I have the best helping hands in my home- ever! I have three (almost 4!) children, and they are great helpers! Most importantly, they want to be helpers. This didn’t happen overnight- but with age appropriate chores, and teaching them the heart of being servant helpers in our home, we have been able to really train them to into being responsible and helpful.
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The first big thing is teaching them the right spirit behind being helpful and responsible in the home. This starts as soon as you begin having them help – as young as age 2 and 3! We begin training our children from our toddler years. This has several reasons:
1. They will expect it instead of resent it – If you wait to have your children become responsible for task in the home till they are “older” and can do “bigger” chores- there is a good chance you are going to get some resentment from them. There shouldn’t be a “magic age” when you start to have expectations for your child – expectations can begin at the simple ages of 2 and 3!
2. We want to get it in their heart – It is important to train them with a heart response – and the earlier we start this, the more tender their heart is. When children are younger, they want to please you. As teenagers – they feel like they have to please you, and many feel like they can’t.
3. Chores require building – Many chores build on each other. So, when you begin young, you can build on task that your child is learning. It is hard to teach them how to wash clothes when you never expected them to put the clothes in the hamper.
Now, let’s look at some ideas for the different ages:
- Toddlers (Ages 2-3) This is an age where they LOVE to help – but of course, what they can do is smaller. The easiest thing to start with is their own things- because they will feel a sense of responsibility. Picking up their toys is a major one. This must be started at a young age. Don’t clean up for them- let them do it. Young children are also in what is known as a “dump-fill” stage- where they like to dump and then fill up things. So, make sure you leave plenty of time for this – because it is natural for them to do this! Also, this is a stage where you are definitely working with them. Did they spill juice? Give them a napkin to wipe it up! Spill their snack- the same thing!
- Young Child (Ages 4-6) At this stage, our little people are wanting to help. We need to zero in on this “want to” and start teaching bigger tasks! They should still be doing some of the things they were previously – but now, we can add a few things. At this stage, I have them help fold wash cloths and dish rags. They can match socks. They can help carry in the groceries – and help put them away! We are starting to train bed making and even wiping down tables and bathroom counters.
- Older Child (Ages 7-10) We are still in a stage where they want to help – but something happens around 10 where that starts to fade. It is important to teach during this time! We are continuing with the previous things we have learned, as well as adding some new things. The big one that my little guy liked at this age was the vacumm. I think it is because it is electronic!
- Tween/Teen (Ages 11-18) You made it! You now have someone who can start to help with almost anything! At this stage, I am teaching laundry and cooking. Not every day, but really getting into the every day chores. We also switch our tactic into the why – not just because we need to be good stewards of our home, or even helpers- but because they will be having their own homes or dorm rooms all too soon.
Below you will find a great list of kids chores by age. I have done them by age, but also included what rooms the chores are in.
I hope this resource is something that can be helpful to you!
Worshiping With My Life,