A Guide to the Chores You Can Give Your Child at Each Age


Learned helplessness is a wonderful but damaging thing for children. Remember how great it was to have everything done for you? Yeah, okay, me neither. But I hear it’s fun.

Most of us are guilty of assuming our kids are a little bit useless when it comes to the housework, and it’s just easier if we take care of it ourselves. But giving kids chores to do can build their self confidence and their life skills, as well as being less work for you to do (once they’ve mastered it and can do it properly).

Whichever way you look at it, it’s well worth the effort. So what sort of chores are children capable of doing at each age? We’re glad you asked. Check out our handy guide.

Three years old

  • Gather their toys and put them in a toy box
  • Brush their teeth
  • Wash and dry their hands and face
  • Brush their hair
  • Undress themselves
  • Dress themselves with some help
  • Put books away on a bookshelf
  • Put napkins, plates and cutlery on the table
  • Clean their place at the table after eating
  • Clean up messes they’ve made
  • Put food away on low shelves

Four years old

  • Help to make their bed
  • Dust furniture with a soft cloth
  • Help you make a simple meal or dessert (adding ingredients, mixing, decorating)
  • Set the dinner table using the good dinnerware
  • Help clean up the garden and yard
  • Help load the dishwasher or wash the dishes

5 years old

  • Make their bed
  • Help tidy the house
  • Pay for products at the shop
  • Feed and clean up after their pet
  • Tie their own shoelaces
  • Make a simple sandwich
  • Pour cereal and milk into a bowl for breakfast
  • Set the dinner table
  • Dress themselves
  • Fold and put away clothes

6 years old

  • Vacuum the carpet
  • Water pot plants
  • Walk the dog
  • Take out the rubbish
  • Choose clothing for the day
  • Hang their clothes in the cupboard
  • Make simple meals (toasted sandwiches, boiled eggs)
  • Get their school belongings together
  • Peel vegetables
  • Set the table

7 years old

  • Bath the dog or cat
  • Simple ironing
  • Doing chores as asked by parents
  • Get up in the morning and go to bed at night without being told to
  • Leave the bathroom tidy when they’ve finished

8-9 years old

  • Wash the floor
  • Tidy their wardrobes and drawers
  • Sew on buttons and fix damaged seams
  • Run themselves a bath or shower
  • Help others with work if asked
  • Look after younger siblings
  • Paint

9-10 years old

  • Use the washing machine and dryer
  • Cross the road by themselves
  • Visit friends without their parents
  • Change their bed linen
  • Buy products on a shopping list
  • Prepare a simple meal for the family
  • Wash the car
  • Provide basic first aid for themselves or others

10-11 years old

  • Manage small amounts of money
  • Spend short amounts of time at home alone (with a neighbour handy if they need help)
  • Put away electronics by a set time without being reminded

Of course, as children get older, they’re still capable of doing the chores for the younger ages too. They can just add a few more with each passing year.



About Author

School Mum

Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.


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