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Tasks that are age-appropriate

July 04, 2003

Children should be assigned household chores that are age-appropriate. The progression of chores generally moves from simple to complex, and from chores that focus on self-care to chores that help the family. Here are some examples:

  • Ages 3 to 5: Dress self; pick up toys, help clear table, imitate parents in other tasks.

  • Ages 6 to 8: Establish routines for self-care; set and clear table, empty garbage, put away clean clothes, pull weeds, feed pets.

  • Ages 9 to 11: Increase self-management; prepare simple food, wash car, sort laundry, do simple yardwork, exercise and groom pets.

  • Ages 12 to 16: Focus on skills for independent living; cook meals, do laundry, repair house and car, do heavy yardwork.


Chores appropriate for teenagers are those that support independent living, including:

  • Eating and food preparation: Planning meals, shopping, cooking, serving and cleanup.

  • Housecleaning: Cleaning bedrooms, bathroom and other areas used by the teen.

  • Laundry: Sorting clothes for color and cleaning requirements, washing and drying clothes without shrinking them, folding and putting away clothes.

  • House maintenance: Yardwork, painting, simple home maintenance and repair, simple car maintenance.


Source: National Association of School Psychologists.

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