When it comes to household chores, you’ve got plenty of tasks to go around. More importantly, parents, when kids are required to pitch in and help with age-appropriate chores, they’ll learn how to cooperate, gain a sense of independence and feel a sense of accomplishment. If you’re wondering what exactly to put on your chore chart for kids, we’ve broken it down by age, from toddlers up to tweens. From picking up toys to helping with dinner, here are the top chores for kids.
Pick up the toys. Ask your toddler to help clean up when playtime is over, instead of doing it at the end of the day when you’d rather be watching Netflix instead of cleaning up DUPLO blocks.
Wipe up small spills. This is an easy one and is especially important if they are the ones that made the mess. Don't make a big deal, just let them know they need to clean up after themselves.
Put shoes away. A toddler can easily put his shoes away, especially if there's a special bin or shelf for footwear.
Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Show your little one where clothes go before he chooses his own drop spot.
Match socks. An easy way to let someone else worry about why there's always one sock missing.
Throw away trash. Oscar the Grouch doesn’t live here.
Pick up sticks in the yard. What's more fun than collecting sticks?
Put away clean utensils. It’s the little things!
Brush their own teeth. This is an easy self-care chore that any preschooler can tackle.
Fold washcloths or napkins. Something small and square is the perfect first item to have your pre-k kid learn how to fold.
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.
Rake leaves. If you get a pint-sized garden tool, the two of you can rake together, combing quality outdoor time with chores.
Wipe down surfaces. Kids this age are perfectly capable of spraying, wiping and cleaning down a surface. Especially if they are the ones that made the mess in the first place.
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 some cheese, flip pancakes and more.
Water the plants. This is a great chore to help develop organization skills. Have your kid schedule a once-a-week-date with a watering can on the calendar.
Help carry in groceries. Unless you're using the multiple trips to and from the car as your cardio for the day.
Set and clear the table. You prepared the meal so your kids should help to set and clear the plates. 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!
Feed pets. Your grade schooler 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.
Basic home maintenance. At around 10, kids can begin to do small tasks around the house that helps with upkeep like putting in new lightbulbs, changing batteries, hanging small pictures.
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 sort recyclables, empty wastebaskets and help pull trash cans in from the road. It’s also a good way for them to learn about 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.
Dust shelves, blinds and furniture. A Swiffer duster makes this chore a breeze.
Clean the 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 the washer to the dryer. Most kids 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 the kids the ropes in advance.
Walk the dog. Take pet care to the next level by asking your tween to take on giving Fido his daily workout.
Help with grocery shopping. Give your big kid his own list at the store, and arrange to meet up at the checkout. You'll cut your shopping time in half!
Vacuum out the car. She's already tackled vacuuming the living room and her bedroom. Add on the family car once a month or every other week.
Babysit for siblings or relatives in small increments. Whether it's to take charge at a social or family gathering, or leaving your tween in charge for 30 minutes while you run a quick errand, this is a good age to test the waters for child care.
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