Today we are going back to our chore chart roots and giving you the ULTIMATE chores list for kids, alongside some fabulous free reward bucks printables. Getting your kids to do chores from an early age may seem like more trouble than it is worth, but it is proven that children that are encouraged to help out in the home are more successful as adults. It is incredibly important to teach kids to be responsible, and to help others as soon as possible.
This is a collaborative post.
It can be difficult to know what chores are suitable for our kids, but this list is a great guide, based on their age, to help you to determine what chores they can reasonably undertake and when.
If you are looking for our reward bucks, feel free to scroll down as these are available for download at the end of the article.
Chores are always a stickler in our house – with many an argument about who is meant to do what. This happens more as the children grow older, and are less keen on both pleasing you or copying.
Pull in the tech support with a chore app
To get a little extra help, you might want to consider pulling in a little tech support (!) to reduce the amount of frustration for both you and your kids. It is worth looking out for a chore app that can help you stay organized with chores. These apps can also help recommend your little ones new chores, as well as other valuable life skills to learn, from an early age. One of our favorite chore apps is Joon. It’s a relatively new app that has a list of over 500+ age-appropriate chores for children between the ages of 5 and 13. The app uses a fun game to keep your child motivated and engaged to finish up their chores and tasks so you don’t need to worry about begging or reminding them!
Toddler chores list (2-3 years old)
Toddler hands LOVE to be busy, and to perform repetitive tasks. Toddlers, believe it or not, can be less argumentative than teenagers. Though this does largely depend on whether you have timed asking them to do the chore well. If they are too tired, all hell might break loose…
Toddlers are little sponges: they learn and play through copying, so starting them off with simple chores, but making sure you supervise them at all time, is an excellent way of encouraging the behaviour as the “norm” in your household. It might even stave off the arguments when they become teenagers *we live in hope.*
Suitable chores for toddlers include:
- Emptying the washing machine,
- Putting clothes into the wash basket,
- Putting their own toys away, either back in boxes, or the toy chest,
- Feed the dog or the cat (adding food to their bowl),
- Making the bed with help from you,
- Mopping up or dusting small areas, and
- Using a toy vacuum to clean while YOU vacuum. Toddlers will LOVE to do this as it is copying you. It might not be an actual chore, but it IS teaching them about doing the vacuuming from an early age, which is a great thing to learn. Why not grab a pretend Dyson!
Pre-school and early years (4-5 years old)
Co-ordination and fine motor skills have improved by this age, so four to five year olds are even able to do some tasks without you watching over them. Try the tasks that they were doing as toddlers without supervision (except laying the table), and see how they get on. Some pre-schoolers might still need guidance depending on their development.
Pre-schoolers are still prone to copying, so getting them to do their chores should still be relatively easy. Try the chores listed above alongside:
- Making the bed without supervision; not including putting the duvet cover on of course (!),
- Bringing in bags from the car,
- Dusting wider areas,
- Setting the table with a little supervision, either from you or a sibling,
- Taking things through to the kitchen after eating for washing up,
- Using a real handheld vacuum for small areas,
- Sorting the washing into darks and lights,
- Light gardening, such as weeding, and
- Watering the plants with supervision as it can be difficult to not pour the water everywhere when you are small 😂
Junior school chores list (6 – 9 years old)
For the first few years of primary school, kids are still learning, and don’t push quite so much against the boundaries their parents set. There is still plenty of scope for the chores to not become too much of a battle ground. However, there will come a time when some children within this age group push back on their chores. This is them asserting that independence as they develop their own personalities, and start to work out where they fit in the world.
Some children may never push back, others will rebel with a lot more fervour. What happens is very much dependent on their own unique personalities. If you do find you have a rebel in your midst, try to stay calm, and explain that it is important that everyone in the household helps out from time to time. Perhaps use a chore app to support you, and make sure your kids understand that everyone has responsibilities for chores, even you!
It’s what makes the team that is your household tick.
Supervision for chores eases off at this age, and ideas include:
- Bringing in the groceries (as long as they aren’t too heavy),
- Help putting away the groceries,
- Putting away their clothes,
- Emptying and loading the dishwasher,
- Sorting through the drainer,
- Making breakfast; it may require a bit of help for the younger ones in pouring juice and/or milk,
- Getting their own snacks; perhaps with supervision so it isn’t always cake 🧁 🤣,
- Setting the table solo,
- Emptying their bedroom bin into the dustbin,
- Helping with dinner as they get older,
- Making sandwiches,
- Keeping their bedrooms tidy; remember that they might regress as teenagers on this one (!), and
- Vacuuming and mopping.
As you can see, by the age of nine, there are an awful lot of chores that your kids can be involved with. It can be so easy to just get on with it yourself, but the benefits to your children are many, so why not give it a go?
Heading into secondary school (10 – 13 years)
These are the tween and early teen years, and can be the most challenging for those with a rebellious streak when it comes to chores. Sometimes, as they get older, it might feel like to would be a LOT easier to just do it yourself. Stick with it though, you really are teaching the kids a value skill and life lesson. This Ted Talk from the lovely Julie Lythcott-Haims is fantastic for helping you understand why chores are really important for kids.
Kids can take responsibility for their chores at these ages, without constant reminders; whether they do or not depends on the child of course… 🤣. Some ideas for your chores list, in addition to those above include:
- Washing the car,
- Washing up, and loading and unloading the dishwasher,
- Sweeping leaves from the drive or the garden,
- Clearing snow from the drive,
- Make simpler meals – why not check out our 6-week family meal planner, or weekly meal planner to see if any of these work for the kids to make,
- Taking the rubbish out, and
- For older more responsible kids, you might consider babysitting.
Older teens (14 – 18 years old and beyond)
There is pretty much nothing that a 14+ year old cannot do; though there may be plenty that they don’t want to do. To pick tasks from the chores list, you might want to start thinking about what they will need to do when they start living independently. It is worth starting to include chores that include those types of tasks, as well as the general chores that make the household tick.
Ideas for you include:
- All aspects of gardening, including
- Mowing the lawn,
- Cooking dinner – and that’s all courses, including making desserts, and baking,
- Putting shopping away,
- Ironing their school shirts, and your work ones (!),
- Sewing activities; for example our son (much to his annoyance) has to sew his school badge on his blaser,
- Cleaning the kitchen,
- Sorting out, and cleaning the fridge,
- Caring for your pets, including walking the dog, and
- Helping with simple home repairs. For example, our 14-year old helped refelt the shed roof.
If you need a little help with persuading your older children to do some of these tasks, then we have some free reward bucks for you to download, alongside the support that a chore app that we mentioned earlier in the post provides.
What do the reward bucks printables look like?
Just so you know what you are downloading, here are some examples from the reward bucks template that we have for you. The idea is simple, for chores done, they get extra screen time. You can decide what works best for you alongside the tech solution you have.
We have reward bucks in 5, 10 and 20 dollars, as well as the same denominations in pounds.
To download the reward bucks, just click on the button below.
Don’t forget to check out our reward charts too in case they are of help for younger children too.
Thanks so much for coming to see us today, we really hope you like this ultimate chores list. We think we really have you covered for pretty much every eventuality, but if we have missed anything, do drop us a line.
Why not check some of our other article out as well?
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