Any mom or dad will know the unique highs and lows that come with parenting a 5 year old child. It’s a special age for a number of reasons. 5 year olds are bundles of energy who will let you know exactly what’s on their minds. They’re old enough to be able to handle some basic responsibilities, but are still too young to do so without initial guidance and encouragement.
This can make it tricky to select appropriate chores for them. On one hand, you want them to reap the benefits of chores, such as developing a sense of responsibility and greater self-esteem. But you don’t want to overwhelm them with overly complex or taxing chores. And you certainly don’t want to bee constantly worrying about being on guard in case they have an accident or create a huge mess.
If you’re looking for age-appropriate chores for your 5 year old, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find 7 useful chores for 5 year olds that they’ll love doing—and that also won’t cause you a massive headache!
1. Water the Garden
Encouraging your 5 year old to water the garden is one of the simplest and most meaningful chores out there. Watering the garden is a learning opportunity to highlight the importance of taking care of the environment and your home. It teaches your child important life skills like taking responsibility, sticking to a schedule, focus, and motor skills, among others.
The beauty of this chore is that you can make it work no matter what type of garden you have. If you have a backyard or front yard, give your child a few easy-to-water plants for your child to take responsibility for watering. If you don’t have a garden, why not let your little one start their own? There are plenty of easy plants for kids to grow on their own.
Another great thing about this chore is that it requires minimal preparation and there’s very little room for error. As long as you have some plants to water and can help your child pour the right amount of water on each one, they’re set to go. You’ll have a budding gardener living under your roof in no time!
2. Tidy Up Their Toys
Every parent dreams of their child being able to keep their room neat and tidy. One of the best ways to make this a reality is to teach them to do so early on. After all, old habits die hard, so making this chore part of their routine is pivotal.
By 5 years old, your child will begin to grasp the concept of personal responsibility. This will make it easier for them to comprehend the importance of tidying up their toys than when they were young. That said, it may take some patience on your behalf. Your strong-willed 5 year old may try to put up a fight.
But stick to your guns and clearly explain why you’re asking them to do this chore. Consider rewarding them if they do a good job (particularly if they do this chore unprompted) to re-enforce this positive behavior.
3. Make Their Bed
Another key element of your child taking responsibility for the tidiness of their room is to get them to make their own bed. While it can be tempting to make it for them, your 5 year old child is more than capable of doing so themselves.
Not only will this chore help them develop good self-care habits, but it will also save you major time and frustration. To get started, you’ll need to demonstrate the steps they need to take to make their bed. And depending on how quickly they pick them up, you may need to offer them plenty of help at first. But in time, you should find that they get the hang of it, and your days of making their bed are long gone!
4. Get Dressed by Themselves
The day your child gets dressed by themselves is always a momentous one… especially if they end up in a Halloween costume on a school day! This chore is one of the most practical ones for 5 year olds to carry out as it truly tests a variety of skills. They need to demonstrate time management, coordination, fine motor skills—the list goes on.
When you first present this chore to your child, you’ll find they react in one of two ways. Some kids will fully embrace it, rejoicing in the opportunity to pick their own outfits. Others will groan and resist at all costs. If you find your child doing the latter, check out these tips.
5. Help Feed the Pets
If you’re also a pet mom or dad, you’ll know that juggling a five year old as well as a pet can be a handful. So why not get your 5 year old to help with taking care of your pet? It’s a true win-win: not only will you get to witness some adorable moments between your child and pet, but you’ll also teach them the value of taking responsibility and caring for others.
This chore will require a bit of explaining and modeling, but that’s all part of the fun. You can make it as easy as possible for your child to carry out by setting reminders, explaining (and re-explaining) instructions slowly and clearly, and putting the pet food in an accessible place.
6. Collect the Mail
Here’s a chore that your 5 year old will embrace with open arms: the honor of collecting the household mail. There’s something about collecting the mail that kids love. Perhaps it’s that doing so makes them feel very “grownup”, or maybe it’s just the fun of seeing what surprises await.
If you really want to sweeten the deal, send your child a special letter. Imagine the grin on their faces when they see a letter addressed just to them. Alternatively, encourage them to become pen pals with one of their friends or organize a pen pal exchange.
7. Make a Simple Sandwich
Yes, you read that right! With a bit of guidance, your 5 year old can learn how to make a simple sandwich. This chore is super practical, as it gives them a sense of independence, teaches them the value of making their own food (and of your cooking!), supports them to make healthy food choices, and equips them with important life skills.
What’s more, you’ll be able to save yourself the mad lunchtime rush everytime they prepare their own sandwiches. Plus, they’ll have the skills to fix themselves up a delicious snack whenever their stomach is rumbling. How’s that for a benefit-packed chore?
Start off nice and easy with the simplest of sandwiches, like a classic PB&J sandwich. Then, as they develop their culinary skills, they can try out some more kid-friendly sandwich ideas. Needless to say, parental supervision will be required, and you’ll need to teach them how to safely use a knife. But the bit of effort on your behalf will be worth it when you have the next Gordon Ramsay cooking up a storm!
There you have it: 7 fun and rewarding chores for your 5 year old. Each one is suitable for their age, so you can feel confident that they’ll be able to succeed with a bit of guidance. If you’re after even more chores for your 5 year old, check out our custom chore chart and comprehensive guide on chores for toddlers.