The Importance of Chores for Kids

Chores for kids - they can help clean!

I’ll be honest. I didn’t really have chores growing up. I was the youngest (by a long shot). My sweet mom had a total love of cleaning and perfection, so she just took care of everything.

Granted, I’ve always been a neat freak, so I did keep my space clean and organized, but I never had designated chores I had to take care of myself. 

Fast forward to now. I have two kids of my own and I work from home. During summer break, things at our house can get messy fast, and Momma can use some help. 

Like my mom, I have just done all the house work myself, but times are changing. Having four extra hands around during the summer months, it only makes sense to have them help.

The main reason I haven’t implemented chores before now is because I’m Type A and I would just rather do it myself instead of having to go back and correct the mistakes others will make.

Studies show that chores can boost self-esteem and help with kids’ development. They also get satisfaction when they complete a task. So in reality, I’m actually doing them a favor by assigning chores!

Chores for kids - at 9 and 4, they're old enough to help!

My son is nine and is still under the impression that money grows on trees. He thinks just because he wants something, he should be able to get it. Not long after school ended, I told him he needed to start earning his own money so he can use it to buy the things he wants.

On the other hand, my four-year-old daughter has always wanted to help me clean, cook, put up groceries, feed the dog, and pretty much anything that she is able to do. I guess most girls just come wired this way.

Since that conversation with my son, he has practically been begging me to do chores to earn money. We recently sat down and made a chore chart. While I had to make a few revisions, we settled on things he decided “weren’t too hard” and that he can do on his own. It is a good time for him to learn responsibility and independence. This will serve him well as he gets older.

The pay scale is 50 cents for small chores and $1 for larger chores. If he wants to earn more than that, we come up with larger scale assignments.

So, where do you start? Create a chore chart. This will help you keep up with who is doing what. There are a ton of free printable charts on Pinterest

  • Make it age appropriate. Below, I’ve listed chores I found in my research for different age levels.
  • Give them guidance at first so they aren’t going into it with no clue what to do.
  • Have them update their chart each day with what they’ve done or remind them of what they need to do.
  • Determine the reward or payment for each chore. My son wants to be paid upon completion, but maybe paying at the end of the week would work better.
  • Chores don’t have to just have a monetary reward. They can be paid with extra screen time, a trip to somewhere fun, or whatever else is a good incentive for your child.

Age-appropriate Chores:

Toddler (Ages 2-3)

Pick up/put away toys | Put books on shelf
Put dirty clothes in laundry | Throw away trash
Fold washcloths | Wipe up spills
Clear table at dinner | Find socks and shoes

Chores for kids - toddlers can help

Preschool (Ages 4-5)

All previous chores | Help put away groceries
Make their bed | Straighten bedroom
Feed pets |Set and clear the table
Get themselves dressed | Put laundry in dryer
Fold towels |Wipe off kitchen table
Clean room | Make their own bed

Chores for kids - washing dishes

Early elementary (Ages 6-8)

All previous chores | Bring in mail
Help with meal prep | Load/Empty dishwasher
Sweep | Vacuum
Fold towels | Take out trash
Dust furniture | Rake Leaves

Chores for kids - vacuuming

Elementary (Ages 9-11)

All previous chores | Clean bathrooms
Do the laundry | Take garbage cans to curb

Chores for kids - taking out the trash

Middle School and older (Ages 12 and up)

All previous chores | Clean tub/shower
Change sheets | Mop floors | Mow lawn
Wash car | Supervise younger siblings

Chores for kids - making the bed

I hope this will be a great arrangement, not only to save me time and effort, but to teach them responsibility and the value of working for money. 

How do you handle chores for kids in your house?

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