20 Chore Ideas For 7-Year-Olds

20 Chore Ideas for 7-Year-Olds

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:

15 Chore Ideas for 4-Year-Olds

10 Chore Ideas for Toddlers

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.

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Comments

  1. Cindy says

    My 6 yr old is the Best Duster Ever! :-)
    She also does a great job cleaning windows/mirrors-since I switched to vinegar.
    Also I put her on ‘spot patrol’ which is especially good if we are expecting company-I ask her to get a baby wipe and look around for any spots on the floors that have arrived since we mopped.
    :-) Looking forward to hearing all the ideas posted!

  2. Laura F says

    We have car duty and it is a 2 petson team job at our house! This entails going out to the car and picking up anything that may have been left in the car like little trash, coats, toys, etc. Then they get use Dad’s shop vac and vacuum it out for me! I love getting into a clean car and a great job for our kid’s ages 4-10.

  3. Erica S says

    We have recycle bins in our garage, so one of our daughter’s (age 6) chores is to put the daily pile in the respective bin. She also takes compostable items outside. Love your list!

  4. Michelle Black says

    I am glad to hear other people have their children help with chores. Often when this topic comes up people are outspoken at the fact that my 7 year old does laundry, sweeps, mops, and vacuums saying that he is too young. As parents we have always had the idea that if they help out when they are young it will not be such a shock to them as they are older and they get a since of being responsible for “their” house. Thanks for the extra ideas.

  5. says

    Our girls are 7 as well and do the chores listed (with exception of actually doing the laundry, they sort and help put away but don’t operate the washer and dryer yet). They have gotten pretty good at washing windows especially the big glass storm doors (with a step stool). When they clean their bathroom I mix a bowl of vinegar and baking soda for them to clean with so it is not toxic or harsh on their skin. They have their own cleaning supplies and bucket.

    A couple of the best gifts we have given them is a vacuum, cleaning supplies, and a broom. They love having their own items. I am amazed at how much better they have gotten at cleaning even this past year and get excited to help!

    Give LOTS of positive encouragement especially at the beginning. One thing I have tried to not do is go behind them and “correct” what they did wrong because it can make them feel like they can never do it good enough for you. If something is really bad try doing it with them the next few times until they get the hang of it. It is worth the time you invest in training them. They will improve over time and eventually it will be an amazing blessing to have the extra help around the house! :)

  6. Christy says

    Great ideas, Crystal. We’ve found it helps to post photos of the completed chore on a chart in a column next to the chore name. That way, the child can refer to the photos instead of constantly asking me to check the job. When the job is completed, the child puts an X in that day’s column. They love being able to make a big X when they’re finished.

  7. Toni says

    Our children were doing everything on this list by 7 as well (our 5 year old is actually doing most of it, mainly because he is driven to keep up with his older siblings; there’s a gap in age between him and the other three). With laundry, we started very young with the children. We bought pliable plastic mini baskets from Target and would have them put their own clothes away and bring down dirty clothes in the a.m. We just built on that for laundry chores. Now, at 12, 10, 9, and 5, they also weed 2x/week from late spring to the end of the summer, clean out our van, change the cat litter, clean the guinea pig’s cage, etc. I haven’t asked anyone to help clip coupons, but I use the whole insert method so I only clip as needed and therefore don’t really need help in that area.

  8. HeidiB says

    We do meal/menu planning, washing cars, planting and weeding the garden/flowers. Raking leaves (with child’s plastic rake), filling bird feeders and keeping the bird bath clean/full of water. We play the treasure hunt game when cleaning out the car. All of the garbage gets put in a bag and they keep the change that maybe stuck in or under the seats. Kids can have fun with their chores and there’s always something to do at our house.

  9. Wendy says

    Wow…my boys are much older & don’t do a fraction of these chores! They used to help more when I was working, but I stay home now & I guess have taken on nearly all chores myself. This has really gotten me thinking, though. Perhaps I need to re-evaluate what my boys can & should be doing around the house.

    • says

      Wendy my girls are 13 and 16 and I have always stayed home, still do. I used to feel guilty by giving them chores. Like I am at home so why should they have to do any?

      However I finally realized that if I don’t teach them, who will? Now my girls do a lot less than I did at their age because I had a single mom who worked. But there isn’t a job in the house that they can’t do and there are many things they are expected to do.

      The biggest problem we have here is cooking. My girls can make very basic things but they can’t just take a recipe and make dinner. I do all the cooking because I am here. After school they are busy with things like homework and such so I don’t usually bring them in to help me. However they are girls and they really need to learn to cook.

      So we have already planned that this summer the 3 of us will be cooking together everyday and hopefully by the end of summer they will both be able to go in the kitchen and whip something up anytime they want. :)

      Anyway, just think of it as you teaching them the things they will need to know how to do when they are grown up. Good Luck! :)

      • Brooke says

        I completely agree with teaching them how to take care of the home even though you are there all day. I grew up in a home where my stay at home mother did everything herself and I struggled big time when I got married. I have been married almost 5 years and I am just now getting the hang of things, only thanks to communities like this one!

      • Wendy says

        Good point, Amber! My boys are so busy with homework, sports, etc. & I guess I felt guilty giving them chores when I was home anyway. But, you are right that I’m not teaching them how to do things around the house. Plus, I think they are gettingt this idea that things just magically get clean around here (which leads them to be less mindful of the mess they are making). I’m going to make a chart of household tasks today & plug their name in places where I know they can help!

  10. Jenn says

    I love that you have basic meal prep as something you have already started. I have a friend who is in her 4th year at university and isn’t even comfortable making boxed macaroni and cheese because no one in her family took the time to get them involved in cooking. When the kids in my family turned 11 we started cooking one night a week with my mother’s supervision This was my favorite chore. I loved it because it not only gave me a skill set I still use today, but i also felt like i was helping take a huge chunk of work off my mom’s back.

  11. says

    It’s my first time on your blog and i love these simple ideas of how to get children to help around the house, and at the same time they feel important as they do it.
    I have a 5 year old boy and a 17 month daughter, and you just gave me very good ideas.
    Do you mind if I copy some to my blog, indicating the author? It will be written in portuguese but you can always use google translation.
    Nany

  12. Amy says

    You are doing a great job, Crystal. Our 8 yod doesn’t do many of the jobs you listed yet because I have not trained her to do so. Now I’m encouraged!

  13. says

    My 6-year-old folds, hangs, and puts away her own laundry, prepares simple meals for herself and her siblings (cereal, pb&j), empties the wastebaskets ib the bathrooms, keeps her room tidy (which she shares with her younger sister), unloads the dishwasher, feeds and waters the cat, and occassionally changes her brother’s wet diapers. She really loves being “big”and she especially loves earning money for a Barbie she has her eye on. :)

    Great ideas, ladies! Keep them coming!

  14. Meredith says

    My kids, 6 & 4, do some of the jobs listed, but they also are responsible for taking the sheets off their beds every weekend, putting them in the laundry, and getting the clean ones out of the closet. Can I ask which jobs you pay your kids for? Thanks!

  15. says

    My 8 year old son LOVES scrubbing the toilet. I don’t know what it is, but when he’s bored, he always asks, “Mommy, can I go clean the toilet?” Lol. I’m taking advantage of it for now because I know it won’t last long! :)

  16. Brianne says

    So my kids do many chores but we decided that as they get older more is expected of them- so every year on their Birthday they are assigned a new chore!! Happy Birthday right. We do so much for them, and always take them places, so no money involved, they do them daily and are very responsible! Their chores include many that are listed- very doable at there age- and they love doing grown-up stuff.

  17. Jennifer says

    I try to get my kids to do stuff around the house but I am a SAHM and my children are not schooled at home and in the evening they have an hour of homework. That leaves little time for housework and besides I do most during the day. Does anyone else have this situation? (I have to say that my children are not lazy!)

    • megan says

      Yes! My son is in first grade and was in public school until we pulled him out to homeschool six weeks ago. He was always exhausted when he got home and had homework on top if that so he didn’t do nearly as much around the house as he does now.. He used to help me unload the dishwasher before school, set the table before dinner, and wipe down the kids’ bathroom on the weekend. But now we work together on picking up and cleaning the house for about an hour every afternoon after we finish our school work. He is much more willing to help now that he is homeschooling, and I think it is because he isn’t so tired. School is exhausting for kids, especially in the young years.

    • Katie says

      My kids are in school too. They help more on weekends, but during the week we have a family clean-up time after dinner. My 7 y/o sweeps the kitchen and dining room, my 5 y/o clears and wipes down the table, one adult takes care of the dishes while the other keeps the toddler out of the way of everyone else :) It’s a fun family time – we crank up the music and deal with evening chores together. My older 2 also pick up their room every evening and/or morning and clear breakfast dishes. It’s not a lot during the week, but they are contributing to the family chores.

    • Rebecca says

      My oldest is in school, and I agree that he definitely does more on the weekends than he does during the week. Although, I also do more on the weekends than I do during the week :)
      Monday-Friday he helps set/clear the table, puts away clean laundry when i get around to folding it, makes his bed, and feeds the cat. Saturday is our big “family cleaning day” so we all pitch in to get the house clean then.

      • Katie says

        I have the same problem. School is very tiring for children. Plus my son does Science club, Swimming, Tennis, Cubs, French and Recorders – which I prefer him to do than mopping and cleaning!!! He also has homework – learning spellings, timestable, fractions etc. He is only seven! I encourage him to read quietly every day in the evening. Plus he does some maths on the Khan Acadamy. The rest of the time he does whatever he wants.

        I limit my children to tidying their toys up and cleaning their rooms – everything else my husband and I do.

        • Christine says

          I agree w/ you using their brains all day & then off to a club or sport…we don’t want to overwhelm them. Take care :)

          • Katie says

            I actually think my son does too much so will be cutting back. I suppose I was spoilt because we were just expected to get good grades not to clean. I can see teaching the basics of cleaning and cooking is a good idea.

            I’m not precious about my house so the floor hardly gets mopped and I don’t think I have ever wiped the skirting boards!!! My Dad told me (when I moaned about the house) that noone on their death bed wishes they did more cleaning!!

  18. Diane says

    My children have always had the responsibility of taking care of pets. They feed, water & clean up after the dogs and cat. Pets are a great way of teaching responsibility.

    One thing I would like to add to the list Crystal has is to be specific with small children. If you tell a small child something like “clean your room” they can easily be overwhelmed. But if you give them a specific job such as put your blocks in the basket, place your books on the shelf, it seems more managable to them.

  19. says

    I love this list. My nearly 6 year old does most of this, and sometimes the nearly three year old follows along and helps as she can. At this age they love helping out, and I love having the help. My biggest problem has been not being organized and my kids are so flighty hopping from task to task. I have made myself a schedule to remind me of things I need to do on each day, and they have little lines in front where I can put check marks so i know what’s left. A few weeks after I made it, after my daughter saw me use it a bit, I made her one that lists each day of the week. Since she can read now, I don’t need the pictures, and if there’s something else I need help with I left space to add it in. Now I can just tell her to go check her list. It’s got her homework tasks listed on there and all of her getting ready for school things morning and night. I’ve got her making her own sandwiches and picking out her juice and fruit and packing her lunch now, too. She loves it and it’s a lot of stress off of me.

  20. Michelle says

    Your girl is a cutie cutie :)

    We have taught our children many of the same things year by year. This year our 9 & 11 years are learning to do their own laundry (at their request) and I am amazed how much less laundry I now do! It is indeed a blessing to train our children and be freed up to other tasks.

  21. MH says

    My 6 1/2 year old twin boys love to help my husband and me with cleaning projects. It is often on the weekends or over school breaks since as a previous commenter noted – with school, activities and homework, it’s not realistic for them to do some things regularly on school nights. BUT – they like mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing the baseboards with the magic eraser, emptying and filling the dishwasher. The other weekend they took everything off the double vanity in our bathroom and then scrubbed it with rags and baking soda. They also scrubbed our shower with baking soda. I just have to come along and do the final wiping/rinsing but it is actually a big help to me. Oh and this morning one was toasting and buttering english muffins while the other was getting dressed. Their cooperation and helpfulness has really taken off lately.

  22. Annie says

    Wow, this list really makes me reevaluate the expectations that I have of my kids, ages 10 and 6. The only thing they’re expected to do on a routine basis is keep their rooms clean and feed the pets, and I end up doing it half the time. You’ve given me inspiration to do better at preparing them for independence.

  23. says

    When I was young my mom helped me get my room really, really clean one time, exactly the way she wanted it. Then she took pictures of it that way and made a checklist of different things that had to be done to get it that way. Once a week I was to clean my room to this standard of clean and then I’d get a special treat.

    I’m not sure if I’ll do this when my boys are older or not, but it worked well in my parents house, because my mom is very organized and wanted to have my room very clean at least once a week when I was little.

  24. Mommy Cassie says

    My 3,5, and 6 year old do most of the chores listed above. They are also responsible for cleaning the bathroom (scrubbing toilet and sink areas). They scrub the baseboards in the kitchen and bathroom as well. They clean their rooms, the play room, and are responsible for picking up all the toys in the yard as well as the sticks that fall off from out tree. Makes it easier to rake and mow that way. My kids are also learning the basics of making their own meals. The two older ones can make their own sandwiches, toast, and microwave cheese rollups. Keeps them busy and happy most of the time :)

  25. Erin says

    You’ve probably already mentioned this, but do you use a chore chart? I know you have daily chores and paid chores….is it written out for your children to see and use?

  26. Jessica says

    Just wanted to add that, at least at my Target, they have children’s chore charts in the Dollar Spot. My 7-year-old stepson and I picked one up the other day and he loves marking off the chores with a dry erase marker!

  27. Lana O says

    These ideas are a great help to me! Because of the custody arrangement with my ex, I have my 7-year-old daughter every other week. I wanted to start her out on chores and tried having her feed the dog, but it was hard for me to change that routine every other week. She loves to help, though, so I will definitely start her on some of the chores you suggested when she’s here.

  28. Sporksoma says

    Pets are one of the best things that you, as a parent, can do for your children. Pets can teach them so much about life, from learning empathy and compassion at an early age to learning about responsibilities. Of course, you have to be willing to do what the child can’t or won’t, so if you don’t want a pet it’s best to not get one, but in the end, you would be surprised at kids having pets.

    My 14 year old is mostly in charge of our cats and dog, but even our 3 year old helps feed the animals, and walk the dog. Plus, she’s really kind to all animals she meets, never trying to hurt them or pull tails. It’s great that you’ve got a pet that can teach your girls a lot about responsibility for other living things :-)

  29. Haila says

    I had to chuckle about chore #2!

    Does anyone have any good tips for making a top bunk? I have so much trouble with it myself, I don’t really expect my 7-year-old (who sleeps in it) to be able to make much of it himself besides just throwing a blanket over the top of it.

    • Annie says

      We just got rid of bunk beds, which I cursed from the time we got them. My best suggestion is to leave about a foot between the back and the wall, so you can reach it from both sides. Also I would tuck the covers in very tightly in the back (up under the mattress) and encourage my son to pretend like it’s a sleeping bag and pull the covers open from the front side, instead of from the top down. Most nights, the back would stay tucked in and making it was much easier.

    • Andrea says

      Keep a sturdy chair (that you can stand on) in the room to make changing the sheets easier. That, and don’t bother making it. I feel that making beds is a waste of time.

  30. says

    I don’t have any chores to add to this list… but I got to #7 and I couldn’t help but add a comment:

    I love that your bunny rabbit is named Fawn. :)

    Now back to reading the rest of the list…

  31. Emilie says

    My husband had to tell me that by doing everything for the boys I am not teaching them to be a good spouse. Would I want to married to someone who did nothing around the house.

    I am trying to give up control over tasks and make my 3 boys do more so they can be on their own someday.

    My oldest (11) can cook numerous things and sometimes does the laundry (not soriting clothes makes that task a lot easier). My youngest (5) collects the garbages each week and loves to dust with a swifter. All three clean their rooms, bring clothes to the basement, clean off the table and set the table for dinner. I need to give them more tasks and teach them to prepare meals. Maybe one night a week with me to prep, cook and clean up would be time to bond as well as teach the skills and give me more free time to do other tasks!

    They also do these as part of the family…not for money!

  32. Christine says

    Wow, my daughters (15 & 11) are spoiled! They clean b-rooms, make bed, load/unload d.w., care for their pets THAT IS IT!!!

  33. Stefani says

    My 7-year-old and 3-year-old have “responsibilities.” These include emptying and reloading the dishwasher, bringing dirty clothes to the laundry room, taking care of the dog, stripping beds, taking out the trash and recycling, and cleaning rooms (still working on that one). They get paid for “extras” like picking up the dog poop from the yard, cleaning the bathrooms, etc., basically the yucky stuff.

  34. Annie says

    We have our 7 year old boy do most of this list (he’s done some in the kitchen, but he’s not careful enough yet). We also have him do small outdoor chores, like skim the pool with the net, and mow the lawn. We’ve also taught he and his 9 year old brother to use a small battery powered drill, so they can help with small projects, and he loved when we remodeled our bathroom, because we gave him safety goggles and let him hit the tiles with a hammer to break them.