Age appropriate cleaning chores for children

Try our suggested chores for kids by age to make a chore list for kids that actually works.

Updated

children having a pillow fight

Giving children chores around the house is a great way to give yourself a break and teach them responsibility. As they grow older, they can take on more complex tasks but it’s important to ensure you’re setting age appropriate chores from the start.

Here we give you tips for creating a chore list for kids including chores for kids by age. When creating your own chore list using these tips, bear in mind that each child will develop at a different rate. Although some may be up to the tasks we’ve suggested, others may require a little bit of support. You know your child best so use your judgement to decide.

Creating a chore list for kids will help you keep track of who is doing which chore and allow you to offer rewards where appropriate to encourage them to be completed.

The ultimate chore list for kids: by age

Chores for 5 year olds:

  1. Making the bed when they get up in the morning.
  2. Changing into their pyjamas for bedtime and putting dirty washing in the laundry basket
  3.  Putting away things they use. This applies to books they’re practicing reading for school as well as pencils they used for homework or even toys they played with.

Chores for 6 year olds:

  1. Helping to put away the food shopping after a supermarket trip.
  2. Dusting and cleaning surfaces in the living and dining rooms. Take care that they don't use products which may be unsafe for them. Safe options include:
    • A feather duster for dusting
    • Soap and water for cleaning most surfaces
  3. Washing dirty dishes in the kitchen. Make sure the water isn’t too hot and don’t let them wash up any sharp objects like knives
  4. Watering the plants, both in the house and also the garden.

These can also be used as chores for 7 year olds as these is not always as much distinction between these age groups.

Chores for 10 year olds:

  1. Emptying the bins, including the bathroom bin, kitchen bin and recycling.
  2. Packing lunch for school. It’s probably best to still check it before they leave so they don’t just pack an entire box of chocolate!
  3. Setting the table for dinner, and clean up afterwards.

Although it may seem difficult to set chores for this age group, just remember that they’re old enough for extra responsibility but too young to use certain products – like anything containing bleach. If in doubt, play it safe.

Chores for teenagers:

  1. Changing the bathroom mats and family towels.
  2. Changing their bed linen. 
  3. Completing laundry – everything from sorting clothes to using the washing machine, hanging it out to dry, ironing, and putting clothes away at the end
  4. Sweeping floors and vacuuming carpeted areas
  5. Cleaning tricky areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

When setting chores for teenagers, try and set them tasks that will help them prepare for life outside the family home – especially if they’re approaching the age to attend college or university.

Now you have and easy guide to age appropriate chores for all ages, you can create a chore list for kids in your home. Divide the daily tasks between everyone in the house – adults and children alike – and make sure the daily cleaning doesn’t always fall to one person!

Key Steps

  • Always choose age appropriate chores based on your child’s development.
  • Keep our list close to hand to refer to if needed.
  • Create a reward chat to encourage younger children to get involved. You can incentivise teenagers with pocket money or treats if you want to.
  • Make sure that you consider health and safety when creating a chore list for kids. Always supervise any tasks with risks and don’t let younger children use cleaning products that may cause harm.

Originally published