Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children

The tasks listed are cumulative — in other words, each age group
includes the tasks prior to it.

Toddler . A child who is walking but is under the age of two can follow
simple directions: please bring me a tissue; please hand me that book;
please put the magazine back on the table; please shut the door, and so

Two-year-old . This child can be an eager helper. Two years old is the
“I can do it all by myself” stage. Encourage this willingness and build
confidence by allowing him to help in any way that is not dangerous or
destructive. A two-year-old can follow more complicated directions:
please pick up this towel and put it in the hamper; please bring in the
newspaper and lock the door; please put this can on the bottom shelf of
the pantry. This child can “fluff” the pillow as his or her bed is
being made, thus establishing the habit of making the bed following
dressing every morning. He or she loves to help with a baby if there's
a younger sibling. He or she can bring diapers, wipes, or whatever is
needed. In addition, he or she is able to enjoy more challenging tasks.
For example he or she can:
• Pick up a couple of articles of clothing or several toys.
• Brush teeth with supervision.
• Pour from a small pitcher.
• Wipe up small spills.
• “Clean” surfaces with a damp cloth or commercial “wipe.”
• Feed a pet with supervision.
• Pray with prompting from parent.

Three- to five-year old. This child is able to dress him or herself
with assistance. He or she also can:
• Put pajamas away.
• Begin to take responsibility for brushing teeth, bathing, combing
hair, and using the toilet.
• Take care of personal hygiene with close supervision.
• Make bed with assistance.
• Pick up toys, books videos, DVDs, CDs.
• Tidy up bedroom with assistance.
• Dust banisters, stairways, table and chair legs.
• Help set the table. Use of a pattern or template can be helpful.
(See sample in The Ultimate Career , p. 80.)
• Empty wastebaskets.
• Help make cookies and prepare other food items with close
• Answer the telephone properly and politely, following instructions
by parents.
• Assist with the care of family pet(s).
• Perform any simple task with help.

Six- to eight-year old. This child is able to do all of the above with
increasingly greater autonomy. In addition, he or she can do the
• Dust furniture with supervision.
• Clean bath fixtures with supervision.
• Assist with garden and yard work.
• Vacuum.
• Help with laundry such as matching socks and folding clothes.
• Do homework and read to self with some supervision; read to or with
• Develop musical and other talents.
• Be responsible for writing down and delivering telephone messages.
• Be in charge of an aspect of family home evening: conducting,
teaching, activity, refreshments, and so on

Nine- to eleven-year old. Besides doing the tasks mentioned above, he
can now learn how to:
• Run any appliance in the house.
• Do all laundry functions and take a weekly turn doing so.
• Prepare simple meals.
• Bake cookies, cakes, and other things.
• Provide significant help with dinner preparations, such as making a
• Clean up kitchen and load dishwasher.
• Iron and press clothing, beginning with flat, simple articles.
• Sweep, vacuum, and dust.
• Assume responsibility for setting out trash cans for weekly garbage
pickup and returning them to their place.
• Perform simple mending tasks such as sewing on a button.
• Assist with repair jobs and home maintenance.
• Assist mother for an hour after school one day each week.
• Be totally responsible for keeping room neat and clean.
• Clean and vacuum car.
• Assume full care of family pet(s).

1 comment:

Melisa said...

Are you reading the Ultimate Career? Isn't is fabulous?!