Your 2023 Kids Chore List for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Teenagers
In a society where middle class children are leaning more and more to an attitude of entitlement, teaching them the satisfaction of hard work and reward is crucial to their future work ethic and mental development. Use an age-appropriate kids chore list and benefit both your home maintenance AND their value systems.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably long known the benefits of teaching kids to do chores from a young age. Below you will find a comprehensive kids chore list for children of different age groups. We’ll also discover why these chores are important and how they can help your kids think differently about working in general.
Kids Chore List for Toddlers
Teaching toddlers to do chores sets them up for the rest of their later childhood years. Starting young is the best way to not kick against the goads when they’re older. For toddlers, doing chores can easily become a game. So be patient, gentle and persistent while trying the following 5 chores for toddlers.
Making the Bed
You may have noticed an online trend over the last decade about the importance of making your bed every morning. Because of the notion that starting the day right leads to more positivity during the day, teaching your toddler to make their bed can have a massive impact on their general wellbeing.
Motivate your little one to make their bed as soon as they wake up. Sure, it won’t be perfect, but it’s all about the habit and teaching them to try their best. Let it become the first thing they do before anything else, and be sure to reward them for the days they remember to do so. Then, show them why it’s so important to make their bed in the morning before they tackle the rest of the day.
Putting the Trash Away
It can be challenging to get toddlers into the habit of throwing away an empty candy bar wrapper after enjoying a treat. Afterall, toddlers can have short attention spans. A way that may work better is to have a short period of time twice a day where all trash gets put where it belongs; in the trash.
Set up two ‘clean up time‘ periods on your chore list. When it’s time, shout, “clean up time!” and help your toddler to find and throw away every stray piece of trash lying around. This constant reminder of clean up time will quickly become a formative habit that will evolve into a continual routine of throwing away wrappers, outside items and papers from your arts and crafts sessions.
Cleaning their Bedroom
A similar method can work with your toddler’s room. Dedicate a time of the day where all the bedrooms will be cleaned. Show your toddler that you too are a part of this chore by cleaning your own bedroom. Then move on to your child’s bedroom and show them the best way to complete this chore.
Chores in the garden are arguably the most fun and also the easiest to implement into your kids chore list. With these chores come multiple learning experiences and life skills. Try the following:
- Pulling out weeds. Teach them the difference between plants and flowers.
- Planting, watering and harvesting. Showing kids the wonders of veggie gardening is an important life skill they will never forget.
- Raking up leaves. Even though they’re still young, playing with kids’ gardening tools can be very rewarding for a toddler who’s trying to contribute to the family.
Chore List for Pre- and Middleschoolers
When your kids are a little older, their abilities will expand. You will now have a wider opportunity to teach them responsibility as well as the value of doing tasks that may not always seem enjoyable. At this age, reward becomes a powerful motivator, so consider setting up a payment system or simply withholding certain privileges until chores are done.
It should also be mentioned that the chores for toddlers discussed in the previous section can and should be integrated into your kids chore list for pre- and middle school children. Ideally, these chores will have already become part of their routine, so it’s perfectly fine to add them to your new list.
When the laundry is done, what better way to bond with your children than to sit with them while they help fold the clothes. Socks, shirts, hanging clothes and pants each have their own respective folding requirements, and teaching your children this will be helpful when they are out of the house.
Drying the Dishes
If you have a dishwasher, teaching your kids to pack that dishwasher is a great way to take a load off your own chores. And even if you don’t, let drying the dishes become their responsibility whenever a wash has been done.
Since most preschool kids are too short to reach your kitchen sink, hand them clean dishes and let them do the drying and packing away. This not only teaches them the skill itself, but also helps them remember where everything is in the kitchen.
Wiping Counters and Tables
Even shorter kids can learn to wipe the kitchen counter or clean the table after a meal. Setting and clearing a table teaches them that one of the most basic parts of life, eating, comes with a certain measure of maintenance.
Have your kids wipe and disinfect the kitchen after a meal has been cooked. This is an easy chore to track on the Enzo chore tracker for nights when everyone is eating at home.
Younger kids can feel very fulfilled when they are actively caring for an animal. Feeding your family pets can become an easy chore to add to the list, because it’s one they’ll likely enjoy doing. Explain to them that this is an important one that cannot be neglected. Once again, adding this to your chore tracker will make it easier for everyone to remember.
A Kids Chore List for Teenagers
All of the chores listed so far are more than appropriate for teenagers too. It’s a great idea to add more responsibility to the chore chart for kids 12 years and older. You now have a child that is capable of doing approximately the same as what their parents can do, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to allow them to contribute to household living.
Sure, it’s nobody’s favorite thing to do, but knowing how to clean the bathroom is a crucial part of life. Set one day a week for your respective teens to bleach the toilet, wash the taps and mop the floor. Give them a whiteboard and marker to list necessary items for the bathroom too; such as toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.
Clean Out the Fridge
Let’s be honest, that 5-month old half jar of mustard isn’t going to get used. Time to throw it out. Let your teens clear out, wipe and repack your refrigerator once a month. This gives them a good idea of how much of the food you buy gets wasted.
Keeping a clean fridge will also give them a sense of satisfaction when they’re helping themselves to a snack or that 7th glass of milk. This also gives them another opportunity to contribute to the shopping list by letting you know what’s needed.
One Room a Month
“Mom, have you seen my…”
The ‘One Room a Month’ routine is an excellent chore to add to your household chore tracker. Once a month in sequence, one room gets thoroughly cleaned by your teenager/s. Teaching your teenagers to spring clean an entire room is an invaluable lesson that mitigates the tendency to hoard, and helps them know where everything is located.
Preparing Breakfast or Dinner
From 12 years old, every child should know how to prepare at least one meal. Adding this chore to your teen’s list is a great way to teach them one of the handiest skills they’ll ever learn; how to cook.
Depending on your schedule, a once-a-week-breakfast might be a good opportunity for this chore. But if that’s not possible with your family routine, try getting them to cook dinner once every week.
Even if it’s the same meal over and over, your teenager will never forget how to make that particular dish. And hopefully, they’ll be so proud of their achievements, they’ll ask you to teach them how to cook something new.
Because windows need to be washed in a very particular way, showing your kids this will be a valuable skill to them. Help them to understand that window detergent is different to regular detergent. Also, newspaper is the best way to finish off this task… who would have thought?
Washing windows requires a bit of elbow grease, so they may cringe at this one. You may want to ensure that the reward negotiation for washing windows is high, which will further increase their willingness and satisfaction at this chore.
Remember that it’s beneficial to everyone in your family if chores are approached with a fun attitude. Good ways to add to the fun is by creating a funky chore wheel or using a modern chore app, increasing the rewards for completing chores, or simply spending time with your kids and doing the chores with them.