An Age-By-Age Guide to Kids' Chores

I often lament the fact that no matter how many times I unload the dishwasher, it will inevitably need to be unloaded again—probably later today or tomorrow. Chores are a tedious but unavoidable part of life, and teaching our kids to take ownership of all the little tasks that permeate the day-to-day is a process that starts in their youngest years. But it can be hard to know where to start and how much, exactly, we should expect from them.

I’ve created an age-by-age guide to the chores our kids could (or should) be doing, but before you dive in, allow me to offer a few disclaimers:

1) Each age category should build on the category before it
To avoid being too redundant, for example, let’s assume that once a kid is expected to make their own bed, they’re expected to do that in subsequent age groups, as well.

2) These are generalizations
Every child is different. Some kids are going to be chopping veggies by the time they’re seven years old; others can’t be trusted with a sharp knife until they’re old enough to drive. This guide is an attempt to build on skills from one general age range to the next, but it’s also okay—and encouraged—to play to your child’s strengths and preferences when it comes to chores.

3) There’s a lot here
I’m certainly not recommending kids do Every Single Thing on this list (no matter how great that would be). Think of this as a fun grab bag of chores for them to pick from as they grow up.

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