When it comes to keeping a house clean and spiffy, it’s all hands on deck. Kids who pitch in to help with everyday tasks learn how to be responsible, how to cooperate and when the job is done, they’ll get a real sense of accomplishment. To make the task of training your mini-cleaning crew less daunting, we’ve made a list of household chores your kids can totally master, from ages two to 10. Keep reading to see them all. 

photo: Jessica Lucia via Flickr

Two-and three-year-olds

Pick up the toys. Your toddler is adorable. And messy. Ask her to help you clean up when play time is over. It’s easy to do, and it’s a game-changer at the day’s end when you’d rather be guilt-watching reality TV instead of breaking your back over DUPLO blocks.

Dust with a Swiffer or feather duster. Make it a game, and you’ll have dust-free shelves and furniture in no time.

Throw away trash. Oscar the Grouch doesn’t live here. Garbage belongs in the can.

Pick up sticks in the yard. To a toddler, what’s more fun than collecting sticks?

Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Show your tot where the clothes go before he chooses his own drop spot. 

photo: Colleen Proppe via Flickr

Four-and five-year-olds

Help carry in groceries. Unless you’re using the multiple trips to and from the car as your cardio for the day.

Feed the pets. Your preschooler loves the dog, the chickens, and the family turtle. Well, no time like the present to teach him how to take care of something smaller than he is. 

Make their own bed. This is a tough one because busy school mornings can get in the way. Weekends are wide open, however, and there’s nothing like a made bed to give your home a clean, fresh feeling.

Collect the mail. This one doesn’t even feel like a chore.

Put away clean utensils. It’s the little things!

photo: Jens Ohlig via Flickr

Six-and seven-year-olds

Set and clear the table. You prepared the meal so your kids should help to set and clear the eating space. Simple as that. 

Put away laundry. Imagine a place where the laundry actually gets put away instead of collecting dust in a basket somewhere. It can be a reality, we promise!

Take control of their own school gear. Stop gathering your kids’ stuff every night or morning. These early years are the right time to set up good work habits.

Help prep a basic meal. If kids with knives don’t sound like a good idea there are plenty of other things they can do. Think: gather ingredients, measure spices, crack and whisk eggs, grate cheese, flip pancakes and more.

Water the plants. This is a great chore to help with organization. Have your little botanist schedule a once-a-week-date with a watering can on the calendar.

photo: courtesy CDA Appliances

Eight-to ten-year-olds

Clean mirrors in the bathrooms. Older kids are strong enough, and usually tall enough to reach the top of the mirror by now. Pass the Windex.

Move clothes from washer to dryer. Most kiddos ages eight and up are tall enough (and old enough) to start helping with the laundry. If there are items you don’t want in the dryer or if you like to use a certain heat setting, be sure to show any new helpers the ropes in advance.

Load and unload the dishwasher. Most days, after unloading, the thing fills right back up and needs to be unloaded again. Your early tween is an ideal candidate for helping out with this daily task.

Help with recycling and garbage. Older kids can easily sort recyclables, empty wastebaskets, and help pull trash cans in from the road. It’s also a good way for them to view the family’s level of consumption and to see where waste goes.  

Vacuum the rugs. The best part about handing off this task is that your kids will have to keep their rooms picked up in order to fulfill their duty.

Do your kids help with household tasks? Share with us in a Comment below!

—Gabby Cullen

Feature photo: Christy Sheffield via Flickr