What Chores Can a 4 Year Old Do?

Updated on May 30, 2010
M.J. asks from Glenview, IL
12 answers

I would love to make a chore chart for my 4 yr old, almost 5 years old in a few months. She loves to help me around the house and 'please' us. What type of rewards can I offer at the end, or what can I also dole out if she doesn't do her chores?

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answers from Denver on

Just started chores with my 4.5 year old. She gets an allowance of $2.50 a week and is saving up for sparkly shoes. She feeds the dog, helps pick clothes and toys, help to set and clear the table etc. We decided to pay her for her chores so that we could also use this a time to teach her about the value of money, how it is earned by hard work and how we have to save it to get what we want vs. immediate gratification. It has been a very positive experience for her. It is great for her self esteem and it is a great way for us to give her positive feedback. I don't nag her about chores but I do remind her that she will not get her allowance if she doesn't do them and that usually works.

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answers from Lexington on

I'm right there with you! I have a 5 year old and I also want to make a chore chart, but I am not sure what "chores" are approiate for her age. I thought that if I had her keep her room picked up than at the end of the week she would get a reward, like a dollar, or maybe a small treat of her choice. Anyway...I would like to know other responses to your question also! I'm new here by the way! Nice to meet you :)

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answers from Detroit on

My son just turned 5---we made up a chore chart with simple stuff like putting away his clean laundry...taking out the garbage (he gets help from dad, of course)...helping empty the dishwasher (he hands me the clean stuff so that I can put it away)...cleaning the floors with the swiffer....vaccuuming....cleaning his room (of course)...making his bed...etc.

He gets 25 cents per completed chore. I know some moms will say its unwise to pay them for chores, but I feel like its a good way to teach him to be responsible with money (he's already decided to save up for a larger purchase). He's only averaging about $4 to $5 dollars a week, so its not like we're gonna go broke, ya know. As far as what to do when he doesn't do his chores, we haven't had that occur YET. He's so excited to be getting recognized for helping out that he's not refusing to do anything. I WISH I had THAT kind of excitement about housework LOL. But I think once your little one realized that less work=less money, she'll be happy to keep up the good work.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Can she start the dishwasher? Carry the plates to the sink? Dust with a swiffer duster?
You could do a jar of marbles...each day that she does her chores, she gets a marble for each chore and when the marbles get to the line she gets a trip for ice cream, trip to dollar store with $5 to spend--whatever is up her alley!

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answers from Houston on

I don't have a chart, but the expectation in our house that we help each other. My daughter is three now but has been helping with dishes, laundry, and cooking for some time now.

She is responsible for putting her dirty clothes, shoes, and socks in the desginated places.

She helps sort laundry.

It is her responsibility to clear the table when we are done eating.

When we are working in the yard she helps rake leaves and pick up trash.

She likes to clean the toilet and help load the dishwasher.

She helps wash fruits and vegetables, season things, mix things while we are cooking.

Of course she is responsible for putting her toys away.

Most of the tasks don't so much replace what I'd have to do anyway, but it fosters a sense of responsbility and helpfulness.

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answers from Chicago on

Tasks I have passed on to my 3 year old son...

Making his bed -- straighten blankets, pillows, stuffed animals

Putting dirty clothes in the hamper

Sorting socks (we call it "Perfect Pair" from a game Bert plays on Sesame Street)

Putting his laundry away

Using his little dustpan and broom to sweep under his chair and the baby's highchair after meals

Help carry in groceries and put them away in the pantry

Putting dirty clothes in the washer / taking clean, wet clothes from a basket to put into the dryer

Re-stocking the toilet paper in all the bathrooms once a week

Washing potatoes, carrots, bell peppers with a veggie brush

Slathering potatoes with olive oil and pepper after I pour them on

Making pizza for the family with his own toppings

Taking out the garbage (I give him a smaller bag)

Bringing the empty recycling bins and garbage can back to the garage after pickup

Watering plants

Washing the kitchen table after meals (LOVES to play with soapy water)

Put away shoes from the entrance way

Put his clean sippy cups and dishes in his own cabinet

My son doesn't need any rewards to do these, as he really LOVES to be my helper and to get tons of verbal praise and statements about what a big boy he is.



answers from Cincinnati on

Ages Four-Five:
* Put dishes in dishwasher
* care of pets with help
* plan one family meal a week with help
* dust the family/living room furniture
* sort clothes for laundry with help
* water indoor plants with help
* clean sink and tub after using

Ages Five-Seven:
* Remove dishes from dishwasher and put away
* cook simple meals using microwave
* fully responsible for care of pets
* wash and dry clothes with help
* fold laundered clothes and put away with help
* make a grocery list for one meal with help
* manage a small weekly allowance (% to save, spend, and give)
* vacuum the family/living room area
* take out the trash
* fully responsible for watering indoor plants
* clean their bedroom (put away things where they belong, dust, vacuum)



answers from Chicago on

My daughter is five. Her "job" is to set the table every night before dinner. She seems to enjoy it! She has even made up little songs for putting out the five plates, napkins and forks. If for some reason I set the table, she gets very upset. Starting chores early makes children feel special and important part of the family. My son's first grade teacher has told me that is she ale to tell which kids in her classes are expected to do their chores and which ones have no chores! We also ask them to help out around the house whenever possible. My little one will give the cats their meals, help fold laundry, clean up the playroom and many other things. Once they get used to it, I think they like to help!



answers from New York on

my 4yo daughter loves to vaccum with the little stick vaccum. she also likes to wipe down the leather couches with damp paper towels, which is great, i hate doing it. shes down there already :) ...my 2 year old likes to help me empty the dishwasher and "help" me fold the laundry, towels are good for them. matching the socks is fun and teaches them too. my 7 year old and my 4 yo loooove to help me cook. they also feed the dog. everyone has to clean up their toys and clothes, the toys are usually a battle, but i know thats my fault because i dont purge and theres just too much stuff, they dont know where to put anything.



answers from Chicago on

4 yr olds can help with lots of stuff here are some things ours did at that age
empty trash in bathrooms (we kept grocery bags under sink for this)
feed the pets
take recycle stuff out to cans
dust (use an old sock or rag you do the spray part)
clean chair legs in the kitchen (we used babywipes for this lol)



answers from Chicago on

My kids have these jobs since age 3. I don't really give out rewards -- just lots of praise and positive attention. If my daughter surprises me with doing something new, I'll read an extra book to her that night. Most of this, aside from putting the toys away, are "on request."

Putting all the toys away -- family room & bedrooms
Sorting the clean laundry
Putting dirty clothes in the hampers
Taking the recycling out to the recycle bin in garage
Loading their plates and utensils into dishwasher
Stripping the sheets off the bed

I'm thinking about giving my 4 year old responsibility for wiping her spilled toothpaste out of the sink!



answers from Dallas on

My 3 and 5 year olds love to help dust. I give them old socks to wear on their hands and they help dust the furniture, the chair rails and the baseboards!

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