How to Get Your Kids to do Chores

by Angel

Should your kids have to do chores? Is your child was old enough to do chores? Take a look at chores that are applicable at different ages and reasons to do them.

Dreadful household chores can add up. Especially if both parents work all day. There is no reason your children can not help you with a lot of the chores around the house. Chores are good for children. It is good for children to understand what it takes to run a house hold. It also teaches children real world skills they will need as an adult living on their own. I have four children at home that have a chore list that has to be accomplished every week. Chores have to be completed before they can move on to do the fun things they want to do. Here are some tips on children doing chores as well as what chores are appropriate for what age.

Should Kids Have to do Chores?

I am a firm believer that doing chores is a good thing for kids. Along with teaching them what goes into running a household and real world skills that they will need as an adult, it helps them build confidence. Can you imagine your child going away to college not knowing how to do laundry or wash a dish? They need to learn to do these things and your home is the best place for them to learn.

Daily Chores, Reproduction of Oil Painting by Cornelius Krieghoff
Daily Chores, Reproduction of Oil Pai...
Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain

My Child Doesn't Know How to do Anything!

Don't worry that your child may not know how to do something. Learning is doing. I would suggest that you show them how to do a task taking it step by step the first time. Then watch them do it the next time around making suggestions as necessary. Then let them do it on their own. Try not to criticize them if they do it wrong. Make suggestions on the right way to do it and help them to do it correctly. They will get the hang of it soon. Remember, these are the children that can figure out all these complicated video games and can operate a computer better than you. I think they will get the hang of folding towels eventually.   

I Can't Get My Kids to do Anything Around the House

Here are some tips on getting your kids to help out around the house:

  • Have your kids participate in what chores they are assigned to do. It helps if they enjoy doing a task. You will have to decide if two of them fight over a certain chore or even have them alternate each week on who gets to do it.
  • Be specific with what the chores are. Don't say, “Clean your room”. Tell them to “make up their bed” or “put clothes away”.
  • Keep a list visible with some type of reward system in place. Give each chore a deadline of when it should be completed. Also include a place to check off when the chore is completed so they will have some sense of accomplishment when it is completed.
  • Praise them along the way for doing such a good job with their chores. Don't forget to do this. It really helps with their self esteem and makes them feel like they are a part of something.
  • Ask them for help instead of insisting that they do something. They will be more likely to cooperate if they are asked. You will most likely still have to remind them to get their chores done. Be careful not to nag. Nobody likes to be nagged about doing something. Remind them that they can go outside and play after the towels get folded.


Chore Related Books

Chore Wars: How Households Can Share the Work & Keep the Peace

Based on the article the author wrote for Special Reports, this book is a practical guide to getting things done around the house, offering sound and sage advice to help ...

$13.95  $1.15

View on Amazon

The Chore Board: A Helping-Around-the-House Game

Even the most reluctant household helpers will be clamoring to clean with The Chore Board. Parents just pick a reward for each child, and then every well-done job moves the ...

$14.99  $11.47

View on Amazon

Raising Able: How chores empower families

Set up a chore system in your home so you can retire from being the house servant while empowering your children. Young people will learn self-discipline, responsibility and ...

$511.33  $346.08

View on Amazon

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores

Papa Bear and the cubs are having some trouble with chores—they don't want to do them! When they decide to take a break from cleaning, Mama Bear plays along. But what will ...

$3.99  $1.08

View on Amazon

Age Appropriate Chores

Remember, all kids are different. You may be able to get your 3 year old to do things that a 5 year old can do. It is really up to you and your child. These are just general guidelines.


Age 2-3 years old
  • put their toys away
  • put food in pet's food dish
  • put their clothes in a clothes hamper
  • pick up their trash and throw away
Age 4-5 years old
  • any of the chores above
  • empty smaller trash cans into a larger one
  • clear the table
  • make up their own bed
  • hand you dishes from the dish washer
Age 6-7 years old
  • any of the chores above
  • sort laundry
  • keep their bedroom clean
  • set table and clear table
Age 8-10 years old
  • any of the chores above
  • load and unload the dishwasher
  • vacuum
  • mop and sweep floor
  • wipe down table and counters after a meal
Age 11 and older
  • any of chores above
  • change bedding
  • fold clothes and put away
  • clean sinks and toilets


Remember to allow the children to take part in picking their chores and praise them for doing a good job. Doing chores will teach them skills they will use for a life time. Have fun with it!

Updated: 03/11/2012, Angel
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Angel on 03/06/2012

Hi Katie - I think these are very important skills that a child should learn. I have seen grown men that did not know how to wash a dish or fold a towel because their moms never had them do it as a child. I try my best to get my children to do their chores and understand what they are doing. It is a task sometimes but I still do it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

katiem2 on 03/06/2012

Oh how important, great tool to teach kids planning and goal setting. I went through so many of these wonderful charts as my kids grew. I kept moving them along as they learned and grew their charts did as well. Great idea Angel thanks for the reminder, life skills are vital for young children to succeed giving them such a good feeling of doing their part.

Angel on 03/06/2012

@kinworm - I agree. My children are more than old enough to help me out and I really need it.. With four of them around the house it tends to get cluttered easily. I had just went over their chores with them when I got the idea to write about it. I think it is good for children to help out around the home. Thanks for stopping in.

Marie on 03/06/2012

These are great suggestions, Angel. I'm just getting my 4 year old used to doing things for herself like taking her empty plate into the kitchen, tidying a set of toys before playing with something else and putting her clothes away neatly. It's good to give even young kids some responsibility.

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