Age-Appropriate Chores Your Preschooler Can Do Around the House

Mother and son doing age-appropriate chores together

Preschoolers are some of the very busiest people in the world. They can be a whirlwind of action and can wear us out by merely watching them. And, sure, they make mistakes too. Games, puzzles, books, toys, and juice can nearly defy physics and land just about anywhere. Exhausting, right?

Well, now may be the ideal time to get some help – from them – with age-appropriate chores! Teaching them early to be a “good citizen” can be educational for them and pare down the many other things you have to do, too. Win, win!

We know basic chores are quicker and easier if you do them yourself, but you may be neglecting a wonderful learning experience for them. One that pays big dividends later on as adolescence brings bigger (and smellier!) messes.

Keys to Getting Your Preschooler’s Participation

Here are a few important things to remember before deciding on the best chores for your child:

  • If you make chores a “punishment” you’ll have a hard time making it consistent
  • Being positive about their accomplishments (even the hard-learned ones) gives them great self-esteem
  • Use the “if and then” when possible (if we get all the toys picked up then we can go outside)
  • Your child may not get everything right the first time. Be patient.
  • At first, do their chores with them. Everything is easier when the whole family pitches in.

Age- appropriate chores are important for kids! They help them learn responsibility, make them feel needed and helpful. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Choose just a few to begin!

Age-Appropriate Chores for 2-3-year-olds

  • Put toys away
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Feed the family pet
  • Pile up books
  • Dust (have them put a sock on their hand for the “dust cloth”)

Age-Appropriate Chores for 3-5-year-olds

  • Wash plastic dishes in the sink
  • Make their bed
  • Water plants/flowers
  • Make a bowl of cereal
  • Bring in the mail (with close supervision near roads)
  • Empty small wastebaskets

Many preschool teachers use chores in the classroom so each student learns to carry their weight. These are great to use at home, too!  

If we’re honest, we know chores are not really fun. But, we also know they are necessary. So it is important to make them as fun as we can. Your child will always take your cues, so make it fun for them, too.

Play their favorite music in their room as they put their toys away. Join them in the kitchen as they wash dishes. Gather the pets together for them when it’s feeding time.  

And, if they miss a toy or spill water as they clean, be positive about everything they did just right. After repeating their chores you will both discover how competent your little one really is.

Then, adding more chores as they grow will be almost effortless. You might even find they will ask for more to do!


Parent Resources

Check out Canva where you can download FREE chore lists and add the text you want. For the younger set, use stickers in place of words when needed. To give them even more independence, let them add a sticker every time they accomplish their work.

Canva age-appropriate chore charts

For more on each school:

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