My oldest is now 7, and chores are becoming part of his daily life. Not for a reward, but because we are teaching him there’s a baseline of things he needs to help with as part of our family. I’ll be sharing chores for 7 year olds that we have in our home, and of course this may look different in your family.
We are giving him life skills, responsibility, consequences, and the satisfaction that comes from being praised for doing a good job. At least that’s my hope!
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What age should kids start to do chores?
At one point in my life I can remember it being so much faster and easier to just pick everything up myself. Having 3 kids under 4 was just a whirlwind to me.
Teaching my kids chores looked more like cheering for anyone who would toss a diaper into the garbage for me or just put their shoes in the bin.
Eventually my oldest turned 5, and was suddenly capable of a lot more! I realized how much tidier my house could be if we had a few more expectations. Here are 15 chores that 5 year olds can do that are actually helpful.
Changing your kid’s expectations of you
All my kids still occasionally say things like “I don’t have a spoon!” They’re waiting for me to jump to it like I did when they were 3. I just remind them to get their own spoon, and to please grab one for everyone. Sometime’s I still get them things, because I’m a mom and it’s in my blood!
But I’m trying to “hand off” anything I’ve been doing that they can do for themselves. For years I’ve had to do everything, you know how it goes!
It feels really good to be needed a bit less and to also be equipping my kids with skills. It’s also part of teaching them that mommy isn’t their servant and they shouldn’t expect to be waited on.
I don’t mind getting them a spoon. I’m able to get them a spoon. But I want them to start thinking “If I can do something, I won’t ask someone else to do it for me.”
Maybe that’s a little deep. Or maybe it doesn’t jive with your family, and thats’s fine too.
Your habits rub off on your kids
I’m not very tidy naturally, (or most organized) so I’ve had to change a few of my habits in an effort to have a tidier home!
For instance, I tend to leave clean clothes in a pile in my closet for a long time before hanging them or folding them. I don’t like the kids leaving their clothes on the ground, so I’m working on changing my habits too.
Once I asked my daughter to put daddy’s shirt in his closet that I found in the living room. She said, “I just dropped it on the big pile in there” Uuuu, yep. It’s a big pile! No wonder my kids drop their clothes everywhere.
Teach your kids how you want the chore done
If you ask them to water the plants, do they know which ones?
If they don’t finish a job, do you help teach them how to?
For instance, my 7 year old does a great job with the dishwasher but sometimes forgets to put the silverware holder back in when he’s done. So I just remind him now and then so he remembers what’s expected.
Is there an end in sight for them? It’s overwhelming to a kid to not know when they’ll be done. To fear if they hurry it will only end in more chores. Whether it’s a checklist or verbal, they’ll do better knowing when they can be done.
Chores for 7 year olds
Here’s my list of family chores that a 7 year can do. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’m sure not all will be a fit for your family.
1. Set and clear the table after each meal
I didn’t used to like my littles clearing their plates and cups until they were old enough to set it carefully on the counter. Tossing a breakable glass or plate above their heads into the sink wasn’t helpful.
But a 5-7 year old can set the table, and clear their own plate and cup, yay!
They can also put away the ketchup, salt and pepper, and little things that go in the fridge.
2. Wipe down the table
We homeschool. So 3 of our meals are eaten together at home, and our kitchen table is our school table so I can’t just leave cereal and milk spills on it like I used to! Often times I’ll just clean it, but I’m trying to ask them to do it more regularly.
This requires them sticking around after clearing their plate. I just forget to ask most the time, but I’m working on giving them the job!
3. Crack eggs
If it’s time to make something, I love giving my son a job he can do! I don’t always want him measuring the flour. But eggs, perfect job. Remember, if they get shells into the egg, the easiest way to get it out is to scoop the shell bits out with the larger shell.
4. Flip pancakes
This is the perfect job for a 6-7 year old! We have a large electric griddle which is sturdy so he doesn’t need to coordinate holding a pan and flipping. My son loves this job and feels SO proud.
We keep a small bin on our back porch for cans and cardboard, which gets emptied into the big blue recycling bin. It hit me one day this is the perfect non dangerous job my 7 year old can 100% do without my supervision.
He is also responsible for rolling it to the road when I ask him to, and bringing the big blue can back to the house.
6. Water plants
Any garden plants can 100% be watered by your 7 year old! This summer I’d daily ask my son if he watered the herbs and tomatoes and flowers. He did great and I think it helped him see what goes into taking care of plants.
Side note, at one point they were getting dry and sad, and I realized even though he watered them it wasn’t enough. So we had to go over how much water to soak them, which I just showed him by doing.
We really don’t have many house plants, something I’d love to change. But, if you do, this is a great job too. You’ll might need to measure out how much they should pour if your plants are pretty sensitive to over or under watering though.
7. Clean walls and mirrors
Two of our walls get touched and brown all the time. One is where our kids climb on the pull up bar and gymnastics rings, and the other is the living room wall they run by and touch often.
Normally I wouldn’t let my kids use cleaners, but now that we have switched mostly to Branch Basics non toxic cleaner, I feel 100% comfortable letting them spray and wipe.
I showed my 7 year old how much to spray and he did a **pretty** good job. A for effort for his age!
This is also what I’ve asked him to do in the past when he’s being kind of naughty. He couldn’t seem to curb the poop jokes for a while and so each time he’d forget I’d have him help me clean a wall. Never mad at him, just said, “whoops, now you gotta do another wall.” It worked well!
8. Pick up toys in the yard
As much as I love some of the kids “creative” toys, (ahem Costco cardboard boxes and other junk we have strewed around), sometimes they gotta go.
7 year olds can put yard toys away, carry shovels or tools to their spots, and put bikes away.
9. Carry in garbage from the van
If the inside of your van looks like mine, then maybe we can be friends! A few french fries here and there, goldfish crushed around, and lots of books and shoes covering the entire floor it seems.
How it gets in there and not out? Me not making sure they carry out at least what they carry in. It’s hard!
While no kid can get all the crumbs (I’ll need a shop vac for that!), I am working on making sure everyone leaves the van with an arm full. At a minimum their own waters and shoes.
Also, just keeping a garbage bin in the van helps me 100%, but that’s not a “kid chore” for the sake of this post!
10. Keeping clothes picked up off the floor
This is daily training here! Maybe my bins are too full, or maybe my kids are just picking up their parent’s bad habits. But I find clothes in the living room, in the bathroom, and in their bedroom.
They’re at the age where I REALLY shouldn’t be doing it for them or it’s a disservice to them. So my 5 and 7 year old (and even sometimes my 3.5 year old) get asked to pick up THEIR clothes and put them in their bin or the dirty clothes basket.
One other thing that my oldest can do now is to put some of his shirts on hangers. We keep sweaters and button up shirts hanging, and I know he can help me with that now if I ask.
11. Unload the dishwasher
Sometimes the kids will trade off who does silverware and the dishes, but I’m fine asking my 7 year old to do the whole thing. It’s not too much.
For cups and plates up high, he knows to grab a chair to climb on and does it no problem. This will also help him later on to be a better cook if he knows where all the kitchen gadgets go.
I still take out the sharp knives first, because I’m a worrier.
12. Put mail in the mailbox
My 5.5 and 7 year old are so awesome at running my outgoing mail to the box, and daily grabbing the incoming mail.
They know the flag up alerts the postman we have mail for him, and are old enough to safely watch for cars by the road.
13. Shower or bathe themselves
7 year olds are at the age where you can teach them how to bathe themselves. It’s probably different for each kid and each family, but I feel like this year has been the passing of the torch there.
I still occasionally come in and give a good scrub (honestly still needed here!) but for the most part my 7 year old can wash his own hair and body with soap and a rag.
14. Pour self and siblings cereal
We are a cereal for breakfast family *most* days except on the weekends. I grew up on it, it’s still my favorite breakfast, and it’s pretty much instantly ready.
My 7 year old is able to carry and pour a gallon of milk without too many spills. He’s also able to climb up and get bowls, and pour his siblings cereal if I’m not up yet.
15. Put books away
My 5 and 7 year old kids are super helpful at putting books away. We are homeschooling, and I rely mainly on the library for all our books. We get A LOT.
I keep a bin for the books in the living room. They don’t usually all stay in there, but it’s made an easy “home” for the books, and a great daily chore for my 7 year old to help tidy the floor.
Here’s how we taught my son to read, and the messiness of new books weekly is 100% worth it to me.
16. Brush their own teeth
I still don’t trust my kids to 100% brush their own teeth well, (nor does my dentist recommend that yet). So my husband and I brush their teeth at night and have them practice in the day.
I forget to remind them often, but 7 is a great time to work on good teeth brushing (especially since we now have grown up teeth!)
17. Helping with meal prep
My 7 year old never says he wants to come in and help make dinner or lunch if I ask him. It’s usually 100% “no thanks” if I ask. But, if I say “Come on in I want you to help me make lunch today”, he will! And usually loves it.
P.S. I do best if just 1 kid is in the kitchen with me at a time helping.
Sometimes it’s having him fill the water pitcher, or sprinkling seasonings on something. Other times it’s buttering bread for me, or peeling carrots. It just depends. He’s able to do most things I ask, with supervision. It slows me down, but he’s learning life skills a lot of kids don’t get the chance to!
Our chore chart
While my 7 year old doesn’t really thrive on or care for a “routine” chart. He does like knowing what things he has to get done before x, y, or z. You could just write it on a list, and hang that on a clipboard.
I created a chore printable you can use in my Etsy shop. You can laminate and write down chores easy day, week, or whatever suits you. Or, use the picture pieces (not shown below) and velcro dots to create a visual chore chart for each kid.
The chart comes with pink/purple, blue/green, and a rainbow version.
That’s it for now over here! We don’t always have our 7 year old do all these by any means, but he’s capable and can do these chores when asked. Do you have any to add to this list?
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