5 Chore Lists You Can Delegate to the Kids

Stop doing it all and get your kids to do it

Are you curious what chores your kids can handle? Check out this list.
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You can set your kids up for chore success by choosing age-appropriate tasks that are within their ability but still challenging. There are plenty of excellent reasons to get kids doing chores: building their self-esteem, giving them a positive way to belong in the family, and lightening your work-life balance challenge. This children's chores list will give you some ideas for which household chores are age-appropriate at each stage of development.

Yes, Toddlers Can Do Chores

Your 2 or 3-year-old wants nothing but you to be happy, seriously! So give him or her ways to put a smile on your face. Give yourself extra time for cleaning so that you have the time (and patience) to teach your toddler to do these simple chores.

Plan on doing these chores alongside your toddler. Even after they master the job, you'll need to be in the same room or perhaps working on a related task. You can make it fun with silly songs, sing-along music, or funny voices.

  • Pick up and put away toys to clean the playroom.
  • Make bed their bed (with help).
  • Put dirty laundry in the basket.
  • Help you sweep or clean up spills.
  • Dust.
  • Fill a pet's food and water bowls.
  • Spray and wipe windows and counters, with help.
  • Put out clean towels and toilet paper, with help.

Teach Preschoolers How to be Responsible for Their Home

Preschoolers, 4 to 5 years old are at the perfect age for beginning chores. They still want to contribute and be connected with their parents but they're more capable than toddlers. They can follow multiple-step directions and are likely more patient when you teach them the correct way to do something.

They may enjoy the visual reminder and routine of a chore chart. Here are the chores that most preschoolers can learn to tackle and you can include in your chart:

  • All the chores on the list above.
  • Bring belongings from the car to the home.
  • Set the table for dinner.
  • Help carry in groceries. (Strategically give them the lighter bags.)
  • Match socks and sort clean laundry.
  • Clean grit and dried toothpaste from the sink.
  • Empty small trash cans.
  • Spray and wipe windows and counters, with help.
  • Clean floors with a Swiffer, vacuum, or dry mop.
  • Water indoor plants.

Teach School-Age Kids What Clean Looks Like

School-age children, 6 to 8 years old, are capable of a lot, so you want to get them used to chores when they're fun and before they hit the sometimes oppositional tween years. Keep their interest high by giving them challenges and letting them learn chores that their peers may not be allowed to tackle. As always, make sure to do the chores with them until they've truly mastered them, refrain judgment, and be willing to keep them company when asked. Here are some ideas:

  • All the chores on the lists above.
  • Write thank-you notes or the family's schedule (if you have a written calendar on display).
  • Change a dirty cage/tank.
  • Help put groceries away in the pantry.
  • Vacuum or wet mop an entire room.
  • Fold laundry and put away, with help.
  • Unload dishwasher.
  • Spray and wipe outside of the toilet; spray and scrub the bowl.
  • Spray and wipe shower stall or bathtub.
  • Fix their snacks and pack lunch for school.
  • Clean the inside of the car.
  • Water the garden and help rake leaves or shovel snow.
  • Take out the trash.

Tweens Need to Clean

Tweens may seem like a challenge but if you stay one step ahead of them in the difficulty of the chore, you can keep them engaged and contributing to the family. Be sure to encourage them and appreciate all that they do, whether or not they do it with a smile. Here's where their abilities can shine:

  • All the chores on the lists above.
  • Clean the kitchen counters and sink.
  • Rinse dishes and load dishwasher.
  • Wash, load, fold, and put away clothing.
  • Keep a clean and organized room.
  • Clean mirrors and the entire bathroom.
  • Help wash the car.
  • Keep the entrance of your home picked up and clean.
  • Change the bedsheets and wash, fold, and put them away.
  • Take a pet for a walk

Keep Your Teenagers Entertained With Tougher Chores

Do you want to keep your teenager from sitting with their phone or laptop? Doing chores together is a great way to connect with your teenager. It's not like you're sitting at the table trying to get out of them how their day was. You're both busy doing chores and just chit-chatting. You can have great conversations over washing the car or walking the dog together. Here are a few other chores your teenager can do while you connect with them.

  • All the chores on the lists above.
  • Go grocery shopping (with parents until they can drive).
  • Plan and cook an easy dinner for the family.
  • Rinse dishes and load dishwasher.
  • Wash their laundry, fold it, and put it away
  • Supervise a younger child.
  • Run family errands.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Change light bulbs and the vacuum bag.
  • Learn to maintain a car and household appliances, such as defrosting the freezer.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and pantry together.

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to chores and your children's age, why not show them this list and ask if there's a task they'd like to learn to master first. A chore system is a way to teach your children how to keep their house when they get older. Plus the quicker you teach them to clean up after themselves and others the quicker you can stop doing it all.