Skip to content

    Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

    Your child may be able to do more than you think. "Keep in mind that a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily run the dishwasher," Pantley says.

    In general, she says, preschoolers can handle one or two simple one-step or two-step jobs. Older children can manage more. Here are her pointers on kids' chores by age:

    Chores for children ages 2 to 3

    • Put toys away
    • Fill pet's food dish
    • Put clothes in hamper
    • Wipe up spills
    • Dust
    • Pile books and magazines

    Chores for children ages 4 to 5

    Any of the above chores, plus:

    • Make their bed
    • Empty wastebaskets
    • Bring in mail or newspaper
    • Clear table
    • Pull weeds, if you have a garden
    • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs
    • Water flowers
    • Unload utensils from dishwasher
    • Wash plastic dishes at sink
    • Fix bowl of cereal

    Chores for children ages 6 to 7

    Any of the above chores, plus:

    • Sort laundry
    • Sweep floors
    • Set and clear table
    • Help make and pack lunch
    • Weed and rake leaves
    • Keep bedroom tidy

    Chores for children ages 8 to 9

    Any of the above chores, plus:

    • Load dishwasher
    • Put away groceries
    • Vacuum
    • Help make dinner
    • Make own snacks
    • Wash table after meals
    • Put away own laundry
    • Sew buttons
    • Make own breakfast
    • Peel vegetables
    • Cook simple foods, such as toast
    • Mop floor
    • Take pet for a walk

    Chores for children ages 10 and older.

    Any of the above chores, plus:

    • Unload dishwasher
    • Fold laundry
    • Clean bathroom
    • Wash windows
    • Wash car
    • Cook simple meal with supervision
    • Iron clothes
    • Do laundry
    • Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home)
    • Clean kitchen
    • Change their bed sheets

    Healthy Family Poll

    Which of these family routines is the most challenging?

    View Results