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Kids & Housework: Age-Appropriate Chores They Can Do

There’s nothing child-abusive about getting kids to help around the house. In fact by doing so, you’re imparting necessary basic life skills to them – such as independence, time management, a sense of responsibility, strong work ethic, and an appreciation for order and cleanliness. So even if you have a domestic helper, it’s important to get your little prince and princess to roll back their sleeves and get hands on.

Young children are likely to struggle, as they don’t have the fine motor skills, but don’t be tempted to takeover, and don’t let them see you redoing their work (it’ll make them feel that they’ve failed). Praise them for the effort, and for now, just focus on the process rather than the result.

Not sure what chores to dish out, here’s an guide according to their ages.

Three to five years old:

  • Pick up / put away toys
  • Dust surfaces with feature duster / micro fibre rag
  • Collect dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket
  • Make their own bed
  • Wipe cabinets
  • Vacuum couch / chairs / cushions with a hand-held vacuum
  • Set and clear the table
  • Wash dishes (with supervision)
  • Wipe bathroom sinks
  • Match socks
  • Water indoor plants
  • Feed pets

girl helping mum with laundry

Six to eight years old:

  • All of the previous chores
  • Meal preparation (wash vegetables, find ingredients, simple cutting)
  • Wipe bathroom sinks, counters and toilets
  • Hang out laundry
  • Sweep the floor
  • Vacuum the floor
  • Fold clothes
  • Collect the mail from the letterbox

mum and daughter do housework

Nine to 11 years old:

  • All of the previous chores
  • Prepare simple meals
  • Wash / dry clothes
  • Clean toilets
  • Mop the floor

girl helps out in kitchen

12 years old and above:

  • All of the previous chores
  • Make full meals / create meal plans
  • Clean the fridge and freezer
  • Supervise younger siblings’ chores

boy washing car