5 Chores Every Child Should Be Doing By The Age Of 5

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Oh chores! I had to wipe down all the dining room chairs and the staircases when I was little. My older brother did the vacuuming. My sister did the dusting. We had our duties pretty well divided.

As we got older, more chores were added on. My brother mowed the lawn while my sister and I worked in the garden. Someone had to wipe down the floorboards while another handled dish duty. There was always a list of chores stuck up on the refrigerator for everyone in the house. Looking back, I’m almost amazed at all the jobs my mother got us to do.

I always assumed that I would start the “chore” routine later on. Once my daughter was settled in to elementary school and actually able to handle the vacuum cleaner. I thought she would get her list on the frig, just like I did. We’d settle on an allowance and teach my little girl some good ol’ fashioned responsibility and hard work.

But this summer, I realized something. My four-year-old is completely able to helping around the house. In fact, I think it’s beneficial to introduce some chores now, because they get weighted with payment and the whole thing becomes a barter system. Why not teach my little girl that as a member of this family, she’s expected to help out around the house from the very start? Little did I know, we’ve been laying the groundwork for this for quite some time.

Chores don’t need to wait until a child hits double digits, or even graduates kindergarten. Here are five chores that every 5-year-old should be able to handle.



  1. jessica

    June 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. And the best part is young kids actually enjoy helping out. If you watch 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds play, you’ll notice that they copy a lot of the chores they see Mom and Dad (or whoever they spend the most time with… it could be Mom and Mom or Mom and Grandma etc) do all the time. My niece, who just turned 4, loves to pretend to cook dinner for people, clean up afterwords, and even do laundry. I think it makes her feel like a grown up. Why not take advantage of that and actually let her do some simple chores while she still thinks it’s some kind of privilege associated with adulthood?

  2. katia

    June 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    love this. going to try with my 4 yr old boy and 2 yr old girl

  3. Frances

    June 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Wait…there are people who don’t have their kids do this stuff? My two oldest kids have been making their beds and cleaning up since they were 2. My son is still pretty small but even he get in on the action.

  4. Marielaina Perrone DDS

    June 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    All excellent ideas for chores. We have always had a light chore system in our house for general stuff for our kids to do. Good stuff.

    Marielaina Perrone DDS

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