Sometimes parents struggle to come up with developmentally appropriate ways for their children to contribute to the family and gain a sense of competence and confidence. Here are some ideas by age.

7-10 years old
All of the above, plus more
Get self up in the morning
Help wash and vacuum car
Wash dishes
Fix snacks and light meals
Help read recipes
Run washing machine and dryer
Change sheets on the bed
Help with projects around the house
Address and stuff envelopes
Read to younger siblings
Bathe younger siblings

11-15 years old
All of the above, plus more
Babysit
Cook meals
Buy groceries from a list
Wash windows
Change light bulbs
Make appointments
Order out for family
Wax car
Mow lawn
Operate saws for home projects
Help in parents’ business

16-18 years old
All of the above, plus more
Run errands
Balance family checkbook
Handle their own checking account
Maintain car
Help with family budgets/tax filings
Take care of house/garden/yard
Take care of animals
Help younger siblings with homework
Take care of siblings
 

18 months old – 3 years old

Turn off lights while being carried
Carry in the newspaper or mail
Get own cereal or snack from kid-friendly containers
Wash tables and counters with damp sponge
Pick up toys and clothes
Put soiled or wet diaper in the diaper pail
Wash vegetables, tear lettuce, stir
Help set the table
Feed and water pets
Help clean up after meals and play
Wake up sibling
Run simple errands around the house
Help put the groceries away
Carry in light groceries
Scramble eggs, make toast
Help make beds
Put plastic dishes in the dishwasher
Make salads
Bring recyclables to the garage
Lead family prayers
Put own clothes away
Take clothes out of the dryer
Tell you when the traffic light turns green
Clear dishes from the table
Seal and stamp envelopes

4-6 years old
All of the above, plus more:
Help find the grocery items in the store
Help fold towels and wash cloths
Pour things
Give you a back rub or foot rub
Help measure ingredients
Count goods at the grocery store
Water plants
Sort light clothes from dark clothes for laundry
Help with vacuuming, sweeping and dusting
Take library books and videos to or from the car
Help younger siblings

Help plant a garden
Wash the floor
Put dishes in the dishwasher
Measure soap for dishwasher and start cycle
Be responsible for compost buckets
Haul things in the wagon
Assist in meal planning
Make a simple meal
Empty dishwasher and stack dishes on counter
Rake leaves for short periods of time
Help wash pets
Prepare own lunch
Walk well-behaved pets
Carry in firewood
Start to manage own money


Tasks children can do to learn responsibility