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Five Chores For a Five Year Old

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Finding chores for a 5 year old is easy if you are creative! Even a 5 year old can help out around the house!

chores for kids

Our daughter, Ella, turned 5 in July.  I tried really hard not to think too much about the fact that my little girl is becoming more and more independent until I noticed that more independence for her meant more independence for me. I started to test the waters to see exactly what Ella could handle as far as picking up more responsibility around the house. It turns out that a five year old is capable of quite a lot!

1. A Five Year Old Can Cook: Ella figured out how to open a banana when she was 4 and since bananas are a major food group around here, this was a MAJOR accomplishment!  I no longer am the banana opener for little brother — Ella does it!  After learning bananas, Ella set out to conquer the peanut butter sandwich.   Since I make my own bread, I still have to slice the bread for her, but I now keep the peanut butter on a low shelf in the pantry so she can get to it.  I showed her how to spread the peanut butter and that was it. She even cleans it all up and puts the dirty knife in the sink.

2. A Five Year Old Can Fold Laundry: We don’t use many paper products in our home.  All of our napkins are cloth and we use old towels in lieu of paper ones so we have a lot of laundry just for the kitchen every week.  After spending way too much time folding napkins, I showed Ella how to do it.  She is now the proud Folder of Napkins in our home and she loves it! She can also fold the washcloths for me.

chores for kids

3. A Five Year Old Can Empty the Dishwasher:  Ella is responsible for putting away the cutlery when the dishes in the dishwasher are clean. I take out anything sharp or bulky first and then I set the cutlery basket on the counter above the cutlery drawer.  Ella puts all the cutlery away and puts the basket back in the dishwasher.  Ella (and her 2 year old brother!) are also responsible for putting away all their own dishes.  Their dishes are kept in a low cabinet so it’s easy for them to help.  I am not very picky as to WHERE the dishes go in the cabinet as long as the door can shut!

4. A Five Year Old Can Wash Windows:  Both of my little ones LOVE this chore! I give them each a spray bottle with non-toxic window cleaner (I add a few drops of DoTERRA Lemon Essential oil to a stainless steel bottle. Don’t use plastic bottles!) and a rag and set them to work.  They would wash windows everyday if I let them because little kids love spray bottles! I also have a large feather duster that they love to use!

5. A Five Year Old Can Take Care of Basic Hygiene: One morning in late summer, I looked up to see Ella at the bottom of the steps. She said, “I’m dressed, I brushed my teeth and my hair, made my bed and I’m ready to eat!” It was about 6:00 AM!  Since that morning she takes care of all the morning basics plus the evening routine of running a bath, putting away bath towels, brushing wet hair out, and getting ready for bed.  Since I’m still chasing the 2 year old around, it’s such a help to have Ella doing all of this on her own!


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  • Ellen Levickis
    July 3, 2012

    Those little ones grow up so quickly. I would like to keep them little forever but, oh my gosh, they are little adults in many ways at 5 years old. And what a cutie she is!

  • Karin
    November 1, 2011

    Oh, my little Pudding Cup – she’s growing up so fast!

  • Aviva
    October 31, 2011


    So does Ella complain about her jobs at all? My daughter, Ellie, is always excited when she becomes big enough to do something we used to tell her she was too little to help with. But after a few times, she starts complaining about having “too many jobs” and “why do *I* have to do all the work around here?” Which is kind of funny since she has so few “jobs” to do . But also pretty irritating, especially when she complains that, for instance, putting away silverware isn’t FUN. Sigh.

    • Camille
      October 31, 2011

      Sometimes Ella doesn’t want to do a chore, but usually that’s just when she’s busy with something else. So I do try to ask her to do things when I know she’s not preoccupied elsewhere. I figure I’d rather keep the positive aspect of “chores” going as long as I can!