each of your children and see what appeals to them.


Related: Chores games, chore challengehow to encourage your teenager to do chores

How to reward kids and teens for doing chores

Now that you have examples of a chore list for kids by age, you may wonder how you can best reward your children or teenagers for completing their chores.


Rewarding kids and teens for their hard work when they do chores around the house is important. This will help them feel appreciated and motivated to continue doing their chores. There are a few different ways you can reward your child or teen for doing household tasks:

  • Give them verbal praise: let them know how proud you are of their hard work

  • Give them a physical reward: this could be a toy, book, or outing they've been wanting

  • Let them do something they enjoy: watching TV, playing video games, or going out with friends

  • Help them save money: give them pocket money for doing their chores or put the money they earn towards a larger goal, such as a trip or a new toy.

Showing your children that you appreciate the work they do will help them want to continue doing their chores.


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Need more chore ideas?

If you are still short of ideas, don’t be afraid to ask your kids what they want to be responsible for, as this helps with motivation and independence. Also, visit our articles on chores around the house, chores that are great to do in the summer and our list of chores that green-fingered kids can do in the garden.


Garden chore ideas for kids

Household chores list

How can GoHenry help with rewarding kids for doing chores?

If you’re struggling to motivate your kids and teens to do their chores, GoHenry can help. With GoHenry, you can assign and keep track of chores with the paid tasks feature. This feature also allows you to set rewards so your teens receive pocket money when they mark tasks complete. It’s a great way to encourage your children to learn the importance of responsibility and the value of money.



Related articles:

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Ways to make chores fun

Best chore apps

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Written by GoHenry Published Mar 8, 2024 ● 5 min read