38 Age-appropriate Chores for Kids

Have you ever wondered what age-appropriate chores you should be tasking your child? Learning when and how to set up chores for kids can be a challenge. If you are like most parents, let me help guide you in the best chores for kids by age!

mom and daughter cleaning home

In one of my favorite children’s books, Farmer Boy, 9-year-old Almanzo is expected to milk the cows, feed the farm stock, clean out the stalls, and haul firewood and water.

And all that before breakfast! In the 19th century, it was common for children to spend a good portion of their day doing chores.

Thank goodness our kids don’t have that burden of manual labor anymore! Still, I wonder if we have swung too far in the other direction in terms of what we expect from our kids.

When assigning chores, it’s critical that we keep our children’ ages and abilities in mind. With the right training and encouragement, you’d be surprised what your kids can accomplish. I have some age appropriate chore list ideas below to consider for your home.

Here are 38 age appropriate chores for kids

son doing dishes with mom

Age appropriate chores for age 2

The goal of chores for two-year-olds is mainly to keep them out of trouble 🙂 and also to teach them that everyone helps out.

  • Clean up toys
  • Help sort and put away laundry
  • Assist you in empting the dishwasher
  • Help carry in groceries
  • “Clean” sinks and tubs with a non-toxic cleaner (see a short list of my favorite cleaners)

Age appropriate chores for ages 3-4 (and up)

Kids ages 3-5 are mainly in the helping stage. Their tasks should be short and easy to understand. They do need to be closely supervised but their efforts can be a big help.

All the above chores, plus:

  • Set the table
  • Fold washcloths
  • Match socks
  • Clear the table
  • Entertain the baby
  • Dress self, brush teeth, etc.
  • Put something away for mom or dad

Age appropriate chores for age 5 (and up)

Everything above, plus:

  • Wipe tables and counters after meals
  • Sweep or vacuum up crumbs
  • Put away groceries
  • Make own bed
  • Feed the cat or dog
  • Get the mail
  • Peel vegetables

Age appropriate chores for age 6 (and up)

At age 6, kids are much more independent and can be given longer jobs. It’s still good to have them working near a parent or older sibling to keep them on track.

All the above chores, plus:

girl smiling while holding cleaning supplies

Age appropriate chores for ages 7-9 (and up)

The seven to nine age group is ready for some significant responsibility. At this age, they may be ready for a list of chores. Don’t forget to inspect when they are done.

All the above chores, plus:

  • Clean toilets, sinks, mirrors
  • Do own laundry from start to finish (after lots of training!)
  • Chop vegetables
  • Change sheets
  • Make simple meals
  • Keep room neat

Age appropriate chores for ages 10-12 (and up)

At ages 10 and up, if you have trained your child well, you have a real worker on your team.

All the above chores, plus:

Safety and common sense first

When assigning a chore, you must put safety first. Don’t leave your 3-year-old alone with an open washing machine. Don’t let your 5-year-old run the vacuum unsupervised. Make sure the child knows the rules and follows them.

Inspect your kids’ work (at least some of the time).

The old saying is that you get what you inspect. Especially in the training phase, and even later on, you should inspect your children’s work. If it’s not done the way you’ve trained them, have them go back and finish the job. If you are lax in your job after delegation, they may be lax in their work.

Just starting out?

Of course, if you are just starting to ask your child to do more work around the house, you can’t dump this entire list on them all at once. Pick one or two things, show them what to do and praise them when they are done.

Of course, maintaining a positive attitude is key, especially when you are making changes in your expectations. Expect that your child will put up some resistance.

You may not have cows to milk or eggs to gather, but I’ll bet you have plenty of housework to do! Put your kids to work and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

[This article is part of my series on chores.]

How do you pick what age appropriate chores for your kids?


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7 thoughts on “38 Age-appropriate Chores for Kids”

  1. chores are a great way to introduce children into real life. My son is nearly 4 and when he does his chores its more like a game – he enjoys it so much and we laugh and smile at the same time, it is only small things like cleaning the tv stand or setting the table.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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