How to get your kids helping out at home from any age

Posted in Parenting.

Many parents wonder – when is the right time for their little ones to start helping around the house? Well, Babyologists, we’ve done the research and turns out, it may be sooner than you think.

We’ve drilled down to figure out just what chores your little ones can do at what age. It’s time to lighten your load and teach them the valuable lessons in helping out because, as it turns out, having your kids tackle household chores not only helps you, but them as well.

According to University of Minnesota Professor Marty Rossmann, giving kids chores at an early age helps build responsibility and self-reliance.

Young adults who began chores at ages three and four were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens, Professor Rossmann reports.

Preschool boy playing with tools and building - feature


So, what chores can your little ones do? Here is a basic guideline.

Ages two and three

  • Help make their beds
  • Pick up their toys once they have finished playing
  • Put their dirty laundry in the laundry basket
  • Dust easy-to-reach surfaces
  • Carry the pets’ food bowls outside to feed them
  • Help to clean up spills

Ages four and five

  • Get dressed and put their dirty clothes in the dirty laundry
  • Make their beds
  • Tidy their room
  • Carry their school bags inside and put them away
  • Help set the table and clear away the table
  • Put away some of the dishes
  • Help in preparing food
  • Help carry in the lighter groceries or bags from the car
  • Put the folded clothing in the right rooms
  • Put some of their clothing in the right drawers
  • Clean the floors with a dry mop
  • Get the mail
  • Help wash the car

Ages six and seven

  • Brush their teeth and comb their hair unassisted
  • Bring in the rubbish bin from outside
  • Water the garden and indoor plants
  • Take rubbish out
  • Vacuum and use a wet mop
  • Fold laundry and put it away
  • Be responsible for a pet’s food and water

Ages eight to 11

  • Wash dishes and put them away
  • Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Rake the leaves and help with the gardening
  • Use the washer and dryer
  • Clean the mirrors and the windows
  • Walk the pet
  • Hang out washing on the line

Ages 12 and up

  • Mow the lawn
  • Prepare food (such as slicing, dicing and washing)
  • Use all kitchen appliances
  • Change the bed sheets
  • Change the light bulbs
  • Babysit
  • Prepare an occasional family meal


If you want to introduce your children to the wonderful world of chores, a chore chart or a reward chart is an excellent way to help motivate them. 

This story was originally published on October 12, 2015


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