Looking for some age-appropriate chores for you 4 year old? Read this post to find a list of chores your preschooler can do and get your chore cards and chore chart.
When my oldest child was four years old, he could vacuum a room well enough that I didn’t feel the need to go along behind him and fix it. That is saying something because I can be particular about cleaning, especially vacuuming.
He had been trying to vacuum since before he was one and I had let him help me when he was really little. I moved to letting him do it on his own as the years went by.
A four year old can do some things around the house that actually contribute and help. A four year old will not have it perfect. He can’t do it as well as you can, but for some things, he can do it well enough.
He can feel good about contributing to the home and you can start to have some burden of the home spread out, which means more time for the family to spend together.
Children gain so much from working with their parents. Making chore time a family affair is beneficial to your child.
What Chores Can a Child Do?
As you decide what your four year old can do, always start by building on and adding to what was done in younger years.
If you haven’t done chores up to this point, or want to know what could have reasonably been expected in younger years, see my post on Toddler Chores and my post on Three Year Old Chores.
Chores 4 Year Olds Can Do
Here are the things you can add to your four year old’s list of possible chores.
- Brush teeth independently
- Make own bed (remember, it won’t be perfect!)
- Start to clean room independently
- Help set the table for meals
- Clear own plate after a meal
- Learn to make a sandwich
- Help unload the dishwasher (the things he can reach and can’t be broken)
- Help with some handwashing of dishes
- Help clean bathrooms. I start with just one task in the bathroom. Even something like “you are in charge of the floorboards in each bathroom” is a great first step. Another good early bathroom chore is emptying garbages or cleaning the counter and sink. I slowly build on bathrooms over the years until the child can clean the entire bathroom independently.
- Outside chores. Have your child be involved in weeding, gardening, raking, shoveling, sweeping, etc. of the outside.
These are things you want to add to your child’s life as a four year old. These are added over the whole year as a four year old.
Add New Chores Slowly
Remember to add new chores slowly. Give your child time to get used to doing one new chore and getting it down well before adding another new chore.
There are 12 things on the list above. You might add one new chore a month. You could move faster than that, but don’t pile them all on at once.
This means the day after his fourth birthday (because throwing chores at someone on their birthday is just mean) that you hand him this list of 12 things and expect him to master it.
Some of the tasks on this list are building on tasks that were on the toddler and 3 year old lists. Perhaps you start the first month of year four reviewing the toddler list and be sure he has those all down.
Perhaps month two you review the three year old list and make sure those are good.
Then in the third month, you work on teaching him to brush his teeth independently and have a goal that by the end of the month, he will be able to do that. The next month, move on to making the bed (or whatever you think is best from the list above).
Always remember you need to teach the skill before your child can even practice. Then your child needs lots of time to practice the skill before he can be good at it.
If you are nervous about handing over teeth brushing to your child, try a compromise. When my kids first started this job, I would have him/her brush their own teeth for one tooth brushing session each day and I would do the other(s).
That way, I knew the teeth were being brushed very well at least once a day. As time goes on, you can hand over more control. You can also choose to let this be what is done in month 11 of the fourth year, so your child will be practically 5.
Chore Cards and Chore Chart
Sometimes a chore chart or chore card pack can be super helpful with chores. You can get this preschooler chore pack from me.
This digital download includes cards so you can create a pack and it also includes a simple chore chart you can print off. This purchase comes with instructions on how to create the chore card pack.
This pack includes all of the chores I have for toddlers, 3 year olds, and 4 year olds. It is the complete pack for your four year old preschooler!
It also includes two different chore charts.
NOTE: If you purchased my toddler chore cards, please contact me for a discounted pack to upgrade to that pack to add in the preschooler chores.
I cannot say enough good about doing chores. You will not regret teaching your children to do chores. It isn’t always easy, but it is absolutely worth your efforts.
Teaching chores is a long-game parenting task. You will spend years teaching how to do different chores. Do not feel stress or pressure to have things down perfectly with your four year old. You will continue to add to it the abilities and the list as your little one grows.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching Kids To Do Chores
- Tips for Setting Up Chores for Your Children
- How To Raise a Child Who is a Good Helper
- 12 Chores Your Toddler Can Actually Do
- 9 Chores Your 3 Year Old Can Do
- 10 Chores Your 5 Year Old Can Do
- 7 Chores Your 6 Year Old Can Do
- A Complete List of Chores Your 7 Year Old Can Do
- How to Rais a Child Who is a “Good Helper”
This post originally appeared on this blog in December 2017