Skip to main content

The best chores for kindergartners: Teach responsibility in an age-appropriate way

Kindergarteners aren't too young for chores — give them responsibility with these tasks

Young boy helping unload the dryer
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Are kindergarteners too young for chores? Absolutely not. If you haven’t already started giving your 5-year-old simple chores around the house, now is the perfect time to start. Having chores for kids to do is more than just giving busy parents a hand.

Chores go a long way toward teaching children important life skills. Doing chores actually has a lot of benefits for kids. These household chores teach children responsibility and give them a sense of belonging. Helping with simple tasks around the house also works to improve a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Getting kids used to completing those everyday tasks like making the bed and doing laundry will most certainly be prudent when they’re ready to head off to college or get out on their own. So, what are the best chores for kindergarteners and young children?

Chores for kindergarteners

Kindergarten is a wonderfully fun age. At the ages of 4, 5, and 6, kids are curious about everything and love to spend time with their parents. Kindergarteners also want to do the things they see their parents doing, which is why it’s the ideal time to introduce them to chores.

When deciding on chores for your kindergartener or young child, remember to keep the tasks simple. Be sure to give clear and uncomplicated directions. Remember, it’s OK to add an element of fun, too. Music is a great way to inject enthusiasm into chores for kids and adults as well. Now, let’s get to work.

Young boy setting table for lunch

Best chores for kindergarteners

When you’re making up the to-do list around the house, these are the top chores for young children and kindergarteners to get busy with.

Cleaning up books and toys

If your child has been to preschool, they’re already familiar with cleanup time. Cleaning up in school is an all-hands-on-deck chore. It also works well in a classroom because all the shelves are accessible to kids. If your child isn’t already pitching in to clean up the toy room or their bedroom, it’s time. Make sure the toys and books have a place your little one can reach with containers they can carry and put away.

Helping in the garden

Watering plants in the house and outside is a perfect chore for kindergarteners. They, of course, love water. The key to caring for plants is giving kids a watering can they can carry. Show them how to fill the watering can, being careful not to overfill. Then, be sure to demonstrate how much water is enough. Kids can also help with weeding. Just be nearby to ensure they’re not pulling plants out. Another kid-friendly outdoor chore is helping with the planting. Kids enjoy digging holes and putting seeds in the ground. Gardening is a fun chore you and your kindergartener can do together.

Emptying the dryer

Parents never have enough hands to do all the chores around the house, which is why it’s wonderful to have kindergarten helpers. Emptying the dryer can be a pain if you’re in the middle of dinner, but it’s an easy one for 5- and 6-year-olds.

Setting the table

Another simple chore when you’re trying to get a meal ready is setting the table. Kindergarteners can put out placemats and napkins. They can even do the plates and silverware if you get them down from the cabinet and within reach to put out. Remember to teach kids to wash their hands first and to put plates out one at a time. If your youngster isn’t ready for dishes yet, that’s fine. Start with placemats and napkins. Even something small will give them a sense of accomplishment.

Picking up dirty clothes

Save yourself the headache when the kids hit the teen years and get little ones in the habit of picking up dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper. Kindergarteners can also lend a hand when sorting clothes for the laundry.

Making the bed

Another chore that will go a long way in later years is learning how to make the bed in the morning. In the beginning, kids will definitely need a hand, but it won’t be long before they can straighten their bed out in the morning and sit up all their stuffed animals on their own.

Putting away groceries

This is a chore a lot of adults dread, but kindergarteners won’t. Young children can help bring light grocery bags in from the car and put away the non-breakables. Kids can also help wash the produce with supervision.

Dusting

What adult doesn’t hate this chore? Put a pair of old socks on your kindergartener and show them where to dust. They will enjoy seeing how much dirt they’re pickup up on the socks and you’re getting a tedious chore done.

Parent and child with piggy bank

Should you give an allowance?

Some parents use an allowance as an incentive to encourage kids to complete chores. Earning an allowance has benefits very similar to chores. Kids learn responsibility and get a taste of independence. They can use allowance money for extra things they want, which teaches children money management skills. Kindergarten is not too young to begin giving kids an allowance for completing chores. How much is up to you, though a good rule of thumb is a dollar for each year of your child’s age. You can give them their allowance weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Family unloading groceries at home

Chores for kids

Sure, sometimes it’s easier and quicker to do the chores yourself. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the best idea when it comes to kids. Having children complete age-appropriate chores helps teach responsibility and important life skills. There are a lot of benefits to having chores for kindergarteners to do inside and outside of the house. These eight chores for kids are ideal to start with.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
Experts explain why kids watching YouTube isn’t a good idea
You'll want to rethink screen time after you know what experts say about kids watching YouTube
Young boy on an iPad.

You have things to get done around the house. But a small person who says they're bored is keeping you from making progress on your to-do list. And so, you do what many parents do in this stretched-thin situation: You turn on the television, hand over a cellphone, or put on YouTube. (Hey, no judgment; we have all been there, done that!) But is letting kids watch YouTube doing more harm than good?

Screens can be "addictive," as noted by Dr. David Greenfield, founder and clinical director of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. He explains that they have a dopamine-producing effect, and many realistic pediatric experts agree that, while screens are a part of our modern lifestyle, moderation should be enforced and limitations be set. Parents need to learn why they should be mindful of children watching YouTube and how to lay down the screen time law at home. We'll share some tips and words of wisdom from experts in the know.

Read more
What is Juneteenth? How to talk to kids about this important holiday
What Juneteenth is and how to help kids understand the significance behind the holiday
Juneteenth sign in red, black, and green

What is Juneteenth? If you're not familiar with Juneteenth, the holiday is short for June 19 and commemorates the day when slavery finally came to an end in the U.S. The holiday originated in Texas and is considered the most enduring Black American celebration. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. The first Juneteenth was celebrated in 1866, a year after troops entered Galveston, Texas. Federal troops finally arrived in Texas in 1865 to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation that had freed slaves more than two years earlier.

The first Juneteenth in Texas was marked with much jubilation, which is where the name Jubilee Day came from. Juneteenth celebrations included barbecues and music, along with prayer services and educational events. As Juneteenth became an annual event in Texas, the holiday began to spread to other states. Texas made Juneteenth a state holiday in 1972, and it became a federal holiday in 2021 by President Joe Biden.

Read more
13 amazing books that celebrate Black culture to add to your kid’s library this Juneteenth
Add these books to your cart to celebrate Juneteenth this month
A mother reading her young child a bedtime story.

When it comes to celebrating Juneteenth with your family and children, it can quickly get overwhelming. First, the newly cemented holiday remains a new historical fact for a lot of people. Some people look at it as a time to promote diversity, while others look at it as a time to celebrate freedom for all. Regardless, it's important to always focus on the history of Black Americans, particularly Texans, for this holiday.

Juneteenth should serve as a remembrance for Americans. President Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, declaring that all enslaved people should be free. Even though slavery was abolished on January 31, 1865, enslaved Black Americans in the state of Texas didn't know they were free until June. 19, 1865. Thousands of soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and it was there they were met by enslaved people. They told them that they were all free. Even though that day would mark almost two years after slavery was abolished, Black Texans celebrated their freedom. Now known as Black Independence Day, Juneteenth serves as a reminder that freedom and equality are human rights that everyone deserves.

Read more