Age Appropriate Chores For Kids

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley to share some of her amazing Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series” here on The Idea Room. Here’s Heather in her own words teaching us about teaching our kids to work and gives us a list of some age appropriate chores to get us started.


*Image found on Google Images. Original found here.

Society implies that success is having all you want, without having to work to get it.

It is true, play sounds more fun. But the idea that work is bad, and play is good is not what we want to preach in our homes. Work and play are meant to compliment one another, not be opposites. As parents, we have a divine obligation to teach our children to work. Raising moral children means teaching them to work.

Getting our kids to work can be hard and frustrating. It is usually the last thing kids want to do. But we do them a disservice by “protecting” them from work and responsibilities.

When it comes to teaching your kids to work, remember…

  • We need to have a good attitude. Speaking ill of work, or whining about it, will teach our children that work is miserable and bad. Keep the negative feelings to yourself.
  • Make work fun. It doesn’t have to be miserable. Turn on some music, make it a game, chat and talk while you’re working.
  • Work together. You don’t have to do the work for your children, but you can be with them as they are working. And remember, they learn by example, so working together gives you a great opportunity to teach them how things are done. How else will they learn?
  • Teach children to serve others. Provide your children with opportunities to serve outside your home and see the needs of others. Service teaches children to work. Then, help our children understand that family life is filled with needs. We want our children to see those needs and step up to fulfill them because it is the right thing to do. 
  • Don’t expect perfection. Accept the best job your child can do and thank them for their service. Even if you have to re-do some of the work. Be grateful and happy for the work they did.
I often get questions about what “work” is appropriate for our children. Here is some suggestions of age appropriate responsibilities for our kids. Keep in mind that each of our children are different. Do what is best for your child. This list is not all encompassing. Add or take away according to your child’s abilities. 
2-3 Years
Dress themselves
Pick up/put away toys
Unload the silverware in the dishwasher
Collect dirty clothes/separate by color
Straighten pillow and sheets on bed
Wash walls
Wipe down glass tables. Wipe down chairs.
4-5 Years
All Previous responsibilities, plus…
Load/unload plastic dishes and silverware in the dishwasher
Set the table
Clean Windows
Wipe down sinks
Fold kitchen dish towels
Fold Towels
Clear the table
Make Bed
Match Socks
Water plants
Empty Garbage cans
Straighten Room
6-8 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Clean the bathroom (wipe down sinks, toilets, mirror, tub)
Learn to do laundry (help hang and fold)
Rake Leaves
Mix, stir, simple meal prep
Keep room clean
9-11 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Take the garbage out
Wash clothes
Wash Car
Help care for pets
Iron Clothes (closer to 11 yrs.)
Mow Lawn
Straighten drawers and closet
Help siblings with their jobs and homework questions 
12-14 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Scrub the bathroom
Mop the floor
Make meals
Clean the fridge/freezer
Clean the garage
15-18 Years
All previous responsibilities, plus…
Drive a car and get their license
Handle a checking account
Have a cell phone (pay for it?)
Have a job
Fill out college applications

Have a question or just want to say hello.
heather johnson

Great Ideas for Getting Your Kids to Work

It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room.  I for one, really enjoy all her great tips and advice on things that most of us as parents struggle with.  Here’s Heather in her own words…



Happy Thursday, it’s Heather from Family Volley. Before I share a few great tips to get your kids more excited about work, I wanted to thank you for all the support last week. Your comments were much needed oxygen. It is comforting to know that there are so many of us fighting the same fight, and that we can get through it. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Hard to believe an hour earlier this room was spotless.

Is work a scary word at your house? Does it immediately elicit moans and groans from your children? It doesn’t have to. Here are three quick tips for getting your kids to work, with a good attitude. The last one is our family favorite.

1.  Listen First–Is there complaining when you mention it is time to clean up? Children don’t always feel like they are heard. SO, listen to them for one minute. What do I mean? Give your children one minute to complain. Let them whine and complain as much as they want for those 60 seconds. Once the 60 seconds are up, it’s time to get to work.

2. Use Labels –Do you ever hear your kids say, "I don’t know where that goesssssss?" Kids are very visual. Take pictures of the toys that go in each bucket or space. Post the pictures on the front of the storage spaces so it makes it really easy for your kids to SEE where things go. You don’t have to take pictures of every toy, just a few of the toys that can represent. You can also include the name of the object for older kids who can read. If your child likes to draw, have them draw pictures of their toys.

3. MAGIC ITEM! My FAVORITE!–when it is time to clean up, I pick a MAGIC/SECRET ITEM in whatever space we are cleaning. Our kids RACE to find and put away the MAGIC ITEM. Whoever finds and puts the MAGIC ITEM away, gets to choose what’s for snack or dinner, or which park we will visit. If it is Monday, the one who finds and puts away the MAGIC ITEM gets to choose what dessert to have for FHE. I always make sure that what they get to choose benefits and affects all the kids. They love this game. It is like a scavenger hunt. I have fun picking new MAGIC ITEMS every time we clean. If the room really needs attention, like our playroom, then I will pick a few MAGIC ITEMS. Sometimes I announce the MAGIC ITEM right when it is put away. Other times I wait until everything is put away and then announce with a grand "ta-da."

p.s. We can’t expect our kids to work at the same speed as we do. The best way to get your kids to work and clean is to slow down and work and clean with them. 

 p.p.s. And remember…if we groan about work, so will our children. We have to have a good attitude about the work to be done.

Want more suggestions for getting your kids to work?
If you give it a try, let me know how it goes?
Have a question, or just want to say hello?


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