The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your child's age and how many chores you believe they are capable of doing. This blog post will provide some general guidelines for how many chores children can do at different ages.
Related: Age-appropriate chores for kids
How many chores should a child have?
This depends on a variety of factors. Keep in mind that you don't want to give your child too many chores, as this may risk overwhelming them and be demotivating — which might leave you struggling to get your kids to do their chores. A good rule of thumb is to start with one or two chores and then add more as your child can handle more responsibility.
As your child gets older, you can also start to involve them in decision-making about which chores they would like to do. This can help them feel more invested in doing their chores and make them more likely to get to work without being asked. Plus, involving them in decision-making from a young age is a great way to help your child develop self-esteem and confidence.
How much time should my child spend doing chores?
This will vary depending on the age of your child and the nature of the household tasks. For younger children, you may find that it’s best to set a specific amount of time for them to spend doing chores each day, as it may take them more or less time to grasp the concept of completing specific tasks. For older children, you may prefer to give them a list of chores to be completed each week and give them the independence to choose how to best complete them.
However long you choose to have your child spend doing chores, consistency is important. This will help your child to understand that chores are a regular part of life and need to be completed every week.
Should kids have chores every day?
Some parents prefer to have their children do chores every day, while others may only require them to do chores on certain days or during certain times of the week. It depends on what works best for your family and what you feel is most realistic given your child's age and abilities. Generally, though, it’s a good idea to have some sort of chore system in place so that your child knows what is expected of them and when they are expected to do it.
Giving chores to children has many pros and should be seen as a positive thing. In fact, helping out around the house is a great way for children to learn responsibility and develop life skills. By involving them in chores from an early age and setting regular tasks for them to do, you can set them up for adult life. Plus, if you add rewards or incentives for completing their chores, it will instill the value of hard work and keep them motivated to contribute. Rewards also help to make chores more fun for kids!
What chores your child is capable of by age
Toddler (1-2 years old)
Teaching your toddler how to start helping out with simple tasks can set them up for success with chores as they get older. Toddlers can help with quick tasks like picking up toys before naptime or putting their clothes in the hamper after changing. How many chores a child should have a day will depend on your family’s needs, but make tasks simple enough to complete in a few minutes. Chore ideas for toddlers include:
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper
- Put toys away in bins
- Wipe baseboards
Preschool (3-5 years old)
Preschool age is a perfect time to teach kids new responsibilities. As they prepare for school and the structure of education, chores can help them learn how to focus on a task and build confidence in new skills. Help children learn new chores and walk them through the process multiple times to learn how to do the job correctly. Focus more on consistency than perfection. Set kids up for success by giving them a few short tasks daily or on a regular schedule each week. Chores for your preschoolers could include:
- Make the bed
- Brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed
- Sort laundry and match socks
- Help set/clear the table
- Put dishes in the sink
- Carry in the mail
- Dust and wipe surfaces
- Make simple snacks
- Pull weeds
School-age (5-12 years old)
As children grow and start attending school, they learn how to handle more responsibilities. Chores can help kids learn how to form good habits and stick to them consistently. Completing tasks and contributing to the household can build confidence and prepare your child for adult life. How many chores should a child have a day?
Parents should start with a few simple tasks that fit the house schedule and needs and build a chore system that works best for the household. Ramp up time spent doing chores and the number of tasks for your child as they learn how to handle their current jobs, showing they are ready to handle more. Chores to assign your school-age children could include the following:
- Clean their bedroom
- Load/unload the dishwasher
- Switch laundry and put away clothes
- Take out trash and recycling
- Make lunches and snacks
- Sweep, mop, or vacuum
- Carry in/put away groceries
- Rake the yard
- Water plants
- Wash the car
- Help make family meals
- Help clean kitchen/bathroom
Teenagers (13-19 years old)
Teenagers can typically complete most chores confidently and with little to no supervision. Chores will help them continue building a strong foundation of good habits before they head off to college or into the workforce. Encourage teens to take on chores that younger kids can’t complete and challenge them to practice more complicated tasks independently. If your teen has a license, encourage their independence by adding errands or chauffeuring siblings to your chores list. Consider the following chore ideas for teenagers:
- Mow the lawn
- Run errands
- Babysit or assist with younger siblings
- Make a family meal without supervision
- Walk the dog
- Grocery shopping
- Do own laundry
- Help with sibling’s laundry
Reward your kids for doing chores with GoHenry
GoHenry's kids' debit card app can help you set up a task system for your family and reward your child for doing their chores. With GoHenry, you can assign specific tasks to be completed each day or week and even choose to give your child a financial reward for completing their chores. You can also use GoHenry's regular allowance payments to reward your child for doing their chores on a regular basis.
Plus, with GoHenry, your child can learn about financial responsibility from an early age with our in-app Money Missions, which give GoHenry kids access to interactive games and videos that cover money basics, investing, saving, compound interest, borrowing, giving, and more.