Your kids need to learn responsibility at their own pace. This is a key age for developing habits that will help them become independent adults.
Chores for 7 year olds also teach children to be a part of a community. They can learn to support other family members and their sports team when they are older by pitching in at home.
1. Clean Up
Children can make a mess of things, so cleaning is an important chore. Have them put away their toys, for example. This builds responsibility for their belongings and helps prevent toys from being lost or broken.
Sweeping and dusting are also simple, yet effective chores that 7 year olds can do. They can learn to handle a broom and can be taught how to sweep a whole room.
They can also help empty trash and sort recycling. It might take more time in the beginning, but they can gradually be taught to do it independently.
2. Wash Dishes
Kids can wash dishes, though you may need to be there to provide guidance and encouragement. They are likely to be slow and will make mistakes, but that’s okay.
By six or seven, most kids can also help wipe up food spills and empty trash (be sure to remove any sharp items in advance).
Grade schoolers can tackle more kitchen chores such as sweeping and dusting. However, they should not handle cleaning products until you’re sure they’re ready. Consider putting on some fun music to help make chores more enjoyable.
3. Put Away Toys
From infancy, you can encourage your children to pack away their toys. Packing up toys is more fun and engaging for kids than simply dumping everything into a bin.
Don’t impose complex systems of storage (carefully labeled boxes for each ultra-specific type of plaything, color separated legos, etc). This will just frustrate both your child and you.
Instead, put out only toys your children can easily put away. This often means limiting what is out at a time (toddlers can only manage 8 blocks, not 48). Make sure each toy has its own spot and that the spots are clear.
4. Set the Table
Setting the table is a family-oriented chore that encourages kids to respect shared spaces. It’s also a good precursor to more advanced chores for 8 and 9 year olds like washing dishes.
Grabbing the morning paper is another easy chore for 7 year olds. They can often manage this without too much assistance from adults, especially if you model the behavior for them.
This is a stage when kids can really start to grasp the concept of responsibility and how a home is maintained. It’s important to remember that chores are a process and your child will likely not be able to do everything perfectly right away.
7. Take Out the Trash
At this age, your kids are eager to learn new chores. However, they may be unsure how to complete tasks and will need your guidance until they master them.
If they’ve mastered making their bed and cleaning up their rooms, it’s time to move on to a more complex chore like sweeping or mopping. They can also wipe down sinks, toilets, and bathtubs with a cloth or nontoxic cleaner. And they can empty trash into a bin or garbage can. They can also water plants and take care of pets, which helps teach them empathy for animals and the responsibility of caring for living things.