How do you teach kids responsibility? Do you pay your kids to do chores around the house? Or do you expect them to “pull their own weight?” Using an age-appropriate chore list is a great way to teach kids responsibility while rewarding your kiddos for good behavior.
As kids help around the house, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment (and you can feel good for starting their life-skills training) at a young age. Even toddlers can help with small tasks!
Based on the principles in Love and Logic (my favorite child discipline book), kids should do chores without pay because they need to contribute to the family’s well-being.
However, if your child wants to earn extra money, feel free to suggest a chore or have them help you in addition to their regular tasks.
But how do you know which chores to assign your kids?
Every child has different needs and abilities. Children should do chores based on their age and ability.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a chore chart for your kids based on their age and abilities, this chore list breaks it down by age and school grade.
Download a printable PDF checklist of these chores in the Organized Motherhood Resource Library (sign up below). It’s also part of the Organized Motherhood Printable Chore Chart for Kids Bundle.
Toddler chore list (Ages 2 and 3)
- Make their beds (with help)
- Pick up toys
- Take dirty laundry to the laundry basket
- Fill a pet’s water and food bowls and water plants (with help)
- Help clean up spills and dirt
- Dust (start by putting socks on your child’s hands)
Chores for preschoolers (Ages 4 and 5)
- All chores for ages 2 and 3
- Choose the day’s outfit and get dressed (with minimal help)
- Make their beds (with minimal help)
- Bring their busy bags or backpacks in from the car
- Set the table (with supervision)
- Help carry light groceries
- Match socks in the laundry
- Be responsible for plants and pets’ food and water
- Hang up towels in the bathroom
- Use a dry Swiffer, damp e-cloth mop, or small broom to sweep floors
Add these chores to your own homemade chore chart or get more chore chart ideas for kids.
Chores for younger elementary school-age kids (Ages 6-7)
- All chores for ages 4 and 5
- Make beds every day
- Brush teeth
- Comb hair
- Be responsible for plants and pets’ food, water, and exercise
- Clean the bathroom (with help, especially if you use non-toxic cleaners like e-cloths)
- Wet mop
- Fold laundry (with help)
- Put away laundry
- Help prepare food
- Empty trash cans
Chore ideas for older elementary school-age kids (Ages 8-11)
- All chores for ages 6 and 7
- Personal hygiene
- Clean bedroom
- Finish homework
- Set alarm clock
- Maintain personal items, like recharging batteries
- Wash dishes
- Wash car with help
- Prepare a few easy meals
- Rake leaves
- Learn to use the washer and dryer
- Put all laundry away (with supervision)
- Take the trash can to the curb
Chores for middle schoolers (Ages 12-15)
- All chores for ages 8 to 11
- Take care of personal hygiene, belongings, and homework
- Change bed sheets
- Keep bedroom neat and do a semi-annual deep cleaning
- Change light bulbs
- Change the vacuum bag
- Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms, and do dishes
- Clean mirrors
- Mow the lawn (with supervision)
- Babysit (in most states)
- Prepare an occasional family meal
Chore list for teens and high schoolers (Ages 16-18)
- All chores for ages 12 to 15
- Earn spending money
- Purchase own clothes
- Maintain any car they drive (buy gas, change oil, etc.)
- Do housework as needed
- Do yard work as needed
- Prepare family meals from meal planning to serving it
- Deep cleaning
In addition to assigning kids chores based on their age and ability, you can also assign seasonal chores. Check out this list of summer chores for kids.
Teaching kids responsibility starts at home. By setting expectations and showing your kids how to do basic tasks at home, you’ll set them up for success!
Get the Organized Motherhood Chore Chart Bundle to create a chore chart (and finally stop nagging your kids to finish their chores).