Age-appropriate chores for your child

The Phillips boys are out of school for the summer but before they can just relax around the house, they need to help around the house.

"I'm trying to teach them this is their house too and it's their responsibility to keep it clean," said they're mom, Nancy.

Each morning, Nancy writes down the chores in a notebook. If they complete their tasks, they're rewarded with a fun activity such as going to the park or a movie.

"I get that question a lot of, ‘Why do I have to do chores?’ I just tell them that's the way your mom and dad raised you and we want to teach you responsibility," Nancy said.

Margie Zitko, a parenting expert with Children's Hospital, couldn't agree more.

"Children should have chores in the household," Zitko said. "We shouldn't be doing everything for our kids. We have to help them learn about real life. Home is where kids learn."

Zitko advises parents to have their children start doing chores at a young age.

"The best thing to do when they are starting off young is to work with them. Model these things and teach them correct way."

Age-appropriate chores

Parenting author Elizabeth Pantley offers parents a guide to help assign age-appropriate chores.

Ages 2 to 3:

Put toys away
Fill pet's food dish
Put clothes in hamper
Wipe up spills
Pile books or magazines
Choose clothes and dress self

Ages 4 to 5:
Above chores plus:
Make own bed
Empty wastebaskets
Bring in mail or newspaper
Clear table
Pull weeds
Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs
Water flowers
Unload utensils from dishwasher
Fix bowl of cereal

Ages 6 to 7:
Above chores plus:
Sort laundry
Sweep or Swiffer floors
Handle personal hygiene
Set and clear table
Help make and pack lunch
Weed and rake leaves
Keep own bedroom tidy
Pour own drink
Answer telephone

Ages 8 to 9:
Above chores plus:
Load dishwasher
Put away groceries
Help make dinner
Make own snacks
Wash table after meals
Put away own laundry
Sew button
Run own bath
Make own breakfast
Peel vegetables
Cook simple food (such as eggs or toast)
Mop floor
Take pet for daily walk
Clean up after pet
Pack own suitcase

Ages 10 and up:
Above chores plus:
Unload dishwasher
Fold laundry
Clean bathroom
Wash windows
Wash and clean car
Cook simple meal with supervision
Do laundry
Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home)
Clean kitchen
Change bed
Make cookies or other foods from simple recipes
Plan birthday party or other event
Have neighborhood job – such as pet care or yard work
Have a paper route
Work in family business doing simple filing, envelope stuffing, shredding or other tasks