After my last post on the philosophical side of chores many of you have asked for a list of age appropriate chores. I have complied a general list of what chores are done on a weekly bases here in the Davis Household by each age group. Right now we have a 16 month old, a 5 year old, a 7 year old, a 9 year old, an 11 year old, and a 13 year old.

The most important thing to remember about chores is the earlier you start the better! If it is second nature for your kids to help around the house you don’t have to fight complaints later. But if you are just now jumping into the chore game with older kids, don’t be discouraged: YOU CAN DO THIS! It may take a little longer and a bit more of your involvement, but it is worth it if you will be diligent.

Also, chores in our house is not just an excuse for free labor (but seriously, how free is it?! Kids are WAY more expensive than full time house help, y’all!). For us at least, kids doing chores is a way for us to train them to serve others and equip them to be able to succeed on their own someday. We all know the mom who says she is loving her kids better by NOT making them do housework. She is the one who says there will be plenty of work for them to do as adults, just let them be kids now. But I ask, how blessed will her daughter feel when she can’t work a vacuum or doesn’t know how to cook a meal? How shocked will her son be when, in college, he realizes he is out of clean underwear because the laundry fairy didn’t magically scoop up his dirty clothes from the floor and return them clean and folded to his dresser? The goal of parents is to give our kids all the tools we can to succeed in the world. How to grocery shop and cook on a budget are tool we should be providing for our sons and daughters.

Chores for Every Age

15months-2 years Old:

(All of these chores are complete WITH mom or an older sibling helping the entire time. The goal is not perfection, but mastering the skills and character of helping out. You can do it better than them, but don’t. You will undermine everything you are teaching if you go back behind them and redo the work. Fight the urge, Mama!):

  • Pick up toys and put them into a bin
  • Put laundry into the dryer when mom/older sibling hands to him from washer.
  • Get dry clothes out of the washer and put into a basket.
  • Get spoons out of dishwasher and hand to mom or older sibling.
  • Wipe down the front of the dishwasher
  • Put trash in trash can.
  • Put shoes in shoe bin
  • Wipe off high chair

3-5 Years Old:

  • Unload silverware (minus sharp knives) from dishwasher
  • Unload the plastic plates and cups
  • Take clothes out of dryer and place in a basket
  • Sort out the bath clothes, hand towels, kitchen towels, socks and fold those. (An older 4 year old and 5 year old should be able to fold bigger items if you have been teaching them how to fold.)
  • Match socks
  • 5 year old- put away all her clothes
  • 3-4 year old- put away some things like PJ’s, socks etc.
  • Wipe off kitchen table after meals
  • Load dishwasher with their plate after a meal
  • Do a “quick pick up” of play area
  • Put dirty clothes/towels into bin
  • Take bin to laundry room one or twice a week
  • Make their bed
  • Empty bathroom trash cans
  • Wipe off bathroom counters
  • Wipe down bottom kitchen cabinets
  • Wipe down kitchen chairs
  • 5 year old- Sweep kitchen/bathrooms
  • Clean out trash from car
  • Pick up sticks in yard for Dad to mow
  • Wipe down the dirt spots on the walls of the house (We use Magic Eraser, which I am pretty convinced is some kind of magic- it seriously gets SHARPIE off of the wall!- but because it is toxic they have to wear rubber gloves when using this product.)
  • Help unload and put away groceries

6-10 Years Old:

  • Help with training younger kids
  • Pulling weeds
  • Make bed
  • Clean and organize own room
  • Clean up play area/Family Room
  • Unload/reload dishwasher
  • Clean kitchen after meals
  • Take kitchen trash out
  • Put trash cans and recycle bin by the road on trash day
  • Bring in trashcans and recycle bin after trash day
  • Feed the animals (dog, horse, frog, turtle, hamster, etc.)
  • Bathe the dog
  • Clean out animal cages
  • Put away clean laundry
  • Wash Laundry
  • Fold laundry
  • Change sheets
  • Sweep / Vacuum main living spaces
  • Sweep/Vacuum Bedrooms
  • Dusting
  • Cleaning windows
  • Clean bath tub/shower (Make sure and use an organic or “kid safe” cleaners)
  • Wipe down baseboards/door frames
  • Wipe down doors
  • Straighten bathroom before bed

11-16 Years Old-

  • Help with training younger kids
  • Take trash bags to outside cans
  • Put out/bring back in Trash cans/recycle bins on trash days
  • Mow grass
  • Weed eat
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Clean out fridge
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Mop kitchen, bathrooms, etc
  • Wash cars (inside and out)
  • Wash/ fold/put away laundry
  • Straighten common areas
  • Cook meals
  • Clean/organize own rooms
  • Clean common areas
  • Cook some meals
  • Clean up after meals
  • Unload/reload dishwasher

16 Years Old- Whenever They Move Out-

This is a bit trickier because chances are good they have a full time job, along with a pretty strenuous school load. While they do have more outside of the home responsibilities, at the very least, they need to be taking care of their own needs (laundry, own room, etc) as well as doing something to give back to the family. That can be a night they cook dinner, or pitching in on house or yard work on their days off. It doesn’t have to be big tasks, but it is important for family unity that everyone is working for the good of the family.