It’s easy to see a direct line between homework and later success in life. But according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, adding chores to your kids’ after-school routine is just as important. The research reveals that “children who do chores may exhibit higher self-esteem, be more responsible and be better equipped to deal with frustration, adversity and delayed gratification. These skills can lead to greater success in school, work and relationships.”

Guide to Age-Appropriate Chores

How to Use this Guide: This list is designed to give you an idea of what your child may be capable of at each age and stage.

The tasks build on each other. Folding washcloths at 2 graduates to folding towels by 6. Or making a snack at 6 progresses to making a complete meal by 12. Once your kid gets the hang of a simple task, like clearing the table, roll it into the daily expectation category and save biggies like putting up laundry for chore time.

Your chore expectation and reward system is up to you! You’ll know when you find the sweet spot. And like all things parenting, it will be a moving target.

Pro tip: If your child is struggling with a chore, you may need to re-teach the skill or break it into smaller steps.

2-3 Year Olds

• Put toys away.
• Help unload groceries.
• Get dressed with help.
• Empty bathroom trash cans.
• Fold washcloths.
• Throw away trash.
• Put dirty clothes in the hamper.

4-5 Year Olds

• Feed pets.
• Make bed.
• Set and clear table.
• Load and unload tableware from the dishwasher.
• Match socks.
• Weed flower beds and gardens.
• Make easy snacks (grab an apple or a banana and nut butter).

6-7 Year Olds

• Wipe tables and kitchen/bathroom counters.
• Put laundry away.
• Sweep floors.
• Fold towels.
• Clean bathroom mirrors.
• Rake leaves.
• Help with meal prep (make a salad, peel carrots or potatoes).

8-9 Year Olds

• Load and unload the dishwasher.
• Follow simple recipes (scrambled eggs, cookies).
• Wash laundry.
• Bring trash can up from the curb.
• Walk the dogs.
• Put up groceries.
• Change lightbulbs.

10-11 Year Olds

• Change sheets.
• Clean toilets.
• Do yard work.
• Vacuum.
• Sweep sidewalk, garage and porch.
• Make a simple meal.
• Read to younger siblings.

12-16 Year Olds

• Wash the car inside and out.
• Help out with younger siblings.
• Make a complete meal.
• Clean glass items.
• Mop floors.

16 and Up

• Grocery shopping.
• Run errands.

2020 Ultimate All-School Guide