So many of you have loved the lists of chore ideas for toddlers and chore ideas for four-year-olds that I put together, so I finally made up a list with some of the chores that Kathrynne, our 7-year-old, does or has done.
3 Important Things to Remember
1. Children Need to Know What You Expect of Them
If you don’t show your children how to do a job well, you can’t expect them to know how to do it right. Before asking them to do a chore on their own, work alongside them a few times showing them specifically how to do it.
2. Don’t Expect Them To Do It Well–Especially At First
It often takes a lot of repetitive teaching, gentle correcting, and practice before a child can do a job well. Don’t expect perfection–especially when they are young. What matters is that they are putting forth effort and trying their best.
3. Praise 10 Times As Much As You Correct
It’s easy to want to focus on pointing out all the things a child does wrong and where they need to improve. Instead of dwelling on what they didn’t do right, focus most of your energies on praising those things they did well. Encouragement and affirmation go a very long way!
Have you heard of My Job Chart? It’s a free, easy-to-use, online chore chart and reward system for organizing and motivating your kids to learn first hand how to Save, Share, and Spend.
We have used this program in the past when we had some children who were feeling unmotivated to do their chores. We were amazed at how well it worked and would definitely recommend it!
20 Chore Ideas for 7-Year-Olds
1. Pick Up Their Room — Make sure you show your child exactly what a clean room looks like. And if their room is really messy, I’d suggest working with them to clean it and giving them a few specific projects to work on at a time. Children at this age are often still learning the concept of staying on task, so you want to make sure you don’t overwhelm them by giving them too many tasks to accomplish at once.
2. Make Bed — 7-year-olds can usually do a pretty good job of making their beds — especially if they are not sleeping on the top bunk of a bunk bed (I still have trouble making the top bunk of a bunk bed!)
3. Vacuum – Kathrynne often helps by vacuuming two rooms in our house. Two rooms seems to be a great number for her age and ability — not too much to overwhelm her, but it’s still a big help to me. And if she vacuums two rooms each week day, I don’t have to do much vacuuming myself! She also enjoys using the attachment on the vacuum to vacuum cracks and crevices.
4. Water Plants and Gardens — A milk jug watering can is perfect for 7-year-olds. Just the right size — and it makes watering the plants and gardens fun!
5. Sort, Start, Switch, Fold, and Put Away Laundry – I recently taught Kathrynne how to sort and start the laundry. She still needs a little help with figuring out whether some things qualify as lights, darks, or colors, but she can do most of the sorting and starting of the laundry herself. She also often helps to fold and put away her clothes.
6. Clip Coupons — Kathrynne does a great job of clipping coupons for me — and it saves me a lot of time, too! I pay her for the amount of coupons she clips for me so it’s a win-win for both of us.
7. Take Care of Pets — Kathrynne is in charge of most of the care for our bunny from feeding her and keeping her water fulled up, to cleaning out the cage and making sure there’s enough hay in it. Jesse helps her out, as needed, but she’s almost entirely responsible for Fawn. It’s been a great learning experience for her and a great opportunity for her to show maturity and responsibility.
8. Dust/Wipe Down Surfaces — 7-year-olds are great at cleaning baseboards, small floor areas, wiping down cupboards, or dusting surfaces. If you have a feather duster, they might have fun trying that out, too!
9. Wipe Down Sink/Toilet — Cleaning wipes work especially well for younger children to use. Or, you can spray some nontoxic cleaner onto a rag and let them wipe down the sink, toilet, bathtub, shower, or floor in the bathroom.
10. Empty Trashes — 7-year-olds can usually handle tying up the trash bag and hauling it out to the garage or back door — or even hoisting it into the dumpster.
11. Wipe Down Door Handles/Light Switches — Give your child a cleaning wipe or a damp rag and have them wipe down all the door handles. This is a favorite chore at our house!
12. Clear the Table – Teach your children to clear their plates after each meal (our children are still working on doing this without needing to be reminded!)
13. Rinse Dishes/Load Dishwasher –A 7-year-old is usually old enough to stand on a stool at the kitchen sink and rinse nonbreakable dishes (be sure to remove the knives and other sharp or dangerous objects before letting them do this). They can also help to load silverware, plastic cups, and other nonbreakable dishes into the dishwasher.
14. Dry/Put Away Dishes — Children can also help with drying dishes (if you handwash dishes) or putting dishes away from the dishwasher. We’ve found it seems easiest to start with silverware and then work up from there.
15. Simple Meal Prep — Kathrynne can pour her own cereal, make toast, crack and cook scrambled eggs (with my supervision), flip pancakes, make 3-ingredient recipes, pop popcorn, make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and do a number of other simple meal prep things. It’s a big help to have her take care of making breakfast, lunch, or snack, on occasion.
16. Set the Table — Teach your children how to set the table correctly from the time they are young–it’s a skill many adults still don’t know!
17. Sweep — 7-year-olds are usually capable of using a broom and dustpan. You may start your child out by having them just sweep up your dirt pile and then teach them how to use the broom to sweep the whole floor.
18. Mop — My dad got the girls child-sized mops for Christmas and they love them. Kathrynne can do a pretty decent job of mopping the kitchen floor by herself and she enjoys trying her hand at it!
19. Clean Out/Organize — Kathrynne has recently started helping me with cleaning out and organizing — especially when it comes to her things. I’ll assign her to go through a basket of books or a pile of toys or clothes and have her pick out those they are no longer using/wearing. While I sometimes have to help a little, she does a pretty good job.
20. Sorting — I’ll often have Kathrynne sort books, DVDs, or other items and get them in order by kind, size, etc.
Looking for other age-appropriate chore ideas? You might find these chore lists helpful:
What chores do your 7-year-olds do? I’d love to hear other ideas!
Looking for more ideas for teaching children to serve? Get the Teach Me To Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn to Serve and Bless Others. This ebook includes 99 ideas for ways preschoolers can serve in the home, in your neighborhood, in the community, and in your church. Many of the ideas were very original and a number of them I highly doubt I ever would have thought of on my own.