There are lots of opinions out there about whether or not kids should do chores, which chores are appropriate, and whether or not kids should get paid for them.
I think the most important thing is that kids do as much for themselves as they can. Sure, many times it’s a lot easier to just do it myself. But as much as possible I ask mykids to do any jobs they’re capable of. I want them to learn to take care of themselves so that they’re not the kid at college who doesn’t know how to do laundry, or the young adult who doesn’t know how to cook pasta.
I’ve also been very surprised by how much my kids enjoy helping around the house (once I get past the initial resistance, which happens every time I initiate a new task). I think they feel good and important and capable when they can do some of these jobs. I recently taught my 14-year-old how to wash dishes (I know, way too late, but I’m trying), and he told me he thought it was a very good thing that he knew how to do that now! I agreed with him.
To get you started, here are chores that are appropriate for a 4-5 year old.
This list is intended for reference, to give you ideas of what things a child this age can do. Remember that if these tasks are new to your child, you’ll need to introduce the tasks slowly, and teach your kids the individual steps involved so that they can practice and improve! I like to add new chores one at a time to their of daily or weekly to do’s so that I don’t overwhelm them. Sometimes it takes weeks in between adding a new task before they’re ready for another one to be added on. It’s a process!
If you need to make some changes to this list, you can easily edit it here. Click on the text next to any picture to change it, or drag and drop items on and off of the list or to a new position in the list.