Children and Chores


I’ve been seeing posts as of late about what age is appropriate to assign chores for their kids to do around the house, and it got me thinking about whether or not I should start “a chore list” with my almost 5 year old.

Granted, I ask him to help me with things…cleaning up toys, bringing his dishes to the sink after supper…but easy things that I know he can do without hurting himself, breaking anything, or making a bigger mess.

It is true that kids need to learn how to be responsible and at the same time feel needed and making a contribution to the family, but how do you know what age that should start?

My son received an amazing gift for his 4th birthday last year.  It was a Melissa and Doug Monthly Magnetic Calendar.


He loves it. It comes with so many fun magnets: first day of school, first day of camp, go to the doctor, go to the park, and our new favourite….clean my room!

Z decided when we were doing the month of June, that the ‘clean my room’ magnet should be put to use.  I thought to myself, “If he wanted to do it, then great!  A perfect age to start!”

We’ve started with the easy stuff. First, was to clean the floor in his closet from all of the toys.  Second, was to make his bed every morning and he is!  Okay, we’ve forgotten a few times….note to self: Consistency is key.

On Saturday he asked if we can play in the basement and I told him as soon as I clean the living room and put the laundry away…when I got back from doing the laundry, the room was clean!  Everything had been put away.  He did it by himself without me having to ask and when I came downstairs and saw what he did, he noticed the look of pride I had on my face.  It made him so happy that he was involved and helped.

I took to Pinterest after hearing about “chore charts” and “age appropriate chores”.  I couldn’t believe the amount of different ideas you could find!!

Like so many other things in a kids life, they have to be ready and willing to do it.  Nagging just won’t get us anywhere.

So start your list, have some fun and remember…have some patience!  Because that thing that takes you 2 minutes to do…will now take 30!

What age did you start asking your kids to help out around the house?


Comments (14)

  • Aw, I love how he helped clean the room up for you! Adorable. Great advice. Thank you!

    Janine Streiter
  • Thank you! It was adorable! And even last night he asked if he can clean up. My little boy is growing up!!!

  • From the moment they could understand but now I tell them we cant go and do fun things unless the house is clean so they are more inclined to clean if they know they will get some outdoor time. Love this calendar, need to get one or make one myself so that they see what needs to get done without me asking.

  • The calendar is amazing. $25 at Mastermind! So good for so many different things!

  • great post! my son started helping at 4 with kitchen duties, help set the table (he was in charge of the silverware) he also loves to swiffer lol He got into the habit and now a few years later he just does his thing tidy room, put garbage bag in can, dusting and of course swiffering lol. I want my son to be a help not a burden to whomever he gets involved with.

    Jo-Anne Pfoh
  • LOL so true! I can’t wait to see what else he wants to do. Setting the table is a great one!

  • Right now we are focusing on using the words “helping out”, family clean ups..versus chores. As they get older they will have more specific chores but right now I want them to get used to the idea of helping out in the family (cleaning up after themselves, cleaning their rooms, loading the dishwaser, cleaning the table, etc..)

  • That’s the perfect way to start Carla!

  • That patience part is tough… esp when they do the laundry for me and I find myself redoing it! Each child is different… Often times I ask them to clean up their mess but then help me with wiping the counter or dusting and if they have a good attitude they get treated.

  • I’ve given up on the laundry for now…he tries so hard, it’s so cute. But not worth it to redo it!!!

  • Probably as soon as he was old enough to take instructions, he’s been doing things! Even if it was just “help clean up.” I think it’s not actually possible to teach responsibility too early.

    Anne Radcliffe
  • I agree Anne. I knew he was ready to help out when it became fun for him rather than an instruction.

  • My kids 5 and 7, have been doing chores since birth! lol…well at least I tried 😉 I love this post- I think it is super-important to get children involved and respectful of their environments.

  • Thanks Mer, I agree!!

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