When I told my boys that they have to help out around the house, it was as if I told them that their prized goldfish died. To make sure that I wasn’t inundating them with tasks that were above their age level, I created this handy list (and free printable) of age appropriate chores.
When I was little, my parents gave my sister and I chores to do. My chores were to:
- Dust the den, my room and the dining room
- Set the dinner table
- Empty the bottom of the dishwasher (those items were easiest for me to put away because I was tiny)
- Make my bed every morning
I definitely started doing chores WAY before my boys have. Well, actually they haven’t really started just yet. We ask them to do things around the house every now and then like taking out the garbage pails and bringing them back into the garage at the end of the day, but that’s about it.
I decided it was about time that they learned responsibility, and in turn can earn some extra cash to buy the little things they like or put it into their savings account. I researched age-appropriate chores for the boys and some of the items that were listed as chores were a bit odd. For example brushing one’s teeth was listed on one site as a chore. Isn’t that personal hygiene and something someone should not be compensated for?
Maybe that’s debatable (??), but either way, I decided to make what I feel is an appropriate age-based chore chart.
Chores for 3 – 5 year olds
- Pick up toys
- Help set and clean table
- Help to keep bedroom neat
- Put dirty laundry in hamper
- Help water plants (with supervision)
Chores for 6 – 8 year olds
- All chores above, plus vacuuming floors
- Take trash cans out and back to house when emptied
- Feed pets
- Bring in the mail/newspapers
- Clean up after themselves in the bathroom – wipe down sink after brushing teeth, clean off countertop
- Help with folding laundry (my boys help with sock sorting which is a task unto itself in our house!)
- Unload dishwasher
Chores for 9 – 12 year olds
- All chores above, plus helping to prepare meals
- Make their lunch for school
- Clean up after pets
- Make their beds in the morning
- Put away their own laundry
- Rake leaves and help keep exterior of the home neat
Chores for 12 year olds and up
- All chores above, plus change their bedsheets
- Do loads of laundry
- Mop floor
- Mow the lawn
- Wash the car
- Clean kitchen
I’m sure there are so many that I’ve missed, as this list is a work-in-progress.
I created a list of their chores, by child by day on a dry erase board that hangs at their eye level. This allows them to see what is expected of them each day, and (hopefully) limits the whining.
We started out with a flat dollar amount for their weekly allowance but realized quickly that they were getting the better end of the bargain. There were days that slipped by without chores being completed. I would get frustrated and end up vacuuming downstairs or take in the garbage cans because they were at the curb all day.
We came up with a different system. My husband and I assigned a dollar amount to each chore completed. For example, taking out the garbage would earn them $0.50, vacuuming would earn them $1.00, etc. They slowly realized that in order to make the money they needed for their Pokemon or baseball cards, they would have to work!
How do you assign your chores to your children? Do they get an allowance?