I asked my 9 year old what his least favorite chore was and he told me he didn’t think he had very many chores but that garbage was the worst. I was surprised he didn’t feel he had many chores! I think it’s because many families have a regular “chore time” and for us it’s more helping out as I ask throughout the day. However most the things on these chores for 9 year olds are things I’ve asked him to do.
We don’t have a great system for who cleans what when right now. After having our 4th baby, it’s probably time to make a new chore system. But for now, the kids just help as I ask. Since we homeschool, there’s quite a few pauses in the day to “tidy up”. Yet somehow it’s still an uphill battle for me!
It’s my goal that my 3 boys and daughter will all learn the same basic life skills of running a home by the time they graduate. When I left for college (a little spoiled as the last of 5), I didn’t know how to clean a bathroom, do my laundry, or make anything homemade besides cookies. I had a great childhood, but I think I’ll be doing my kids a favor to teach them homemaking skills.
How many chores should a 9 year old have?
If you’re looking for a set number, we don’t have one. But we do some each day according to what needs to be done at the time.
I want my 9 year old to be capable of everything on this list. But more important I want him to be willing.
His attitude about being asked to help out is everything…skill is secondary.
It’s hard to add up how many chores he’ll do because there are “chores” that my 5 year old is learning that I don’t consider a “chore” for my 9 year old. They are now more habit (like brushing his teeth and putting his plate in the sink after meals).
It’s ok to back up and work on habits/chores/hygiene if you need to! Don’t be afraid to look up lists for your 9 year old that are made for “younger” kids! It’s not a race, and not every chore will fit your family dynamic.
Ready for some ideas?
Chores for 9 year olds
Does my 9 year old do all these chores weekly? No. He actually shares many of them with his siblings, and some of these chores are cross posted on 17 chores for 7 year olds and 15 chores for 5 year olds.
1. Take out the garbage (in the main kitchen)
The main garbage gets heavy! And it’s hard to lift it high enough to put in the outdoor trashcan! But this year my 9 year old can do it…so I’ve offloaded this job to him about 3/4 of the time.
I don’t think he was keen on being asked every time. He specifically asked why the others didn’t have to do this job and so I told him it was more of a big kid job and now one way he can help out at home.
I remove the bag from our stainless steel trashcan, tie it, and then hand it to him to take outside.
2. Pick up the yard
Once in a while, we need to reign in random stuff in our lawn. Usually it’s toys. It just takes my 9 year old 5-10 minutes to make a pretty big difference.
3. Shovel snow or rake leaves
Turns out the kids all think both of these are fun…at least for now 😉 Raking is great exercise, and your 9 year old can really help here.
Perhaps set a clock for 15 minutes or give them a reasonable area to rake up that’s not too huge.
For snow, I paid my son $1 per time to snow shovel our walkway on days we get fresh snow. Just from the front door to the garage. It’s a job I REALLY don’t like doing, and he’s happy to earn a few bucks since we don’t yet do an allowance.
4. Carefully learn to use the stove
This is something you have to gauge your kids on and supervise because not every 9 year old is ready for the stove.
Are they pretty aware of their hands? Are they learning to tell which burner correlates to which knob? Do they pay attention the whole time? Or act too silly near the stove?
When I ask my son to make something on the stove (which isn’t often) it’ll usually be scrambled eggs, ramen, hot cocoa, or helping me stir some kind of meat for dinner. I’m in the kitchen, but he’s in charge.
5. Follow an easy recipe
This is the perfect age to learn to follow an easy recipe! A cake mix or box of brownies are perfect starter treats because there’s only 3 added ingredients! Plus you can explain measuring cups, following directions, how to set the oven, and how to set the timer.
My 9.5 year is *almost* able to do a box of brownies on his own. He still asks questions about the measuring cups, and I do the oil spray on the pan so it doesn’t go everywhere. I also put it in the oven because I’m not ready for him to do that yet.
Same with boxed Mac’n’Cheese…he can do it all except I pour out the boiling water. I just don’t trust he’s able to dependably not burn himself on the hot water yet.
6. Wipe down sink and mirrors in the bathroom
Sometimes I do this, but it’s a fine job for a 9 year old! I’m pretty paranoid about chemicals around kids so we have swapped out all our cleaning chemicals for safer options and my kids can use them now.
In the bathroom, I pretty much only use Force Of Nature cleaner/sanitizer/disinfectant.It’s completely safe for kids, yet hospital grade as far as being able to kill germs, mold, mildew, and viruses that cause flu and covid19. Don’t ask me how something so effective could be safe, but you can read their FAQ on the product here!
I don’t ask my kids to clean toilets. It’s just so gross that seems like punishment to me. I’ll teach them before they leave the house, lol! I also want to make sure it’s done really well. And at 9 years old a lot of the cleaning chores are done good enough but not great.
7. Fold and hang clothes on hangers
I’ve been teaching my 7 and 9 year olds to fold their pants in half, and then roll them to fit in their drawer. However you like it done, just show them lots of times. Put clothes away together for a few months till they get it.
Do I still fold pants every day? Yes, it seems so. With 4 kids it seems someone leaves their pants on the floor and it’s just so much faster at that moment for me to put it away. #reallife
We try and hang shirts, and I forget that hanging up clothes can take some practice.
8. Pick up floors so I can vacuum
At any given minute our house seems to be littered with Nerf equipment, socks that have been shucked off, soft blankets, and random toys or art supplies. I used to think the “take one thing out at a time” rule was the answer…but when you’ve got 3 kids to remind that to, plus a tornado toddler, I’ve almost given up for now.
Once a day I aim for a total floor clean up, the kind where I can vacuum. All kids help with this.
I also keep one bin in the living room that all stray toys go in. This is my short term solution for when I find random toys out, and the kids help put things away when it’s full.
With a cleared floor…any 9 year old can vacuum! I honestly enjoy this part, so this is only something I hand off once in a while.
Teach them how to wind the cord back up, and how to go in methodical lines so they don’t miss big chunks of carpet.
10. Learn to be more independent with personal hygiene
Teeth. Bathing. Deodorant.
I feel like my kids have taken over bathing themselves for the most part around age 7, and by age 9 they know they need soap on a rag and what to do with it.
My husband and I do a thorough teeth brushing at night and remind the kids to brush in the morning on their own. This was the routine the dentist recommended. We are also working on flossing regularly.
We are also entering the era of our 9 year old needing deodorant! Seems so young! But we just say it’s normal to start getting smelly around that age and that’s when you shower more regularly and start wearing deodorant. It’s not a daily thing yet, but a new thing for sure!
11. Carry In Groceries
My 5, 7, and 9 year olds are amazing at this now! It used to annoy me that everyone would run inside while I carried in groceries.
No need to be annoyed, simply explain how things are going to go before you let them jump out of the van. Now they know they come back out for another load till everything’s brought inside! It’s magical.
They all seem to like to show off how much they can carry too 😉
12. Help with younger siblings
This will never go on a chore chart, but it’s certainly one of the most appreciated chores for me.
- I’ll ask my 9 year old to keep the toddler out while I’m opening a hot oven.
- I’ll ask him to play with my toddler while I help my 7 year old with her homeschool math.
- He turns on a show for my 5 year old when I ask him, and even reads books to younger siblings if I ask. No doubt birth order effects kids, and I’m so thankful for a willing 9 year old helper.
13. Fill water bottles
Anytime we leave the house, I make sure to take at least 1-2 full waters with us. My 9 year old can dependable unscrew lids, fill water bottles, and carry them into the van.
14. Learn to carefully use a knife
This has been the year I’ve been slowly (and nervously) teaching my 9 year old to use a couple knives. My 7 year old is also learning because she’s very careful in general. We have a semi sharp one that cuts things like cucumbers well. It’s sharper than a butterknife but would be hard to accidentally cut yourself with.
And I supervised him helping me chop nuts for baking with our big kitchen knife. He’s a lefty so I have to teach him opposite of me! We are working on always keeping the knife tip on the board so it won’t slip. And using the other hand on top of the knife but only with fingers flat out.
He also got his own special whittling knife.
15. Garbage to the garbage
This is less of a chore and more of a life habit.
I say this a LOT here. I don’t know why, but I still find all my kids opening a wrapper and dropping it on the ground. Or leaving a bandaid wherever they tear it off.
I thought it’d be mastered by 9, but it’s not. Reminders every day, cause it’s gonna stick sometime right?! 😉
16. Breaking down cardboard boxes
All those online orders bring in boxes and boxes! Your kids can be in charge of breaking down and taking to the garage or recycling bin.
17. Cleaning windows
We have a toddler so all our windows are just smothered in handprints. It doesn’t bother me much, because a happy toddler means more to me than keeping him off the windows.
Another GREAT and effective option is the Norwex microfiber cloths that use only water.
18. Starting a fire in the fire-pit
Chore, not a chore? It’s something I can ask my 9 year old to do if we are going to start a fire, but he loves it so not sure that counts…
We’ve worked a lot on fire safety with him, and he’s very into survival fire kits at the moment! This is the BEST fire starter ferro rod and it’s easy for him to get a spark with it.
We only let him do fires when we are around, and if you do this be sure to teach about having a water source ready just in case something happens.
19. General picking up after themselves
This is a skill I’d say most grown ups still lack! My hope is that my 9 year old is learning to see his messes, recognize them, and help put them away.
It’s common curtesy, but takes a lot of self awareness and effort.
We’ve mastered clearing our meal dish. Check! But we are still working on putting our boots and coats away when we get home (not just in the main walkway).
We’re still working on bringing in things from the van that he brought out to the van.
We’re still working on putting away the milk jug if you get it out…things like that.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below so I can add it to the list! Please share this post if you found it helpful or Pin it for later!
Chores my 9 year old doesn’t do…
Make the bed
Every family is different and you have to find what you’re comfortable with! I don’t have my 9 year old make his bed. I know I know…jaw drop. It’s an area I’ve just let go of.
My kids all use a queen size fuzzy blanket, which is HARD for them to fold. Plus they bring it in and out of their room several times a day to build forts, stay warm, etc. Keeping a tidy bed just feels impossible so I’m happy to just close the door for now.
On top of that my 9 year old is on the top of a triple bunk…no easy job to make a bed up there. Just sayin it’s not a battle I care to follow up on right now.
More parenting posts to read
- 8 Things I’ve stopped doing to be a less busy mom
- What it’s like having babies 18 months apart
- How we napped 3 kids at the same time each day
- Do 4 year olds still need naps?
- Strategies from stopping your kids from whining all the time
- 15 tips for dealing with a strong willed toddler
- Pros and cons of homeschooling: Knowing if it’s a right fit for you