When we think of chores, we usually think of our teenage son taking out the trash or mowing the grass. Cleaning is something that older children do.
However, there are plenty of chores that younger children can do too! My seven-year-old can do most chores around the house. There are a few that she hasn’t quite mastered, and some things that every seven-year-old needs supervision with, though.
In this article
- Things To Remember When Considering Chores For Children
- List Of Age Appropriate Chores For Seven Year Olds
- In Conclusion
Things To Remember When Considering Chores For Children
When you’re coming up with a chore chart, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. If your child is a fast or slow learner, this will tell you how quickly they will pick up on certain tasks.
You’ll also need to keep in mind certain developmental delays if your children have them. Children that have sensory issues, etc. might have a difficult time with certain tasks as well. You’ll discover that when you’re teaching your little one how to do chores.
Teach Them How To Do Chores
Even though your kid is capable of doing chores, they won’t instantly know how to do them. Instead, you’ll have to take a little bit of extra time to teach them.
I teach children chores in stages, especially when they are little. We start off with them watching me do something and explaining it. Then, if they understand it, we move on to the next step.
That is them doing it while I watch them so I can make sure that they know how to do it. After that, I know that they know what they are doing. Sometimes we have to complete those steps quite a few times.
When chores involve multiple steps, I assume that they will forget at least one of them. I rarely punish them for it. Instead, they do the same chore and practice doing all of the steps until it becomes a habit.
This might lead to a child having dishes as a chore for a week because they’ve forgotten to wipe off around the faucet for a few months, but they usually remember after that.
When this happens, I double-check every night. Then, I either remind them again or tell them what a great job they did. There is no yelling, screaming, etc. involved.
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Always Supervise Children With Chemicals
Even though they are seven, most children will still need supervision with certain things. You should use chemicals with your little ones to help them learn how to appropriately use them when they are older.
It’s also not a good idea to let children mix chemicals together, even if you routinely do this at home. Children can accidentally mix the wrong chemicals and create toxic solutions that can be harmful.
Don’t Delay Starting Chores Due To Age
The younger children start doing chores, the better off it is. Not only will children learn to have pride in their work, they will also be contributing to the household. Children as young as toddlers can learn to pick up their toys.
In my house, we’ve always had a very simple rule: we all pitch in here because we all live here. It’s that simple. I do not negotiate chores, etc.
Avoid Offering Rewards For Chores
When we consistently offer a reward for chores, our children learn to expect that. While every mom needs to do what is best for their household, I don’t do that in my household.
Instead, they are expected to pitch in because they live here just like I do. Rewards may work for younger children, but these should taper off as children get older.
Understand That It Won’t Be Perfect
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When we expect perfection from children as they do chores, it doesn’t turn out well. You’re more likely to jump in the middle of them doing chores and do it yourself. Your children might start to detest chores if they feel constantly criticized.
Instead, do the chores that you expect to be perfect yourself. (We all have our pet peeves, and that’s okay.) You can also do them with your children so that they learn how you would prefer to have them done.
For example, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t clean the bottom part of the toilet. I appreciate that the rest of it’s clean, but I would like every part of porcelain on the outside wiped off too.
(I think it’s the curse of having a military father.) My older children are great at it. My youngest is not. I’ve accepted that it’s not going to happen for quite a while. I offer gentle reminders and tell her that she did an exceptional job anyway.
Offer Plenty Of Praise
Telling your little ones that they did an amazing job is a great way to make them smile. They will love that you’re proud of them, and, in turn, they will also feel proud of themselves.
This is a great way to encourage your kids to do chores without having to do a sticker chart or buy them a toy at the end of the week.
List Of Age Appropriate Chores For Seven Year Olds
On the one hand, my little one is delayed in certain areas, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. She also tends to forget certain things, such as that you shouldn’t dump an entire bottle of toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet.
Because of that, your seven-year-old might be able to do some of the things that mine still needs help with.
If you’re just getting started on your little one doing chores, they’ll probably need help learning most of these things, but they are more than capable of doing them. These are some of the common chores that we do around our house, and what the seven-year-old is able to do.
Our living room can get a bit messy with three children and a grandchild. The kids all pitch in to keep it clean. The littlest can:
- Clean glass tables with Windex
- Pick up toys
- Put things where they go
- Wipe off leather couches
- Organize her things in the living room (her playdough and art supplies are in the living room)
- Clean up spills and her own messes
- Use a small broom and dustpan to sweep up crumbs
She has a difficult time with a regular-sized broom because of how tall it is. I also don’t let her wipe off the television because she can scrub things a little too well at times. She does not know how to mop yet.
When I used to work for a Montessori School, all of the children helped clean. The toddlers had a miniature broom and dustpan to learn how to sweep with. There were also small dustpans that come with a brush that older children could use if they could not use a regular broom yet.
While we don’t have a dining room now, we used to. All of the children pitched in, including the littlest. A seven-year-old can:
- Clean the table
- Set the table
- Carry food safely from the kitchen to the dining room
- Clean up spills and messes
- Sweep the floor
- Some children might be able to mop as well
- Wipe fingerprints off the walls (we have white trim)
If you have other things in your dining room, your child might be able to help with those things too. They can organize a play area or wipe off a buffet. If you have a beautiful rug, they can clean it with a handheld vacuum cleaner. There are not a lot of things your little one can’t do.
Cleaning an entryway is pretty basic, depending on how large your entryway is. Ours has a twenty-foot high ceiling, so she is obviously not dusting the cobwebs from the top corners. There are quite a few things she can do though, like:
- Hang up coat on the coat rack
- Children that can mop can mop the floors
- Pick up clutter
If you have pictures in your entryway, little ones can dust those as well. In fact, a seven-year-old can dust just about anything. Keep in mind that some children are still rather clumsy at this age, so you might want to avoid asking them to dust fragile things.
The kitchen is where we have a bit more supervision because we only use things that are also disinfectants. (We have wood floors so we don’t use them to mop, and the tables are glass so we only use glass cleaner.)
Disinfectant wipes are generally easier for children. If we use the kind that comes in a spray bottle, she uses way too much. The entire house will smell like Lysol if she’s left to do it on her own.
She’s also still a bit clumsy, so she’s not allowed to help with certain things, such as washing sharp knives, for safety reasons. Here are some of the things my seven-year-old helps within the kitchen:
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- She can wash dishes but we usually do them together (I wash and she rinses)
- Put away dishes
- Put away groceries
- Help prepare meals that don’t involve the stove
- Make kool-aid
- Put bottled water in the fridge
- Wipe out the fridge
- Wipe off counters, tables, cabinets, etc.
- She can do a basic wipe down of small appliances, like the microwave and coffee pot
- Wash windows
- Clean out the sink and wipe off the faucet
- Some children can also sweep and mop
- Your little one might be able to take out the trash if you have a smaller trashcan
- Help make and pack lunch
- Make simple foods like toast or waffles in the toaster
- Make cereal for breakfast
Some children might not be able to make their own cereal or simple meals until they are closer to eight or nine. This really depends on the child.
There are certain things that she needs supervision with, such as cleaning the toilet, because of the chemicals. However, there are a lot of things that she can do without assistance in the bathroom too.
- Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the hamper
- Wipe off sink
- Clean the mirror
- Wipe off the windowsill
- Fill the handsoap container
- Wipe off lightswitch covers
- Put toilet paper on the toilet paper roll
- Some children might be able to sweep and mop as well
When it comes to cleaning the bathroom, it can be helpful to make a list of everything that needs to be done, and then assign chores accordingly. For example, the hand soap container might not need a refill every day. Most don’t. However, your little one can top it off once a week.
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Our laundry room is slowly becoming the cluttered spot for laundry, things lost in the laundry, etc. so we’ve all began pitching in to keep it nice and clean. The littlest pitches in with:
- Sorting laundry
- Wiping the dust off the washer and dryer
- Cleaning the lint filter
- Moving clothing from the washer to the dryer
- Picking things up and putting them where they go
Other kids might be able to use the washer, fold and put away their own laundry, and sweep or mop. (We’re still working on the washer and putting away clothing.)
For the most part, my kids take care of their own bedrooms. The littlest needs help to remember to organize toys and put them in the appropriate bins, but she does most of the things in her room and her playroom herself.
- Pick up toys
- Clean the room (put things where they go)
- Make bed
- Lay out outfits of clothes for the next day
- Organize shoes
- Put dirty clothes in the basket
- Put away clothes
Kids that can sweep, mop, vacuum, and dust can also do all of those things in their room. They can wash windows, wipe off windowsills, etc.
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We have an adorable cat named Gibson. Although I’m not a huge cat person, I do love her and so do the children. Because we all love her, we all pitch in on taking care of her. The littlest can do most of this herself:
- Feed the cat (I put the cat food in a bucket with a small coffee cup so that she doesn’t spill it as she’s trying to dump it out of the bag.)
- Give the cat water
- Wash the food bowls
- Scoop cat litter (we use the scoopable litter, so this isn’t too hard. It might be more difficult if you switch out all of the litter every time you change the litter box.)
Children can also help with grooming animals. They can brush a dog’s fur or help file their nails. Just remember to have your child help you do a task first, and you’ll quickly discover that they can probably do it.
Most seven-year-olds can help with yard work. It’s not safe to let them use equipment like a lawnmower or weed eater, but there are plenty of things that they can do, especially if you love gardening.
- Water flowers or plants
- Help plant flowers
- Pull weeds
- Pick up trash
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Whether or not your little one can help with yardwork depends on the yard work that you do. If you only mow grass and use a weed eater for edging, your little one isn’t going to be helping. They can help with most gardening tasks, though.
Cleaning Out The Car
If you clean out your car once a week, your little one can definitely help with that. They can:
- Wipe down interior
- Use a handheld vacuum to pick up small crumbs
- Wash windows
- Pick up trash
- Take toys inside
They might not be able to handle washing the car yet, but most kids can certainly help with that! Not only can they help, but they’ll also probably have a lot of fun doing it.
Other Chores Seven Year Olds Can Help With
While these are all basic chores that most people do every week, there are plenty of others that are done during spring and fall cleaning or the holidays. There are quite a few that your little one can help with, like:
- Washing windows
- Washing curtains or drapes
- Dusting blinds
- Vacuuming out heater or central air vents with a handheld vacuum
- Dusting floors in rooms that aren’t frequently used, such as the attic
- Wiping of lightswitch and outlet covers
- Help with holiday decorations
- Prepare food platters
Children can help with a lot of these things. Remember that you shouldn’t wait for them to want to help. Instead, start doing the chores yourself and ask them for help. Most children won’t mind pitching in that way, especially younger children that love to help their parents.
Most children that are seven can help you do a lot of the household chores.
If you’re just getting started, it takes time and patience but is well worth it. If you’ve already started having your children do chores, don’t underestimate your seven-year-old. They can do a lot more than most of us realize!