Check This List of Age Appropriate Chores to See How Your Kid Stacks Up

Photo credit: ThreelfbyBike / Creative CommonsWhen a list of age-appropriate chores for kids appeared on Facebook, I realized my three-year-old son isn't doing enough to help out around the house. The list for 2- to 3-year-olds surprised me because it included tasks such as making the bed and unloading the dishwasher, which seem complicated for a clumsy toddler. On the other hand, he is very precise and careful when playing with his Playmobil, so surely those skills are transferable to housework.

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So I tried it. I told him to make his bed. After initial shock, he headed into his room and did it, copying the motions he sees me do every morning. It didn't look right, so I fought the temptation to fix his lumpy result, but he was so excited to show his dad that I didn't mind. No doubt the novelty will wear off, but for the past four mornings he's been eager to make his bed.

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I think kids nowadays aren't given enough responsibility around the house and, ultimately, this system is not beneficial for kids or parents. Psychology professors Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell are quoted in the New Yorker: "Parents want their kids' approval, a reversal of the past ideal of kids striving for their parents' approval." The problem with this is that kids gain authority over adults and become spoiled. If life is perfectly risk-free for kids, how do we expect them to do well in the real world?

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Here's the list of chores. You might be surprised at how much your kids can do.

Toddler (ages 2-3)
- Pick up/put away toys
- Unload the dishwasher (silverware, plastic cups, Tupperware)
- Dust with feather duster/microfiber rag
- Swiffer/sweep the floor
- Help move clothes from washer to dryer
- Make bed

Preschooler (ages 4-5)
- All previous chores
- Take out recycling
- Set/clear table
- Wash dishes with supervision
- Match socks
- Weed
- Feed pets

Early Elementary (ages 6-8)
- All previous chores
- Meal prep (wash produce, find ingredients, simple cutting)
- Hang out/fold laundry
- Get mail
- Rake leaves

Elementary (ages 9-11)
- All previous chores
- Make simple meals
- Take garbage/recycling to the curb
- Mop floors

Middle School (ages 12-14)
- All previous chores
- Make full meals/meal plan
- Clean out fridge/freezer

This post was written by Katherine Martinko of

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