There are many ways to make chores fun and exciting for kids! This guide is full of tips on getting kids to do chores and ideas on the best chores for kids. It also teaches valuable lessons about responsibility and reward.
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In this article, you will find:
- When should kids start doing chores
- Tips on how to get kids to do chores
- Age-appropriate chores for kids
When Should Kids Start Doing Chores?
The simple answer is, as soon as possible! Kids of any age can do chores, even before they can talk. Chores can be as simple as having your kids help pick up toys they took out.
The earlier they start practicing to clean up after themselves, the easier it will be in the long run to get them to help out. Because instead of it becoming a new task, it’s something they have done for as long as they can remember. It will be second nature.
Tips On How to Get Kids to Do Chores
1. Make it Fun
The less you can make chores feel like chores, the more likely they are to do it without complaining and have some fun!
You can try playing music while you do chores, singing a song, or working together to tackle the chores. Doing these things will make chores seem less intimidating and more of just an activity you are doing together.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Offer Help
Parents tend to think that if they offer help with the chores once, the kids will expect it every time. And while this can sometimes happen, offering to help them now and then can actually teach them a valuable lesson!
By offering to help them, you’re teaching them that it’s nice to help people out with the things they need to do. And if you do this, you might notice that they come to YOU when you are doing chores and offer to help, even when you didn’t ask them.
3. Stay Consistent
Consistency is key for learning any sort of routine. Sticking to a consistent chore routine can help it become less of a fight. This doesn’t mean it has to be the same exact chores every time. But maybe the rule is; we do our chores right after school, or we do our chores before going out to play with friends, etc.
Eventually, they will just do their chores without being asked to because they know it’s part of the routine and needs to be done.
4. Use A Chore Chart
A chore chart can be a great visual tool for kids learning to do chores. There are many different ways to do a chore chart, but one we’ve found best is to have a list of daily chores, such as picking up their bedroom, unloading the dishwasher, picking up their toys around the house, etc. And a few weekly chores, such as laundry, vacuuming, bathrooms, etc.
Our chore chart is our most popular download out of all of our printables. Our readers love it! My family personally uses it, and we decided to print and laminate ours so that we can just use dry erase markers and use the same sheet over and over again! If you don’t want to go about it that way, there are unlimited prints so that you can print a new one each week, and you can print enough for multiple kids!
5. Offer Rewards
Many parents will say they don’t like to offer rewards or bribery of any sort, but offering rewards is a GREAT way to teach kids how the real world works! We have to work to get a paycheck, to get what we want and need. Doing chores and receiving a reward of some sort is a perfect way to teach that.
- Allowance (money)
- Movie tickets to see a new movie
- Ice cream or lunch at their favorite restaurant
- Mommy and me day
- A secret prize (new toy, movie, etc.)
- Gift certificate to a cool place like the aquarium, zoo, etc.
- Screen Time – Here’s the best way to use screen time for kids
Check out our reward punch cards for kids, these are great for chores and other responsibilities you would like to reward your kids for!
6. Avoid Overwhelm
If you give kids a really big task, they will be so overwhelmed by it that they can’t comprehend where to begin. For instance, if their bedroom is a complete disaster, they will look and that and think, “I’m never going to be able to clean this.” So this is a great time to either offer help or guidance.
Offering guidance might look like giving them a step-by-step plan to clean their room. For example:
-First – take out any trash
-Second – pick up any dirty clothes
-Third – Clean up books
-Fourth – Clean up legos
And so on! This can help it become more of a realistic task for them, AND it teaches them how to solve big problems.
7. Choose Age-Appropriate Chores
Choosing age-appropriate chores is very important! If you are giving them chores that are too hard for them, they will get overwhelmed and give up and fight it every time. Starting with easy chores to build their confidence is the best way to begin, and then moving up to challenging but still doable chores!
Chores for Kids by Age
Chores for Toddlers (1-3 years old)
Toddler chores can include a lot of “helping” with larger chores, but there are also a lot of chores they can do on their own, too!
- Putting dirty clothes in the basket, or switching laundry from washer to dryer and pushing the buttons
- Putting toys away
- Placing books back on shelves
- Feeding the pets
- Watering the plants
- Getting the mail
If you have a toddler, be sure to check out our 99 Activities for Toddlers to Stay Busy at Home!
Chores for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners (4-6 years old)
This age will also be doing a lot of helping, but they will also be able to do a lot on their own! This is the age where they are building their confidence and getting into a routine, so it’s important for them to be doing chores regularly.
- Helping load or unload the dishwasher
- Making their bed
- Set the table
- Help bring in groceries
- Help wash and put away their clothes
- Picking up their room
- Take out (small) trash bags/replace trash bags
- Wipe down surfaces
- Help prepare meals
- Set out their clothes for the next day
Chores for Primary Schoolers (7-10 years old)
This is the age where kids are really getting the hang of being independent, and they can get creative and use problem-solving to get things done. However, this is also the age when they begin to get sassy, and you can really trick them into things anymore, so they might rebel a little.
- Load/Unload the dishwasher
- Clean their room
- Put away laundry
- Clean their bathroom
- Help pack their lunch/Cleanout their lunchbox
- Get their meals/heat their food (with guidance)
- Help with yardwork
Chores for Kids Pre-teens/Tweens (11-14 years old)
This age is when kids can start doing things for themselves and actually do a decent job! It’s important to teach kids about doing quality work at this age, rather than rushing through things and doing not so great of a job. They are completely capable of quality work at this age.
- Taking out the trash
- Washing, drying and putting away their laundry
- Cleaning their bedroom and bathroom
- Helping with younger siblings
- Walking the dog
- Organizing and straightening things up
Chores for Teenagers (15+ years old)
Teenagers are the most capable and possibly the most challenging age to convince them to do their chores. But, this is the time when they need to learn responsibility and reward the most. So it’s essential that they do chores, as they prepare to be adults. A teenager moving out who has never done their own laundry, washed dishes, or cooked for themselves will have a rough time adjusting.
- Preparing meals
- Cleaning their own room/bathroom well
- Driving themselves and possibly siblings to activities
- Do the dishes
- Clean out the fridge
- Yardwork (mowing the lawn, picking up dog poop, pulling weeds, raking, etc.)
- Deep cleaning different rooms in the house
- Helping run errands
- Caring for/cleaning up after pets
- Cleaning out the car
- Take out the trash
- Helping care for younger siblings
In Summary: Chores for Kids
Being able to do chores is an essential skill for kids to have. It builds their confidence and teaches responsibility and reward. The earlier you start, the better! We hope you found this information helpful! Let us know in the comments if there is anything you would add to the list!
Don’t forget to check out these other parenting articles:
- 10 Educational Posters for Kids That Every Kids Room Need
- 11 Ways to Stay Motivated As A Mom
- How to Make Screen Time for Kids Beneficial