part of Motivating Kids to Clean Up series:

1- Motivating Kids to Clean Up

2- Age-Appropriate Chores


by Sheila Seifert

Do you know which chores your child can do?

What chores are important for your children to learn, and what are they capable of doing?

First, recognize the difference between a chore (an ongoing task that benefits the household) and a life skill (an activity that children should know how to do before living on their own, such as time management). The following list does not include life skills. It is a list of chores.


Second, remember that every child matures at a different pace. Adjust this chart to what you know about your children's skills and talents, and realize that no child should do all of the chores listed below every day.

With those two qualifiers in mind, here are some general guidelines for personal and family chores. This list is only meant as a guide and reflects the types of chores that many children in these age ranges are capable of completing:


Ages 2 and 3

Personal chores

  •  Pick up toys with your supervision


Family chores

  •  Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
  •  Help a parent clean up spills and dirt

Ages 4 and 5

Note: This age can be trained to use a family chore chart.


Personal chores

  •  Get dressed with minimal parental help


Family chores

  •  Set the table with supervision
  •  Clear the table with supervision
  •  Help a parent prepare food
  •  Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
  •  Match socks in the laundry
  •  Answer the phone with parental assistance
  •  Hang up towels in the bathroom


Ages 6 and 7

Note: This age can be supervised to use a family chore chart.


Personal chores

  •  Make their bed every day
  •  Brush teeth
  •  Comb hair
  •  Choose the day's outfit and get dressed
  •  Write thank you notes with supervision


Family chores

  •  Vacuum individual rooms
  •  Wet mop individual rooms
  •  Fold laundry with supervision
  •  Put their laundry in their drawers and closets
  •  Help prepare food with supervision
  •  Empty indoor trash cans
  •  Answer the phone with supervision

Ages 8 to 11

Note: This age benefits from using a family chore chart.


Personal chores

  •  Take care of personal hygiene
  •  Keep bedroom clean
  •  Be responsible for homework
  •  Be responsible for belongings
  •  Write thank you notes for gifts


Family chores

  •  Wash dishes
  •  Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  •  Put all laundry away with supervision

Ages 12 and 13


Personal chores

  •  Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  •  Write invitations and thank you notes
  •  Wake up using an alarm clock
  •  Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
  •  Change bed sheets
  •  Keep their rooms tidy


Family chores

  •  Dust, vacuum, and do dishes
  •  Clean mirrors


Ages 14 and 15


Personal chores

  •  Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13


Family chores

  •  Do assigned housework without prompting
  •  Prepare food and serve a meal — occasionally
  •  Wash windows with supervision


Ages 16 to 18


Personal chores

  •  Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
  •  Responsible for purchasing their own clothes


Family chores

  •  Do housework as needed
  •  Prepare family meals — from grocery list to serving it — as needed

Would you like help creating a chore chart? Download this PDF  and get started:


  Chore Chart for Youngsters                          Chore Chart for Tweens 

From the Focus on the Family website at  © 2009, Focus on the Family.  Used by permission.

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