By nine years old, your child is at the perfect age to be able to do more complex chores around the house. They have increased cognitive awareness to follow instructions and complete more-detailed tasks, their fine and gross motor skills are further developed, and they often enjoy the challenge of doing more difficult tasks around the house. I’m not saying put them up on the roof to reshingle it, but there are certainly some chores that they are more than capable of helping out with. Here is a list of chores that would be great for your 9-year old.
#1 Empty garbage cans
This is a simple chore that kids can do easily, and they can usually be doing this chore even earlier than 9-years old. An additional part of this task, however, can also be to sort recycling in addition to emptying the garbage cans. Your child can be responsible for emptying all of the garbage cans around the house and in the bathrooms, and sorting the recycle from the kitchen as well. If your child can manage it, they could also be responsible for putting out the garbage and recycling on garbage day. If it’s too much for them to do on their own quite yet, then they can help you with the task until they’re a bit older.
#2 Clean the bathroom
Cleaning the bathroom in our house consists of the following tasks: cleaning and wiping out the sinks, countertops, and bathtub, cleaning the toilet, wiping down the mirror, vacuuming the floor, and then mopping it. This might be a bit much to have your child do on their own all at once, but they have probably been helping with at least some of this already, so simply increase the amount you’re having them do. Slowly, as they get older, they can take on more and more of this task until they are able to complete it independently. This is also a great chore for kids to do together, and work as a team to get it done.
#3 Water plants
Depending on what plants you have around your house and property, this could be an indoor chore, an outdoor chore, or a combination of the two. We have a few house plants inside our home, however most of our greenery is outdoors. We have a large perennial bed, an outdoor vegetable garden, and a large greenhouse with more veggies growing. So, there is always lots to water around here, and in the summer months it needs to be done several times a day. Make sure your child understands to only water what needs to be watered, and to be conscious of water usage and conservation. Most kids love to water plants, so this is a nice chore for them to be able to help with.
#4 Clean up bedroom every day
This is something that we need to work on in our house, and it is an ongoing struggle every day. Despite it being a regular expectation around here, my kids are not great at keeping their bedrooms tidy. However, we are working on developing a bit of a routine around it, and that seems to be helping. The kids are expected to make their beds in the morning, and tidy up a bit each night before bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and putting toys away. Having the simple expectation of just making their bed in the mornings, and then doing a quick tidy in the evenings seems to be preventing the mess and chaos from building up.
#5 Prepare simple meals
I will never forget the morning I came downstairs to find that my 5-year old son had made breakfast for him and his sister, consisting of waffles (in the toaster) and fruit. I was so proud of him, and he was so proud of himself! Since then, I’ve always tried to really encourage the kids’ curiosity in the kitchen, getting them to help regularly and teaching them basic cooking skills. As such, my kids are pretty good at fixing their own simple meals. Some of the things they make regularly include cereal, toast, sandwiches, and snacks. They love working in the kitchen though, and are learning more and more about meal preparation as they get older. Involve your 9-year old in some of the meal preparations, as this is a great chore for them to learn.
#6 Pack their own school lunch
By 9-years old, your child should be able to start packing their own school lunch. They will need some guidance on what to pack, where to find the food, and how to prepare it. Let them start by helping you with the lunches, before handing over full responsibility. Show them what a healthy lunch consists of and what they can pack for snacks and such. When they take on the full responsibility of making their lunch, just monitor for the first little while to make sure they’re packing enough food and including healthy options. Then, when they’ve got the hang of it, gladly take that job off your daily to-do list!
#7 Set the table
This is another chore that encourages participation in the kitchen with meal preparations, and I believe it teaches important skills that our children will need later in life when they’re out on their own. Teach your child how to set the table, where everything goes, and what additional items they might need for meals, such as napkins, salt and pepper, and condiments. They could even be in charge of pouring everyone’s beverages for them as well.
#8 Clear the table after meals
It is a running joke in my family that my brother had incredible timing when it came to his need to use the washroom. After supper each evening, he and I were in charge of clearing the table after our meals and loading the dishwasher, and it was always at that time that my brother had to disappear to do his business, returning right as the kitchen was almost all cleaned up. It used to drive me nuts! So, I know this task very well, and it consists of clearing dirty dishes, putting away condiments and salt and pepper, and wiping the table. This is a great chore to have your kids help with…just keep an eye out if any of them tend to disappear at that time!
#9 Set an alarm clock and be responsible for waking up on time
This chore will take some practice and a level of responsibility only you know if your child is ready for. For instance, I know for certain that my son would remember to set his alarm and get up on time, whereas my daughter would be the Snooze Button Queen, and there would not be enough alarms to get her out of bed. If you think your child would be old enough to do this, then it is an excellent way to teach them some responsibility. Show them how to operate a simple alarm clock, and let them be responsible for getting themselves up on time in the morning.
#10 Do morning routine independently
Around our house, completing their morning routine consists of a few chores that we’ve been working on since the kids were little. By 9-years old, they should be able to complete the morning routine fairly independently. This includes, getting dressed, brushing their teeth and hair, and making their bed. Throw in waking up on their own, making their own breakfast, and packing their backpack for the day, and you’ve got one responsible kid there! It takes time and practice, but it is certainly something that kids can manage.
#11 Bring in groceries
Kids are getting pretty strong by 9-years old, and they are able to help bring in the groceries as well. My son who is almost 9 is a great help with bringing in the groceries, often grabbing 3 or 4 bags at a time. He also enjoys putting away the groceries, and likes to organize all the new snacks and goodies in the cupboard. This helps tremendously when it comes time to pack lunches, as everything is neatly put away.
#12 Sweep/mop the floors
This one often takes a bit of practice, and I find that my kids still don’t get all the dirt the way I’d like them to. But, that’s something I’m working on letting go, because I don’t want to deter them from helping. It may not be done exactly how I want it, but they’re contributing and helping out, and I love that. Sweeping and mopping the floors is a great chore for your 9-year old, as they’re able to use a broom and mop a little easier than when they were younger. Show them how to get into the corners to get all the dirt, and pull out the kitchen chairs to get all the crumbs.
#13 Care for pets
We currently have two cats, one dog, and four chickens, and our kids help with all of them. They don’t look after any of them completely independently yet, we still help them, but as they’re getting older, they’re taking on more and more of the responsibility. They feed the dog and cats, and freshen their water each day (with some reminders), collect the chicken eggs daily, and clean the chicken coop once a week. I usually help them with the chicken coop, because it’s a new job for them, but they love doing it and will soon be looking after the chickens independently.
#14 Fold clean clothes and put them away
Laundry is my nemesis, so the sooner I can pass this task off to my kids so they can wash their own million pairs of socks, the better. They’ve been helping with laundry since they were little, and they’ve always loved sorting the dirty laundry into piles. Now that they’re a little older, they’re expected to put away their own clothes once I’ve folded them, and currently I’m teaching them how to properly fold clothes themselves. It takes quite a bit of practice, but they’re great at matching and folding socks, folding pants, and hanging dresses on hangers. The shirts are a bit trickier, but it will come in time. Next is learning how to operate the washer and dryer!
#15 Pack their own backpack in the morning
I love this chore because I believe that kids need to be responsible for themselves and their belongings, and that learning starts at home. If we are forever packing their stuff and getting everything they need to remember, then they never build those cognitive skills to be responsible for them independently. Help your child develop a good morning routine that helps them mentally check off what needs to be done (or even put up a physical checklist!), and what they need to remember to bring to school. And at the very worst, they might forget something and learn an important lesson in the process. Either way, packing their own backpack in the morning is a great chore to get your 9-year old to start doing.
#16 Weed the garden
As mentioned above, we have a lot of gardens around our place, and with that come a lot of weeds. We are forever weeding the gardens, and the more help I can get, the better! It’s a pretty monotonous task, and kids are usually very enthusiastic about it, but it needs to be done. Our kids have been a little more excited about it these days because they’ve helped to plant all of our vegetables in the garden and the greenhouse, so they feel invested in the garden and want to keep it healthy and weed-free. Getting your kids involved in household projects and tasks can help to increase their engagement and investment in the chore itself.
#17 Help with younger siblings
By 9-years old, your child is definitely at an age where they can help out more with their younger siblings. What that looks like will vary in each household, depending on the maturity level of the 9-year old and how many kids they are to be helping with. But, your child could definitely help with things like changing a baby’s diaper, entertaining little siblings if the parent is busy for a bit, helping to feed a younger sibling, preparing simple snacks, and reading to them.
#18 Vacuum floors
This is similar to sweeping and mopping the floors, only this encompasses carpeted areas as well. My kids love to operate the vacuum, and we have a little one that we use just for the kitchen. My 5-year old uses that one, while my 8-year old uses the central vac to go around the downstairs level. He’s learned how to move chairs to vacuum under tables, and how to be safe when vacuuming the stairs.
#19 Be responsible for their own good hygiene
At this age, it is important for kids to learn about their own hygiene and how to keep themselves clean and healthy. This means brushing and flossing their teeth well, washing their face and hands before bed, knowing when to have a shower and wash their hair, and when their fingernails and toenails need a trim (although this is something that they still require help with doing). It is good for kids to learn these habits early on, so that when they are a teenager and dealing with puberty, hormones, and some not-so-fresh body odours, they know how to deal with it.
#20 Strip bed linens
Depending on what setup you have in your child’s room in terms of sheets and bedding, stripping dirty bed linens and throwing them in the laundry hamper is a pretty simple task for them to do. Our kids know how to take off the sheets and pillow cases, and they usually help with putting them back on once they’re clean. Another step toward this momma being laundry free!
Teaching your child responsibility through household chores is a great way to get some extra help around the house while preparing your child for life out in the world. They learn valuable skills from doing household chores, and they feel like contributing members of the family. I hope this list was helpful for you. Which chores do you think you will try with your 9-year old? Let us know in the comments, and please feel free to share this list with others.