By the time they turn 10, some children may have already begun doing household chores. However, if you wonder whether the time is right to start asking your children to take responsibility for some housework tasks, there's no right or wrong answer. Asking your kids and teens to do chores is entirely up to you and what works best for your family. However, there are numerous benefits of giving kids chores. In particular, this helps them learn responsibility and valuable life skills that they will need when they are older and have their own home to look after. If you do decide to give your kids chores to do, it's important that you give them age-appropriate chores.
Giving your children an allowance for chores can also help kickstart their financial education before they can get a part-time job. While financially rewarding kids for chores is again down to individual parental choice, it can help kids recognize the link between work and earning money while developing crucial money management skills. Find out how much you should pay your child for doing chores here.
If you are looking for ideas for chores for kids aged 10 and over, you've come to the right place.
27 chores your 10 to 12-year-old can do
There are plenty of household chores that are ideal for kids aged 10 and over. For example:
- Basic shopping: A good chore for 12-year-olds is to ask them to run basic shopping errands if you run out of essentials like milk, bread and fruit.
- Bring in the shopping: Ask your kids to carry in the shopping bags and help unpack and put away some groceries.
- Clean up after dinner: A fairly easy chore for most 10-year-olds is to help with cleaning up after dinner, including clearing away all the dinner things, wiping the table, washing dishes (remove any sharp knives first) or loading the dishwasher.
- Putting away laundry: Most children over the age of 10 can manage to put their own clothes away.
- Helping younger siblings: If your 10 to 12-year-old has a younger sibling, they can help them with their homework, getting dressed or doing chores.
- Supervising young siblings (with an adult in the house): While you are busy doing other things elsewhere in the house, your 10 to 12-year-old could keep a watchful eye over their younger siblings.
- Make lunch: Some kids aged 10 to 12 might be able to make a simple lunch for the family with some adult help.
- Taking out the trash: Ask your children to empty the wastepaper baskets and, if they can, take the trash out to the main bin.
- Mowing the lawn: Chores for 12-year-olds and over could include mowing the lawn if you think they are responsible enough. Just make sure you teach them what to do and how to do it safely.
- Drying crockery and putting away: After the dishes are washed, ask your 10 to 12 year old to help with drying the cups and plates and put them away. Make sure you remove any sharp knives first.
- Walk the dog: If you’re looking for chores for 12-year-olds, walking the dog is a great way to help the household get your kids outside into the fresh air.
- Take care of the family pets: Ask your children to fill the dog or cat bowl with food and refill the water bowl if you think they can.
- Raking leaves: Raking leaves is a really good chore for 10 to 12-year-olds and can help you get the garden tidy.
- Cleaning their bedroom: Encourage your kids to keep their room tidy and put away their clothes and toys. It will help to give them a sense of responsibility for their belongings.
- Washing windows: You don't need to pay a professional window cleaner when you have a 10 to 12-year-old to lend a helpful hand.
- Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping floors: Ask your child to help you keep the floors clean, and lend a hand with sweeping, vacuuming and mopping.
- Clean the bathroom: Your kid can take on basic bathroom tasks like wiping counters, emptying the trash, and cleaning surfaces.
- Basic home maintenance tasks: This can include helping hang pictures, changing light bulbs, and handling basic tasks that teach skills they’ll use throughout life.
- Make their bed: Starting the day by making their bed is a great chore for 10 year olds or children of any age.
- Groom themselves: Adding basic chores like brushing teeth and hair can help kids get in the regular habit of grooming themselves well.
- Water plants: Watering plants indoors and outdoors make great chores for 11 year olds and 12 year olds.
- Set the table: Have kids set a place for each family member at the dinner table to contribute to family meals.
- Bring in and sort the mail: Designate a spot in the house for your child to bring in and sort the mail, so nothing gets lost.
- Set up their alarm clock: Build personal responsibility by having your kids aged 10 or older set their own alarm clock for the following day.
- Straighten out/clean the closets: Regularly cleaning out the closet can make toys and clothes easier to find and make great chores for 10 year olds and older.
- Shovel snow: Shoveling the driveway or sidewalk can be a great seasonal chore if you get snow in winter.
- Wash the family car: In the summertime, have kids grab a bucket, soap, and sponges to contribute to the household as a seasonal chore.
How to pick chores that are age-appropriate
Kids are fantastic learners, but parents should keep chores age-appropriate. Start kids out with simpler tasks before building up to more complex chores. Older kids and tweens can accomplish many complicated tasks when shown how to do the job well. With patience and time, parents can model how to complete many different tasks and help kids build important skills they’ll use for life.
How to reward your child for doing chores
Chores are a way that kids can learn valuable life skills, take responsibility, and make a positive contribution to the running of the household. Rewards can be a nice way to acknowledge a job well done and help them stay motivated to do chores. Ways you can reward your kids for chores include praise, special activities, a day out, later bedtime or perhaps a trip to the movies. You can also reward them with an allowance.
Pros of giving monetary rewards to kids for doing chores:
- Can motivate kids to stick to their chores
- Encourages kids to learn money management skills
- Allows kids to practice earning money and handling responsibilities
- Builds financial independence and resiliency
Cons of giving kids an allowance for chores:
- Parents may feel kids have a baseline responsibility before getting paid for chores
- Kids may choose not to do chores and simply not get paid
- Paying an allowance may cause financial strain on parents
How to give your kids allowance?
Many parents pay their kids an allowance for doing chores to encourage them to develop a good work ethic as they get older. A GoHenry prepaid debit card is a great way to give your kids an allowance and a feeling of independence while under your watchful eye. Applying for a GoHenry prepaid debit card for your kids is easy, and it comes with lots of benefits and features for both you and your child.
- Set tasks and chores for your child to complete
- Teens with part-time jobs can get their wages paid into their GoHenry account
- Set spending rules and limits
- Set up saving goals
- Set up regular allowance transfers to their account