Children with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) face evident motor difficulties in activities of daily living (ADL). Assessment of their capacity in ADL is essential for diagnosis and intervention, in order to limit the daily consequences of the disorder. The aim of this study is to systematically review potential instruments for standardized and objective assessment of children's capacity in ADL, suited for children with DCD. As a first step, databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycINFO were searched to identify studies that described instruments with potential for assessment of capacity in ADL. Second, instruments were included for review when two independent reviewers agreed that the instruments (1) are standardized and objective; (2) assess at activity level and comprise items that reflect ADL; and (3) are applicable to school-aged children that can move independently. Out of 1507 publications, 66 publications were selected, describing 39 instruments. Seven of these instruments were found to fulfil the criteria and were included for review: the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Performance-2 (BOT2); the Do-Eat (Do-Eat); the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC2); the school-Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (schoolAMPS); the Tuffts Assessment of Motor Performance (TAMP); the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD); and the Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM). As a third step, for the included instruments, suitability for children with DCD was discussed based on the ADL comprised, ecological validity and other psychometric properties. We concluded that current instruments do not provide comprehensive and ecologically valid assessment of capacity in ADL as required for children with DCD.