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10 Chores Your 5-Year-Old Can Do

Chores for 5 year old

They grow up so fast! They are in school now and independent of you for at least a few hours at a time. While they are at school they are learning that they are responsible for themselves and their actions. You should capitalize on this lesson at home too, by assigning your young school-aged children chores.

Here are ten chores appropriate for a 5-year-old:

  1. Emptying small trash cans.
  2. Wiping the table after dinner.
  3. Making their bed.
  4. Putting items in the car.
  5. Picking out clothes for themselves.
  6. Dressing themselves without assistance.
  7. Helping to prepare their breakfast and lunch.
  8. Carrying small bags of groceries.
  9. Delivering a basket to the laundry room.
  10. Packing their backpack for school.

Responsibility for themselves is a valuable lesson you can teach your children.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

12 Comments

  1. Janet Barclay on September 30, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I agree that introducing age-appropriate chores early is important. At this age, instead of seeing them as a burden, they see them as an opportunity to prove how grown up they are. I remember setting the table (cutlery only – nothing breakable) at a very early age. One summer I spent time at a large family camp where everyone had assigned chores, and even the toddlers could bring in kindling from the woodpile to the kitchen for the stove!

    • Janet Schiesl on September 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      I agree. It also instills a sense of team work and cooperation with young kids.

  2. Seana Turner on September 30, 2019 at 9:33 am

    I remember that the “non-negotiable” chores for my girls included setting the table and clearing the table. They took turns. Whoever had the clearing job also had to vacuum under the table with the electric broom. Until we got a dog, then the vacuuming job sort of went away:) Both girls also had to make their beds. That said, when they became teenagers are were zombies in the morning, I let that go. To my knowledge, they both make their beds now. I think it is best to work with kids on chores when they are little, before they have crazy schedules. This way, they learn what to do and then can choose as adults how they want to live.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 30, 2019 at 7:26 pm

      Teaching these skills to young kids is important, because when they get older and busier it is easier to continue and get back to chores, since they already know how to do them. I focused on skills that should independence and respect for others with my kids. Cleaning up after yourself was big. When they were older I also let my kids be autonomous in their rooms. I just closed the door!

      • Janet Barclay on October 1, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        We reached that point too, Janet. It was basically “you don’t have to clean your room, but I don’t want to have to see it” so yes, the doors were closed.

        • Janet Schiesl on October 1, 2019 at 3:49 pm

          Funny Janet how we cope. I’m lucky. My kid’s bedrooms are at the end of the hall. I don’t even go there.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on September 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    At this age, my kids were putting away their plastic plates and cups. We placed them in a lower pull out drawer so they could put away their dishes once they were cleaned and dried. Thanks for sharing this list.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 30, 2019 at 7:28 pm

      It’s important to make the chores age appropriate. That way they are not too hard and kids will find success.

  4. Linda Samuels on October 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Our daughters are all grown up now, but I remember when they were little. We framed things as “all helping each other out,” as a way of building confidence and strengths in “living” or managing life. We did a lot of things together, which helped to add in the fun factor. We cooked, went grocery shopping, and talked about things like work, activities, and relaxation time. We also helped them gain confidence in decision-making. When they asked a question, we’d often answer their question with a question. The questioning method sometimes frustrated our youngest daughter, but from that, she learned to tease out her answer.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 2, 2019 at 7:04 am

      Hi Linda. I had one son who “questioned” everything as well. I never thought about that this was his way of finding his answer. I like the team focus you used to get your kids involved.

  5. Nancy Haworth on October 2, 2019 at 11:23 am

    This is a great list of chores that young children can do! I agree with getting children started early on chores to learn responsibility and to feel they are a contributing member of the household. Thank you for sharing this list!

    • Janet Schiesl on October 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      You are welcome Nancy. I think kids can do a lot more than us adults think they can.

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