I’ve posted these age-appropriate chores for kids lists on the blog before, but it was only this January that Hubby and I decided to really enforce cooperation.
Maybe it’s just that this year we have the power of the iPad to encourage compliance – no chores, no screen time.
Whatever the incentive/pressure, the girls have stepped up their game and have actually been doing the majority of the chores on the list! I’m happy-wiggling in my seat! Beds are getting made, laundry is put away, rooms are dusted and vacuumed. Heck, Maddie has even started baking!
First let me show you the printable checklists we are working with – each one has several age appropriate chores and the next builds on the earlier.
Starting around age 2, you can encourage little ones to do small tasks to help you out around the house. While you probably wouldn’t want a feather duster near your precious collectibles, kids this age can certainly wave a wand about and feel that they are “helping Mommy”
Bed-making by age 4 or 5 may seem like a tall task for little arms – but we’re not talking perfection here. Any effort to smooth the sheets and put a pillow in place should be rewarded with cheers and hugs – it’s more about developing good habits than perfect execution.
By age 6 or 7 you can introduce the responsibilities of pet care…. but secretly double-check so that no animals go hungry if tasks are forgotten. Kids can bring their garbage cans to you to empty ready for garbage day and you’ll find they get a kick out of trying the vacuüm if you hype it as a “special tool for adults”. (Not to be confused with other “special tools for adults” that you DON’T want them to find and use. lol)
Age appropriate chores for 8 and 9 year olds make up a longer list – but nothing here is difficult or anything more than easy everyday habits
Miss Chloë just about flipped her lid when she saw that there were 24 chores on her chore list, but certain tasks are seasonal and can be crossed off right away like sweeping the porch, watering the garden and raking leaves.
She’s pretty good about putting her toys away and she always packs her own snacks, so she was pleased to realize that she was already doing a few things on her list.
I haven’t taught Chloë how to do a load of laundry yet, but it’s on my chore list to show her. This should help with those panicked mornings where “Mom, you forgot to wash my green shirt for green day!” Shifting the responsibility from my shoulders to hers will be a welcome relief and will give her confidence to take on more as time progresses.
Maddie’s list includes mowing the lawn – my brain hasn’t come to terms with that yet – but she has done simple baking entirely on her own. From pre-heating the oven, mixing the ingredients and preparing the baking pans to removing hot items from the oven by herself, wiping down the counters and loading the dishwasher. I won’t lie, I was nervous – but she LOVED it! She was so proud of her baking (a chocolate cake with chocolate icing), that she’s been looking up new recipes to try each week.
If you think about it – kids in other parts of the world (usually third-world countries) are caring for siblings and have many responsibilities at a very young age – it’s only here, in privileged society that we assume they can’t handle it.
If we want to set our kids up for success in life, introducing age appropriate chores is an easy place to start.
Do you have any chores, or suggestions on other items, that can get shifted from Mom’s to-do list (or Dad’s)?
Have a great one!