Lighten Your Load – Chore Ideas for Kids of All Ages

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I don’t know how things go in your house, but almost inevitably with the approach of summer comes an increase in the level of mess. Between spring sports, school trips, and assorted end of the year activities, things tend to get a bit messy. And when summer hits? YIKES! Seeing as how science has yet to come through for me and figure out how to add more hours in the day, there is a limit to how much I can do on my own. So, rather than go completely insane trying to do it all, I enlist our four perfectly capable kiddos to lighten the load. While there are obvious limits that come with age and ability, they all are able to lend a helping hand.

How can your kids help, too? Here are some age-appropriate ideas to get you started, all kid tested (but not necessarily kid approved!).  

  • Make a bed
  • Straighten their room
  • Straighten playroom
  • Collect and put away scattered toys, shoes, etc.
  • Put dirty clothes in a basket
  • Sort dirty laundry into piles by color
  • Find matching pairs of clean socks
  • Put away non-hanging clean laundry
  • Set utensils on table at meal times
  • Clear their plate/cup/used napkin after meals
  • Put clean utensils/plastic wear away 
  • Hold the list/mark off items at the grocery store
  • Put groceries away (with direction)
  • Collect sticks from the yard before mowing
  • Bring in the newspaper
  • Put recyclables in a bin 
  • Make a bed
  • Pull sheets off bed for washing 
  • Gather dirty towels and place in basket/laundry room, replace with clean ones
  • Sort laundry, load into washer, move to dryer
  • Put clean clothes away
  • Straighten their room
  • Straighten playroom 
  • Assist with measuring and pouring when preparing meals
  • Set the table at meal times (plates, cups, utensils, condiments)
  • Unset table after meals
  • Wipe down table/mats
  • Help plan meals, write grocery list
  • Assist at grocery store (adding items to cart, managing list, scanning and/or bagging items)
  • Clear the yard of sticks, rocks, toys before mowing
  • Sweep driveway and sidewalks
  • Water plants
  • Pull weeds (with direction)
  • Bring in mail and packages
  • Take small trash bags to larger cans for collection
  • Make a bed
  • Remove sheets from bed and replace with a fresh set
  • Straighten bedroom 
  • Straighten playroom 
  • Help sort through clutter on counters, tables, etc
  • Gather toys, shoes and other items from common areas and put them away
  • Gather books and return neatly to shelves
  • Sweep floors
  • Vacuum carpeted areas
  • Clear table and wipe down after eating
  • Rinse dishes and load in dishwasher
  • Unload clean dishes from dishwasher 
  • Sort laundry
  • Run a load of laundry (wash, dry), fold clean clothes and put away
  • Assist in the planning and preparation of meals
  • Assist at grocery store (adding items to cart, managing list, scanning and bagging items during checkout)
  • Put groceries away at home
  • Dust furniture as needed
  • Bring large trash bags to curb for collection and replace liners in inside cans
  • Pull weeds
  • Water plants
  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks 
  • Shovel snow
12 YEARS +
  • Make a bed
  • Remove sheets from bed and replace with a fresh set 
  • Straighten bedroom 
  • Help to straighten common areas, return clutter to proper place
  • Vacuum carpeted areas 
  • Sweep floors
  • Clean surfaces in bathroom, replace towels as needed
  • Run a load of laundry (wash and dry), fold clean clothes and put away 
  • Assist in meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Put groceries away at home
  • Plan and prepare a simple meal
  • Pour beverages for family at meal times
  • Rinse and load dishes, wash and dry by hand items that can not be machine washed
  • Wipe down kitchen counters and cooking surfaces
  • Clear yard and mow grass
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveway
  • Shovel snow
  • Bring trash and recycling bins to curb for collection, bring in once empty
There you have it, plenty of opportunities for your kiddos to lend a hand. While this list is pretty lengthy, I’m sure I’ve missed some great ideas. What would you add? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
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Emily Ringo
I am a Cincinnati girl, born and raised. After a brief hiatus to attend the University of South Carolina (go Cocks!), my husband and I moved back home with a 1 year old in tow (she's now 10!). Since then, we have added three more kiddos to our family (ages 6, 4 and 2), and I am lucky enough to hang out with them all day. We love reading, getting crafty, and making huge messes that we will definitely clean up...tomorrow. When I'm not surrounded by children, I dabble in exercise, enjoy reading a good book, and can frequently be found binging on Netflix with my favorite guy. About a year ago, a Pinterest “I can do that!” project painting little superheroes for my son turned into an Etsy shop ( which I manage to run in my “free time”. I may be slightly sleep deprived, but I wouldn't trade a minute of my crazy, busy, wonderful life!


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