Household Chores

Many children enjoy being able to feel like they are making a contribution in the home. Learning household chores not only teaches independence but can be used as a way to enhance fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills. Although some of these chores may have to be re-done, it will pay off in skills gained and responsibility taught.

Tips:

It won’t be perfect - It’s better to have a relaxed approach on how well the chores get done. Sometimes it may need complete redoing. It is better to point out what they did correctly and positively correct as needed.

Give praise - Encourage before, during and after, especially with younger kids. Positive reinforcement decreases frustration and promotes healthy attitudes.

Be consistent - Older kids may put off tasks. Design a system, whether it be a checklist or as a way to earn their allowance or other incentives, to keep them accountable.

This list represents samples of household chores for typically developing children. Always adapt and start at your child’s present level. Activities should always present a “just right” challenge of not being too easy that it is boring, or too hard that success can’t be reached.

13 months
  • Imitates Housework
  • Watches adults doing housework and may imitate with toys
2 years
  • Picks up and puts toys away given reminders
  • Placing toys in a bin, or the shelf, organizing stuffed animals
3 years
  • Carries things without frequent dropping
  • Wipes up spills
  • Can dust with some physical help
    • Use modeling
    • Use a shortened duster
  • Gardening activities with help
    • Shoveling dirt
    • Placing seeds and shoveling dirt over seeds
    • Watering
    • Pulling weeds
  • Can use a spray bottle with water to practice cleaning windows, tables
    • Needs to be shown steps of opening palm, wiping over area, and throwing rag into hamper
4 years
  • Fixes dry snacks
    • Can help scoop cereal and pour small bags of snacks
  • Can sort laundry with help
    • Sort by colors or items (socks, towels, shirts, etc.)
  • Bring in mail
5 years
  • Puts toys away
    • Can remember to put toys away after playing or with a verbal direction
  • Can prepare a sandwich
    • Can begin multi-step assembly of foods
    • May need some help with spreading harded peanut butter or jams
  • Take out trash
    • Small trash can bags
  • Makes bed
    • Will need to be modeled and reminded
  • Puts dirty clothes in hamper
  • Answers telephone correctly
6 years
  • Set and clear table
  • Cleans sink
  • Washes dishes with help
7-9 years
  • Sweep floors
  • Puts clean clothes away
  • Hangs up clothes
  • Manages a small amount of money
  • Load dishwasher
10-12 years
  • Cooks meals with supervision
    • Toast, eggs
  • Can do simple repairs with appropriate tools
    • Using a screw driver
    • Gluing pieces together
  • Begins laundry
  • Washes dishes
  • Cares for pet with reminders
    • Walking dog
    • Picking up dog poop with bag cleanly
13-14 years
  • Does laundry
  • Cooks meals
  • Change bedsheets
  • Wash car
  • Clean bathroom
  • Fold laundry
  • Unload dishwasher
Links

Dressing Milestones
Playing Milestones