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20 age-appropriate chores

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Ideas and rewards

While some children are more eager than others to help out around the house, giving your kids chores helps teach them responsibility and gives them a chance to earn an allowance or reward. Looking to give your youngster more responsibilities? Discover how to track chores, determine rewards for chores and assign age-appropriate chores.

Girl doing choresChild's chore chart and more

Some parents visually track chores for a five year old through sticker charts and marble jars, while chores for eight year olds are better tracked through printable chore charts for kids.

To track chores for 12 year olds, an online chore tracker such as lets kids take an active role in household duties while helping you monitor and reward your youngster's tasks. (You can also make a printable custom household chore list.)

How do you reward your child for completing chores?

While learning lessons of responsibilities, many parents choose to reward their kids for a job well done. "My daughter is 5 years old and… gets a star [on her chart] for each item she does," shares Alysha DiGiorgio Rockville, MD. "If the week has all stars, she gets $2.00."

Other parents opt to use special outings as incentives, like Camie Dunbar, mom to a 7-year-old and a 4- year-old in Keller, Texas, while Kim and John A. in San Diego, California, use a combination of both money and privileges for their 9- and 10-year old sons. "[We] have two boys…who love to play video games, use the computer, and watch tv/movies. We award screen time and/or cash depending upon the previously agreed upon reward."

But not all parents agree that tackling household duties qualifies for a reward. "The best way to reward my daughter for doing her chores is to teach her the life skill of going within her heart and experiencing the sense of accomplishment for herself," says Janet Larson Melugin, M.S., of

Examples of age-appropriate chores

Following are guidelines suggesting what kids can do when it comes to pitching in:

Chores for kids 3-5

  • Clear and set table
  • Dust with a clean sock
  • Pick up playthings
  • Help wipe up messes
  • Wash low windows

Chores for kids 6-8

  • Take hamper to laundry room
  • Check mailbox
  • Feed and water pets
  • Vacuum and mop
  • Collect household trash

Chores for kids 9-12

  • Help wash the car
  • Wash dishes
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Mow and rake lawn
  • Fold and put away laundry

Chores for kids 13-17

  • Take trash cans to and from curb
  • Operate washer and dryer
  • Prepare and cook meals
  • Contribute to grocery list
  • Iron clothes

Your kiddo's individual abilities and skills should be considered for each group of age-appropriate chores when assigning tasks. Whether you choose to reward your children with money, privileges or words of encouragement, teaching your child responsibility is a lesson from which she will benefit for a lifetime.

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