Household Chores for Children

It can be difficult to stay on top of household chores in this busy day and age, let alone get kids to participate.

I have found some great tips that I’d like to share with you from my copy of The Simple Things by Antonia Kidman and Sally Collings. Just 20 pages in and this book is a winner in my eyes and I’m itching to read the rest of it. This is a must try and a must read household cleaning book.


Antonia suggests the following method of dishing out chores.

  • Create a list of weekly household chores
  • Assign each task to an age-appropriate group. For instance Beginner (pre-schoolers), Intermediate (primary-schoolers), and Advanced (teens and adults).
  • Allow kids to choose chores from their age group. This one really resonates with me. I spent 5 years studying psychology and know that having a say in goal-setting increases motivation. Think of chores like goals, and choosing them increases motivation.
  • The leftover chores are for adults.
  • Consider crossing off household chores that were completed in the previous week to ensure everyone has a turn at the less popular tasks.


Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Help hang Laundry Fold laundry with supervision Sweep kitchen floor
Put away clutter Put laundry away Take bins out for street collection
Fill a pet’s water and food bowls Stack dishwasher/Empty dishwasher Empty compost
Set the table with supervision Wipe down kitchen surfaces Empty bins
Help a parent prepare food Empty small bins Hang washing
Match socks in the laundry Put washing on Take washing offline
Sort dirty clothes into dark’s, whites, etc. Sweep floors Clean out car
Collect the mail Water plants Wash car
 Straighten books or another general tidying  Put away groceries Clean out fridge
Dusting Sweep patio Cook simple meals
Tidy living room (cushions, blankets etc.) Make school lunches Baking for lunches

You could also add cleaning tasks to the list, or outsource the heavy cleaning to professionals.


As a rule of thumb, the number of chores should behalf of the child’s age. So a four-year-old will have 2 chores, and a 14-year-old has 7 chores.

You may like to deal with whingeing or poorly completed jobs by allocating extra tasks the next week.

When children go the extra mile, it should be recognized with a reward such as choosing a special Saturday night dinner.

How do you divide your family chores? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

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