For some families, giving children aged eight to nine a few simple tasks to complete can be a helpful way to teach them about responsibility and taking care of their belongings. But whether or not you decide to ask your kids to help with household chores is entirely up to you as a parent. If you do decide to give your kids chores to do, it's important that you give them age-appropriate chores.
If you’re thinking about asking your children to do household chores, you may also be considering rewarding them for their efforts and making chores fun. Kids at this age are often starting to realize that money can get them the things they like. They also want a little independence and love the idea of having their own money to spend on whatever they want. Rewarding kids is a great way to get your kids to do chores and to establish a link between work and money, and introduce them to money management and responsible spending and saving.
By the age of eight, some children may have already begun to do things of their own accord, like putting their toys away or getting themselves dressed before school. Asking children to do household chores comes down to what works for your household and your children's capabilities.
However, according to the GoHenry Youth Economy Report, laundry was one of the most popular tasks to give kids in 2021, up by 20% from the previous year. Other popular tasks include tidying their room, making their bed, and doing their homework. If you feel it's the right time for your family to start encouraging your children to do some chores, here's our handy guide to chores for eight and nine-year-olds.
Our complete list of chores for children ages 8 to 9:
- Personal hygiene
- Putting clothes away
- Help with meals
- Making the bed
- Packing/unpacking school backpack
- Putting toys away
- Pack own lunch for school
- Do own laundry
- Loading/unloading dishwasher
- Washing/drying dishes
- Empty trash and recycling
- Clearing table after meals
- Setting places for meals
- Cleaning windows
- Water plants
- Sweeping patio
- Helping younger siblings
- Feeding pets
- Washing family car
Why should eight to nine-year-olds help you around the house?
By the age of eight or nine, many children will have already begun to help out a little, whether it's setting the table or cleaning up after a meal. Sometimes without even being asked. Giving children household tasks at this age is all down to parental choice. But it's good to know that plenty of research shows that giving children chores can benefit them. Kids who do chores tend to have higher self-esteem, be more responsible, and be better equipped to deal with adversity, frustration, and delayed gratification. The personal skills they develop from doing chores can also help them succeed in other aspects of their life such as school, work and relationships. If you decide to pay your kids for doing chores, that can give them the experience of getting paid for a good job well done and establishes a link between work and money.
How many chores a day should my child do?
There are no set rules for how many or what chores you should give an eight or nine-year-old. If you decide to start asking your kids to help with housework, it will largely depend on what feels right for your particular household. It's often a good idea to start by just asking your child to do one or two tasks per week and see how they do. This could be anything from making their bed or putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Chat with your kids about what they would like to help with. If you consider paying them to do chores, they might see this as an opportunity to boost their allowance and be enthusiastic about taking on more.
Tips for getting children to do chores
Many eight and nine-year-olds are happy to get involved with household chores and enjoy taking on new responsibilities. Some kids are less keen on getting chores done, so a few tips for getting your child excited about the process can help:
- Help kids understand they are part of the household and how to contribute in running it. Make them feel like part of the team.
- Show kids how doing chores in a timely manner gives them more time to play or do fun activities.
- Get involved and show kids how to do chores more than once as they learn new skills.
What to avoid when getting children to do chores
Kids just learning to complete new tasks need patience and practice to get chores done correctly. Avoid insisting on perfection or jumping in to do it for them. Learning is a process, so encourage kids to keep trying even if they don’t get it right the first time. Another point to avoid is inconsistency. The more routine chores become for kids, the easier the process will be for everyone in the home, parents included. Make a point of building a chore routine, and consider an 8 or 9 year old chore chart to keep everyone on track.
By the age of eight or nine, many kids will have already begun to do their own basic personal hygiene tasks such as brushing their teeth and washing their faces. You may consider extending this to showering, but you should always stay close by for safety reasons. Kids with short hair may be fine to wash their hair by themselves, but they'll likely still need some help combing out tangles if they have long hair.
Putting clothes away
Good chores for nine-year-olds could be to put away their clothes neatly or to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket. If you want to expand on this, you could always ask them to bring their laundry basket to the laundry room (if it's not too heavy for them to carry).
Help with meals
While children at this age may still be a little young to prepare meals themselves, they can certainly help. Chores for eight-year-olds can include setting the table or getting things out of the cabinets to accompany a meal, for instance, getting bags of chips out of the pantry to go in lunchboxes or grabbing the ketchup to put on the dinner table.
Making the bed
Consider adding making the bed to your 8 year old’s chore chart. Starting the day with a completed task and a cleaner room can help your child build confidence and feel accomplished before facing the day.
Packing/unpacking school backpack
Your 8 or 9 year old’s chore chart may benefit from adding their school backpack responsibilities. Have kids pack their school bags the night before to make mornings smoother. Build a habit of unpacking each day after school to keep things organized.
Putting toys away
Parents want kids to take good care of their toys and keep their spaces clean. A helpful chore for kids 8-9 each day is putting their toys away. This habit can help kids build more personal responsibility for their things while preventing lost and broken toys.
Pack own lunch for school
A great way to teach kids new kitchen skills is packing their own lunch for school. Teach your child how to pack leftovers or make simple meals like sandwiches and snacks. Making lunch can motivate kids to learn kitchen skills and satisfy picky eaters. Add packing lunch the night before to your 8 or 9 year old’s chore chart to make mornings easier for everyone.
Do own laundry
Laundry is a revolving chore that constantly needs doing. Kids can start learning how to do their own laundry from a young age, and many 8 and 9-year-olds can complete a full load of laundry. While kids may still need helping with detergent or hanging up clothes, you can add laundry chores like:
- Sorting dirty clothes into loads
- Switching laundry from the washer to the dryer
- Hanging clothes to dry
- Folding clean clothes
- Pairing socks
- Putting clothes away
Loading and unloading the dishwasher
As long as you remove all sharp knives first, kids aged eight to nine may be able to help with emptying and filling the dishwasher. You may also need to be nearby if they need anything to be put away on a high shelf.
Washing and drying dishes
Again, once you've removed all sharp knives or anything particularly delicate, you could ask your eight or nine-year-old to help with washing dishes. Check that the water isn't too hot, and then you can show them what they need to do, including how much dish soap to use, and then let them try a few times under your supervision.
Dusting and sweeping
Dusting and sweeping can be quite satisfying chores for an eight or nine-year-old to do. You may need to start them off by showing them what to do and any areas they should avoid, for example, near any heavy or breakable items.
Vacuuming may not be a suitable task for all children of this age, especially if you have a heavy or cumbersome vacuum. However, if you think it's something they could help with, show them how to work the vacuum and which rooms you'd like them to tackle.
Empty trash and recycling
Our Youth Economy Report found that emptying trash and sorting recycling are popular tasks among young people, earning them an average of $1.14. Children aged eight and nine might be able to help out by going around the house and emptying waste paper baskets into the main household bin, and sorting recycling.
Clearing table after meals
Kids can contribute at dinner time, too. An excellent chore for kids aged eight or nine is to clear the table of dirty dishes after meals. Kids can also help carry serving dishes to the counter and put leftovers away.
Setting places for meals
In addition to clearing the table, setting tables for meals can be fun chores for 8-9 year olds. Let your child set a place for each family member at the dinner table, so they feel like they’re contributing each night to prepare family meals.
While parents want young kids to avoid cleaning with harsh chemicals, washing windows can be a non-toxic cleaning task to add to an 8 year old chore chart. Soapy water and rags are all your child needs to be part of regular deep cleaning.
If you have house plants or landscaping that needs regular watering, consider adding it as a chore for your kid. Watering plants regularly teaches kids responsibility and how to care for the world around them.
In addition to watering plants, there are many benefits to getting kids involved with chores in the garden. Consider adding tasks like:
- Cleaning up toys outside
- Pulling weeds
- Raking leaves
- Tidying up
Your child can learn how to sweep by practicing on the patio. Have kids regularly sweep the deck or patio to help keep common areas clean and show them how to use a broom correctly.
Helping younger siblings
By the age of eight and nine, kids are generally responsible enough to help younger siblings. This could involve helping them with their homework, getting dressed or completing chores.
While eight and nine may still be too young for kids to walk the dog independently, they can still help out by feeding the family pets. Taking care of pets is an important and responsible job, and now is the perfect age for them to learn how to do it. They should be able to find their pet's food, measure out the right amount and put it in the bowl without too many problems.
Washing family car
Washing the family car is a great chore to add, especially in the summertime. A bucket, sponges, and water is all kids need to get this chore done. Kids can also take responsibility for cleaning their seats and trash out of the car, saving parents time too.
How to reward your child for completing chores
Many parents choose GoHenry as a safe and reliable way to reward their kids for doing household chores. While it gives kids a sense of independence and responsibility, parents can control how much their children spend and where they spend it. Once you set up a GoHenry account for your kids, you can set up regular tasks for them to complete. You can also set up regular or one-time payment transfers and get notifications and reports on how and where they use their GoHenry kids' prepaid debit card. There's no overdraft facility, so your kids can't rack up debt, and if you are concerned about their spending, you can put a temporary block on their card.
Your kids can download the app on their smartphones and see what tasks they need to do. Another huge benefit of a GoHenry prepaid debit card is the in-app Money Missions. These interactive games give kids the tools they need to make responsible financial decisions as they get older.