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assigning kids chores by age

Getting kids to help with cleaning isn't easy, especially in the beginning. Besides, how much help can you realistically expect from a child? The answer depends on the child's age.

Below are examples of kids chores that can generally be completed by certain ages.

Your child may be capable of doing a task sooner or later, depending on her level of concentration, fine-motor skills, or maturity.

Once a child reaches a certain skill or age level, he can generally do the chores for his age group and those for the age groups below.

be there the first time your child tackles a new task.

However, you'll want to there the first time your child tackles a new task, regardless of age. Beginners need pointers for even the simplest jobs, such as washing dinner dishes by hand. What's second nature to us is a new experience for them. 

For example, you have to explain which dishes should be washed first and why, and you need to show them how to stack the freshly washed items in the dryer rack so that it doesn't go crashing to the floor.

kids chores by age: 2 and under.

  • Get diaper
  • Put toys in bins or drawers
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper if the top is low enough
  • Turn off the TV if the button is within reach
  • Wipe feet before coming inside
  • Close cabinet doors
  • Help set the table
  • Turn on the dishwasher

kids chores for ages 3 to 5:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Pull comforter up over bed
  • Place dirty dishes on the kitchen counter
  • Put away toys and games and all their pieces in the proper boxes or bins
  • Return books to bookshelves
  • Dust low furniture
  • Sponge down the play table
  • Help unload the dishwasher
  • Water plants
  • Remove clothes from the dryer
  • Help fold laundry
  • Take clean, folded clothes to his or her room

kids chores for ages 6 to 9:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Make the bed
  • Feed pets
  • Exercise pets
  • Clean pets' bowls and cages
  • Put away groceries
  • Help make breakfast
  • Set and clear table
  • Do simple cooking tasks such as rinsing vegetables
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher
  • Wipe up spills
  • Help wash car
  • Tidy bedroom
  • Vacuum, with help, depending on the machine's height and weight
  • Sweep floors
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Prepare recyclables for pickup
  • Fold simple laundry items
  • Match socks from dryer
  • Hang up towel
  • Do easy yard work such as weeding and pruning with small shears
  • Rake leaves

kids chores for ages 10 to 13:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Pour beverages for meals
  • Help hand-wash dishes
  • Do a surface cleaning of fridge
  • Change bed linens
  • Clean bedroom
  • Clean windows
  • Take trash containers to the curb
  • Help clean garage
  • Shovel snow
  • Make lunch for school
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Disinfect kitchen and bathroom countertops
  • Sort, wash, and fold laundry
  • Mop floors
  • Clean the shower
  • Clean blinds
  • Wipe clean the car's dashboard and upholstery

kids chores for ages 14 to 17:

  • Previous chores, plus:
  • Clean toilet, sinks, and tub
  • Organize closet
  • Prepare meals

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for all the cleaning products and tools you'll need to get started cleaning with kids.



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.