Household Cleaning Tasks For Children Of All Ages

Keeping the family home tidy is a full-time job, and it’s one you don’t need to do alone. Experts stress the value of giving kids chores around the house from an early age. Not only does it teach responsibility, they quickly learn that being part of a family means sharing the work — and that makes everyone’s life easier!

One thing to keep in mind as you assign chores to your children is that they’re young and learning. Patience and reasonable expectations are a must! It might be frustrating to watch your child fumble with a task that would be easier for you to quickly do yourself, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you took the time to help them learn. (And you can always go back and wipe down that table more thoroughly or sweep up the rest of the spilled cat food yourself later!)

This list offers some suggested chores based on age group. It’s definitely not comprehensive, but it should give you an idea of what it might be reasonable to expect. Your children may be ready for certain tasks earlier or later, depending on their development. Even little ones can help clean up, although they may need a lot of supervision and encouragement! Remember that practice makes progress… start them small and they’ll be ready to take on more as they get older!

How do you divide the work at your house? Are there chores your children love to do?

Age 2-3

  • Put clothes in hamper
  • Pick up books and toys
  • Help put away clean laundry
  • Dust and help wipe up spills

Age 4-5

  • Water plants
  • Put away clean silverware
  • Clear and clean the table
  • Clean doorknobs, light switches and other high-contact surfaces

Age 6-8

  • Help load dishwasher or dry dishes
  • Sweep and vacuum
  • Clean up their bedrooms independently
  • Make their beds in the morning

Age 9-11

  • Unload the dishwasher, put away dishes
  • Laundry (sorting, using washer and dryer, folding)
  • Clean sinks and toilets
  • Assist with gardening and yard work

Age 12+

  • Meal cleanup (putting away food, washing dishes)
  • Cleaning bathrooms
  • Change lightbulbs
  • Iron clothes


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