36 easy chores you can start your kids on today

While getting them started is often not for the faint of heart, a lot of us underestimate how much kids can do to help around the house (and how much easier it makes life for everyone!). Here’s a stack of jobs for kids at every age … and a few bonus tips for getting them to do it without level four whinging!

Getting started

Being aware of your child’s skills and realistic as to what extent they’ll be able to perform a job will help. Regina Camacho Ferrari, psychologist with Melbourne Child Psychology, says younger children should be able to handle two or three jobs – go for a mix of daily and weekly chores, and you can increase the number of jobs as they get older.

Below is a guide of age-appropriate chores for children of different age groups, though Regina recommends adjusting it according to your family’s needs and to the abilities and maturity level of your child. And, of course, children can do the jobs in the younger age brackets. If you are late to the party, get the kids started at the early level jobs, knowing they’ll progress quickly through to their age groups jobs.

Ages 2 to 3

Pick up/put away toys and books
Put dirty clothes in laundry basket
Wipe spills
Help with making own bed

Ages 4 to 5

Help with feeding pets
Vacuum using a hand-held vacuum
Water indoor flowers/plants
Wipe tables and other surfaces
Help with bringing in groceries

Ages 6 to 8

Help with setting and clearing the table
Hang out and sort out laundry
Help with making and packing own lunch
Take bins out
Clean bathroom and kitchen sinks
Keep bedroom tidy
Pack up own schoolbag
Put away groceries

Ages 9 to 11

Load/unload dishwasher
Make own snacks/breakfast
Help with basic food preparation
Mop floors
Fold and put away laundry
Water the garden
Clean bathrooms and toilets
Clean microwave oven

Ages 12 and older

Clean bathrooms and toilets
Clean fridge and freezer
Wash windows
Clean mirrors
Cook simple meals
Operate washing machine and dryer
Change own bed sheets
Wash family car
Take pet for a walk

It’s all in the attitude

If you’re struggling to get them on board, have a look at how you approach chore time – rather than creating a sense that chores are a punishment, make it a matter-of-fact part of life that can sometimes even be fun. The trick to getting kids to do their jobs with a spring in their step is to make it fun – music, everyone pitching in together and plenty of team work.

Regina says it’s also important not to be a perfectionist – they may not get it done to your standards immediately, but through practice they’ll get better so let them learn by repetition and by not jumping in and ‘fixing’ it for them. She says the key is to start as early as possible with simple tasks and then build upon what they can do. “While it may take double the amount of time to complete the chore at the beginning, it will save you heaps of time in the future,” she says.

This article was written by Melanie Hearse for Kidspot.

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  1. dawnblyth 02/12/2018 at 5:20 pm

    I grew up doing chores around the house and I think this is a great thing for children to do. It shows them they have a part in contributing to the household daily grind. It teaches them respect for when other people do the jobs, and it also teaches them responsibility for taking care of the family home. Sometimes my eldest son gets pocket money, other time he gets things in kind for doing the chores -eg a new game, entry to a football tournament etc.

  2. Shelz69 02/12/2018 at 9:27 am

    My kids have always had the dishwasher to do but I’ve just started making them do vacuuming and moping. Each week they swop around. The standard isn’t the same as when I do it but it is done and they will get better with age. I am amazed at how quickly and easy it is to clean my house now with 3 of us doing it. There will be no turning back now, i only wished I had started earlier.

  3. Alezandra 01/12/2018 at 10:59 pm

    Was looking for 3 to 4…:P But this is a good list and a good start. I think each household can work what can be defined as chores too. Some households don’t have pets and can be interchanged with something else.

  4. SarahBlair 01/12/2018 at 10:24 pm

    My kids could certainly do more around the house! I have recently had the teenagers have a night of cooking each a week and they seem to be fine with that, and its great for me to have a night off from it!

  5. kymmage 30/11/2018 at 10:17 pm

    My eldest makes her bed, feeds the cat and does the curtains for the house in the morning. My youngest doesn’t get much chance to help with miss 11 rushing to help. But she will clear dishes if she can and loves helping with lunchboxes. Some great ideas to try here too!

  6. Jen_Wiig 28/11/2018 at 9:06 am

    My boys have a chore roster up on a whiteboard poster that changes each week and small monetary payment for each job, if the job isnt done or not done satisfactorily then they dont get paid for that job. I didnt realise until I sat down with them for ideas as ro what jobs they could help with how many there were they can easily do and want to do to help. The one job I’m yet to let go of is doing lunches…alot of my friends look at me like I’m mad still making Mr 9 and 11 lunches but I dont mind doing it and I at least know they’re getting a half decent feed.

  7. MuddledUpMolly 26/11/2018 at 3:28 pm

    It is great to see my husband and I are on the right track for chores with Miss 2 and Master 8. There are a few things that they are not doing currently that we could add but we are happy with what they do currently. I think it’s great for children to contribute within the household and we’ve had this expectation for both our kids.

  8. Mands1980 24/11/2018 at 6:44 pm

    This is great I don’t think we make our kids do enough I just find it easier and faster to do most myself like bathrooms and toilets I don’t think they would clean them that well. They set they table and help make school lunches and help with easy food preparation but maybe I need to encourage helping me with more chores for the kids.

  9. Shorrty4life1 20/11/2018 at 10:23 pm

    I get my two children to do dishes most nights for 5 dollars pocket money a week. They love it coz they get a toy most times with their money and really appreciate it. They also learn that way that we need to work for money. I think it’s great to get them into chores they want to help more if you do. My daughter makes her bed every now and again and puts all the washing away sometimes just to know that she appreciates what we do. Teaching our kids right is easy

  10. Bevik1971 15/11/2018 at 10:08 am

    Great lists for age groups! Our almost 6 year old really doesn’t do enough around the house 🙁 That’s our fault, busy lifestyle and all that BUT we are going to do a list up and a small reward chart for her to do some odd jobs. She won’t get much in the way of money for it but needs to start doing more to help out, otherwise will get lazy. I remember as kids we had to do heaps of chores and we didn’t get paid for it!!!

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