Chores for Children – The ‘ins and outs’ of educating your children on key life skills!


Here at the Sydney Therapy Co, not only are we professionals who work with children and families every day, we are also parents.

The thought of our children helping us around the house is wonderful (who wouldn’t love that!) but we also wanted to look at why it has multiple benefits and a quick guide to what suits different age groups.


Why do we professionals think chores are great?

Chores are actually wonderful for kids because:

  • Keeping an area clear and tidy helps children build planning and organising skills. It helps keep a child’s space, place and mind orderly (key executive functioning skills)
  • It creates an opportunity for independence and participation as a family member (collective goal setting and encourages teamwork)
  • Chores offer a safe experience of failure and in turn getting feedback, developing learnings and understanding guidance for family members
  • Chores can be turned into language opportunity such as listening to instructions or sequencing events after the chore
  • It keeps your house tidy! (Bonus!)


Isn’t it mean making my child do chores?

Children not born with key skills needed to carry out many of the household tasks required to get jobs done, that’s why this is an excellent everyday opportunity for parents to help hone these skills.

It’s not mean, it’s all part of their development.

There are a few things you (as a parent) need to remember:

  • Before you ask them to complete a task, you will need to demonstrate the necessary action. E.g. dusting the shelves – explain how you remove the ornaments, show the action of dusting, how to check if the job is done correctly. Remember you may have to do this a few times to get the skill mastered.
  • Keep all your instructions simple and clear, 3-5 key steps should be more than enough.
  • They are beginners so you need to be patience and expect a few hiccups along the way!
  • It’s ok if they get it wrong, this is not a chance to tell them off, it’s a chance for you to repeat instruction and help guide them along.
  • Over time they will master the skills and all you will need to do is remind them to do it!



So, what appropriate chores can I give my child?

When you make up a list of chores or jobs around the house, it’s very important to factor in their capability to understand and then complete the tasks required.

Skills can vary from child to child and you will know best what suits your family at any given time.


Our quick guide on age appropriate chores:


3-4 Year Olds

Putting dirty clothes in the washing basket

  • Picking out clothes ready for the morning and getting (mostly) dressed
  • Putting toys and books away in the right place
  • Helping you in the garden – watering plants and clearing leaves
  • Putting shoes in the right order in the cupboard
  • Helping set the table and take items back to the kitchen



5-6 Year Olds

  • Helping you bring groceries in from the car
  • Putting away shopping
  • Collecting the mail
  • Sorting out the recycling
  • Helping you look after pets – brush, feed etc
  • Clearing the table after eating



 7-8 Year Olds

  • Watering and caring for plants
  • Cleaning litter box or cleaning up the dog poo
  • Collecting and dealing with household rubbish
  • Sweeping floors and dusting shelves
  • Loading/emptying the dishwasher
  • Putting all their clothes away neatly
  • Setting and clearing the table
  • Sorting their own breakfast out


9-10 Year Olds

  • Vacuuming
  • Changing sheets
  • Sorting breakfast and snacks for themselves and younger siblings
  • Walking a pet (at the right time of day and a safe area)
  • Helping prepare a meal
  • Completely cleaning their room


Remember, the physical and mental skills you help build now will push your children to be stronger and more resilient adults in the future. If you think you might need additional help in building these skills and help their cognitive thinking – book an appointment with us today to discuss.