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Are Kids Chores Slave Labour or a Lesson in Responsibility?

kids chores

Do your kids do chores?

As a kid I had chores growing up. In primary school I would wash up after dinner and my brother would dry and put the plates and cutlery away.

When I was in high school I had to clean our main bathroom, vacuum the floor and wash it. I usually left these chores to be done on a Saturday morning. I occasionally put washing on and would iron or fold and put clothes away. Often our laundry was full of baskets of washing and each school holidays I would challenge myself to get the laundry bench looking bare.

I’d be so proud of myself when I’d get the laundry up to date.

Only to find a week later, the laundry overflowing again!

Chores for children have been put in the spotlight again after a mother shared photos of her son cooking dinner and doing household chores. She captioned the photos with ‘I’m teaching my son that housework isn’t just for women.’

The photos got many parents applauding the mum, yet others didn’t agree with the pictures, with one mum suggesting ‘you don’t have kids so they can become your slave or to do the chores you don’t want to do.’

Childhood chores are said to help children learn how to be self-sufficient which is especially important when they move out of home.

Kids that do chores at home are found to be more responsible and they perform well at school.

If you’re struggling to know what chores suit each age, here is a list of chores that are age appropriate. The list has been compiled using several recommendationson blogs and Focus on the Family.

3 years old

1. Pack away toys after playing with them
2. Put books and magazines in bookcase
3. Undress and dress with help
4. Take their dish and cutlery to the sink
5. Put scraps and pieces of rubbish in the household rubbish bin

4 years old

All the above and
1. Make their Bed
2. Set the table – with help
3. Collect mail from the lawn and mailbox
4. Tidy living area
5. Pour cereal into a bowl
6. Tidy their room
7. Dust
8. Help clean the windows (spray and wipe)

5 – 6 years old

All the above and
1. Set the table
2. Answer the phone
3. Feed pets and keep area clean
4. Help fold laundry and put it away
5. Keep room tidy with toys and belongings away
6. Dusting
7. Water plants
8. Put lunch into school bag

7 – 8 years old

All the above and
1. Pack School Bag and Prepare own lunch
2. Take pet for a walk (with an adult)
3. Take messages from phone calls and write them down
4. Iron simple clothing items

9 – 10 years old

All the above and
1. Use washing machine and dryer
2. Change sheets on bed and put dirty sheets into the laundry
3. Wash the car
4. Put rubbish in outside bin
5. Make tea and coffee
6. Help with the shopping list
7. Cook simple meals
8. Wipe down bathroom sink
9. Swift/Sweep floors
10. Pull weeds from paths and gardens
11. Run their own shower

Adolescence 11 – 12 years old

All the above and
1. Vacuum the floor
2. Cook an evening meal
3. Clean the toilet
4. Clean outdoor furniture
5. Sweep outside
6. Help younger siblings go to bed
7. Pick up dog poo
8. Wash the floor
9. Clean the clutter from bench spaces


All the above and
1. Keep Room tidy and their study area
2. Have a delegated chore list they must do each day and each week. IE unload the dishwasher, wash pots and pans etc.
3. Cook dinner once a week
4. Make lunches for school
5. Organise transport to outside school activities and/or part-time job
6. Clean windows
7. Iron

Is this list about right? What chores do your kids do?

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are and

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