The definitive list of age appropriate chores for kids.

Every parent wants their child to learn independence but sometimes it can be tricky to know what they’re really capable of. Are you expecting too much? Or perhaps are you doing too much when in fact they could be doing much more by themselves?

Well, wonder no more fellow parents because the helpful chickens over at Bright Side have put together a list of what exactly parents can expect of their children when it comes to chores around the house. Does this work for husbands also? (Asking for a friend).

Because we don’t want you to be ill-prepared we have also added our own helpful information about other things you can expect from your child at any given age.

The guidelines are roughly based on the Montessori school of thought. For those who are not familiar with the way of Montessori, it was originally started by Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori who conducted extensive research into learning and development.

Montessori advocates believe that learning is benefitted by mixed aged classes, child led activity choice, freedom of movement throughout the classroom and blocks of learning time. Using the Montessori principles, Bright Side have developed this handy infographic for parents and carers.

Ages 2-3

If you’ve got a two or three-year-old you can expect them to assist with things like setting the table, sweeping small areas, filling their own water glasses and cleaning up their place from the table. Based on my own experience you can also expect them to reject all requests to wear pants, throw mass tantrums because you cut their sandwiches incorrectly and need to use the toilet the second you leave the house despite your numerous requests to go beforehand.

Ages 4-5

If you are a parent of a four or five-year-old you can expect them to assist in putting away groceries, help unpack dishwashers, use the vacuum cleaner and fold kitchen towels. But rest assured there is far more than can be expected of this age group. With increasing independence comes an increasing attitude. You can reasonably expect that your child will throw glitter all over the house during craft sessions, to argue the existence of make believe animals and to repeat all swear words you’ve ever let slip in public.


Ages 6-7

Kids aged between six and seven years are obviously able to contribute more around the house. According to Bright Side this can include things like helping to cook with simple meals for the family, sweeping the floor, wiping down benches and peeling vegetables. Parents of this age group can also appreciate the top of their child’s head, given that’s pretty much all they see since they got that iPad they pestered you for. Kids between six and seven-years-old are also fabulous for forgetting things like photo day, mufti day and my personal favourite, bake sale day.

Ages 8-9

If you hate taking out the rubbish, don’t worry. Especially if you have a child in the eight to nine age bracket. Finally, helper monkeys. It only took nine years. The list also indicates that kids of this age may be able to do a simple grocery shop using a list but it’s highly likely that you’ll end up with the entire contents of the confectionery aisle if you proceed under this assumption. I’ll leave that one up to you.

Ages 10-11

Kids aged 10-11 can do things like cook a meal, clean up after themselves and clean the oven and stovetop. I don’t have high hopes given that as a role model I’ve already failed them. I only found out at the age of 24 that ovens needed cleaning.

12 +

Finally, at the age of 12 and over you can expect your child to start making simple deserts (as well as general cleaning and tidying). My kids are all under five at the moment but I’m getting my dream menu ready in preparation.

Feature image: iStock