The “Clean-Up” song has stayed with me since my son and daughter were in PRE-K. I may not sing it aloud but even now, I sometimes hum the tune silently or sing the rock or reggae version in my head while cleaning. This was the one way to get me and my kids to move and take cleaning action until they became unforgiving teenagers. The point is you must do something to keep them interested in cleaning as they are moving, talking, or singing. Make cleaning a fun activity by cranking up the music and splitting the tasks so each child will feel they are part of the contribution. It can be challenging knowing what each child is capable of, so we added a list that is age appropriate. (Screaming and threatening kids does not work – who knew?)

Ages 2-3

This age group will love to help you around the house. It makes them feel independent and “grown- up”.

Some chores
they can do:
Help make the bed. Pick up toys and books. Help feed the pets.

Ages 4-5

4 year-olds and 5 year-olds will love the one-on-one time with adults. Preschool kids are easily motivated to help.

Their chores can include: 

Clearing and setting the table.

Putting away the groceries. 

Helping to prepare and to cook the food.

Ages 6-8

You will begin to see the excitement for chores start to fade. Parents –keeping a list of completed responsibilities will help your child to stay enthused to continue working independently.

Chores they are capable of are:


Taking out the trash. 

Folding and putting away their laundry.

Ages 9-12

These groups of children are beginning to find themselves busy with friends and after- school extracurricular activities. Make sure they are informed with what you expect from them. Stick to a schedule they can add a little of their input and have them abide by it.

Some chores include:
Learning to wash the dishes/load and unload the dishwasher.

Help wash the car. Learn to run the washer and dryer.

Age 13-18

Some teenagers have busy schedules with lots of

responsibilities at a young age. Be aware and sensitive of this. Make sure your teenagers are not overwhelmed but schedule and help plan their activities fittingly.  This group is capable of Laundry, preparing grocery lists, and preparing meals.  

Remember children mature differently and at their own pace and each one is completely different from the other so don’t compare them. Starting off with a training period will help them learn what is expected from “them”- and will teach them the ins and outs. “Clean-up, clean-up, everybody everywhere, clean-up, clean- up everybody do your share.” The Barney Clean-up Song!”

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