Age appropriate chores: when to start, and never look back.

chore app

Growing up in my house, there was a saying, “When you’re old enough to see over the table you’re old enough to help with the table.” I was a pretty tall kid so this meant a pretty early start for me. I was probably four years old when when I was taught to set and clear the table. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t handling the fine china, sharp knives or hot foods that could harm me, but I was certainly contributing to the setup and breakdown of dinner.

When you search for age appropriate chores via Google the first unsponsored result returns an article from WebMD (you can check that out here).

Okay, so when do you start giving kids responsibility around the house?

Annie Stuart, author of the article, suggests giving simple tasks even to littlest members of your household. Ages 2-3? They can help by putting toys away, maybe wiping up a spill, picking up laundry and putting it in the hamper, they could even fill the family pet’s food bowl. Ages 4-5? The list grows with suggestions like: making the bed, clearing the table, bringing in the mail, using a handheld vacuum cleaner, emptying wastebaskets, washing plastic dishes, and unloading utensils from the dishwasher. This makes sense, more motor skills, more tasks requiring critical thinking, and generally, more responsibility. I feel a little better about my assignments as a four year old now, though I will say this, I did start doing my own laundry pretty soon after my fifth birthday.

I’m not a parent, and thus do not have any immediate experience with giving my kids chores.My best friend, as discussed in the last blog, is the best Mom I know, and I think it might be time to bring in an expert.

Amee has twin ten year olds named K and P. I have consulted her on many things chore and allowance related:

After some discussion Amee wanted to also add this caveat to K and P’s allowance expectations:

I’m thankful for skills I learned at an early age as they are more than relevant to, well, living!? I am curious though, how do you other parents do it? Do you care to share your thoughts on age appropriate chores? Feel like answering some of my questions via text?

Email me at – let’s talk chores and allowance!

At Piggybank, we’re trying to reimagine early financial education through real world experiences to teach better financial habits at a young age. For most of us our earliest experience with money is through allowance and chores. We leverage chores and allowance through Piggybank as the platform for how money is paid out and saved by kids.

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