Developmentally Appropriate Chores for Children

lessonsfromtheschoolhouse simplicityparenting Aug 12, 2021
an image of a rainbow across a page with five white squares of writing; toddler chores, preschool chores, middle year chores, and high school chores. Image from Little Round Schoolhouse

Developmentally Appropriate Chores for Children

An important part of what we teach our children is the care for their home and belongings. In my Waldorf-inspired preschool program, we worked together to do the chores each day. Parents often ask me what chores are appropriate for their child. I complied this list so you could begin to consider how your children might help out around the home. 

I also encourage you to check out the video I did "Five Ingredients Needed for Children to Help Tidy"

Using story is a fantastic way to help encourage children to tidy. As part of our Storytime in the Schoolhouse membership, we offer monthly "pedagogical tales"--stories that teach children on some level. Last month our focus was on helping to keep the house tidy, particularly laundry. We heard the story of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter. You can watch the puppet show for free on our website.


Toddlers (2-3ish)

  • Put toys away
  • Dirty clothes into hamper
  • Dust
  • Mop
  • Stack books on shelf
  • Throw trash away
  • Carry small pieces of firewood
  • Fold washcloths
  • Help make bed (with parent help)

Preschooler (4-5ish):

  • Toddler chores plus...
  • Make bed alone
  • Help clear table
  • Help wash dishes
  • Put away utensils & dishes
  • Water plants
  • Sort laundry
  • Fold laundry
  • Wipe off counters
  • Wipe up spills
  • Straighten Bedroom
  • Prepare simple snacks
  • Weed garden


Early Elementary Ages (6-9ish)

  • Toddler and preschool chores plus...
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Put away laundry
  • Match clean socks
  • Rake the yard
  • Put away groceries
  • Empty dishwasher

Middle Years (10-13ish)

  • Toddler, preschool, and early elementary chores plus...
  • Wash car
  • Prepare meals
  • Wash clothes--using washer & dryer
  • Take out trash & recycling

Older Children & High Schoolers (14+)

  • Toddler, preschool, early elementary, and middle year chores plus..
  • Mowing and weed eating
  • Most all adult chores

Want to receive support and encouragement via email?

Join our mailing list to receive support on your parenting journey. We send 1-3 newsletter emails a month and promise not to share your information.

We don't like spam and promise not to send you any.