6 Year Old Chores

Updated on April 17, 2008
S.W. asks from Owensville, MO
24 answers

I was reading what you guys had suggested to Shawn and her 11 yr old as far as chores. But i was wondering what would be appropriate for my son that is turning 6 april 23rd?
I have already started him with some chores, but i want to get more consistent and kind of have a chart or list. He does help whenever i ask him, but i was wanting to make him a checklist so that i can have a visual for him to see what he is and isnt doing. i was just kind of wondering what uniform things i should put on my list.

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answers from Topeka on

Emptying trash
Setting the table
Clearing the table
Picking up their rooms
Making bed
My kids even did the dishes when they were 5 & 6 years old with chairs pushed up to the counter.

I used a chart listing what their chores were and they marked when completed.

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answers from Kansas City on

I have made a job chart for my 6 year old. He has to put is dishes in the sink, pick up his toys at the end of the day, puts clothes in dirty hamper, put up his back pack when he gets home, shoes in his drawer(we each have a shoe drawer in the downstairs closet, keeps us organized)and other small jobs I find I need help with(yesterday it was helping in the yard). We give him 5 dollars a week, he has to save 1/2 and can spend the rest. I feel like this is a good start, even my 3 year old does these chores. Good luck!

A Little about me:
I am a SAHM with two boys, 6 and 3. I am a retired 1st grade teacher. I am 38 years old. From Oklahoma, But Love Kansas!

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answers from Kansas City on

I think picking up his room, making his bed (the earlier they learn this the more likely it will become a habit for them), and keeping his things through the house put away is a good start. Also, I like to throw in a "mommy freebie or two" which is a "come and ask me what I need help with." It is great and works well because the kids LOVE to feel like they are helping AND I get something else done that needs done. Mommy freebies can include whatever: windex the sliding glass door (use with coffee filters to minimize streaking), dust baseboards, sort laundry, match socks, wipe out sinks, etc. - you get the idea here.
My kids love to feel like they are helping. I tell them that keeping up the house is a job and EVERYONE works there. Each person is important in "running the business" by doing their share!
Best of luck. We have a policy with our kids - no chores=no extra privileges (going to friend's houses, playing outside, going to the park, to the movies, having friends over,etc.) They are starting to get the point that they don't even ASK unless they have done their part.
Hope this helps!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have a 6 year old son as well and I know that children like to help out in some kind of way; so I created a helper chart for my 6 year old and when he completes certain task he will recieve a sticker on that tasks. It build self esteem and makes the child feel valued as a important member of the team. After so many stickers you could suggest a treat of his choosing or some small reward, remember not to over do it though because you don't want him to think that everytime he does something that he will recieve something special. Before putting the chart up make sure you explain it to him and how his participation helps out the family. Also make the tasks achieveable like stacking grocery, taking out the trash, wiping off the table after dinner, cleaning his room, etc.

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answers from Kansas City on

I have a 7 year old boy and we came up with a chore jar. I asked him what things he would like to learn how to do better.We sat down and chose things like put away the plastic cups in the dishwasher and make his bed. Dust with a swiffer duster. Take a wet wipe and clean off the bathroom counter. Things he and I both agreed were good things that he could do. We then desided he would get a little money for those chores. Like a quarter or .50 if it was making my bed. He could just pick out something and do it. the other side of this was if he was complaining he was board or fighting with me he had to choose a chore but did not get the money. Hope this helps. P.

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answers from Lawrence on

Hey S.,

Below are some things I had my son do at that age. You'll have to train him and it goes a bit slow at first. Don't expect perfection, but expect improvment. Don't let him get away with doing his chores sloppily if he is capable of doing them well.

Generally give 1 or 2 chores a day that don't take up too much time. Kids can get frustrated if it takes too long and they are just beginning. So, he might pick up his room one day and dust it the next.

Wipe down bathroom sink countertop (give him a homemade wipe or clorox clean-up so it's easy)

Gather all trash in the house from the small baskets.

Teach him to vacuum one room (kids love to vac!)

Teach him to sweep one room

Teach him to make his bed (it will be messy)and dust his room (maybe vac too).

Dust one room.

Deadhead flowers outside (fill birdfeeders if you have them)

Feed pets

Water plants

Help prepare dinner with you

Set table/clean-up after dinner

He should be cleaning up after himself for every meal

He sould be learning to prepare some of his own meals - cereal, pb and j, cheese sandwich. If he has an interest and is capable, he may be able to start making fried/scrambled eggs

Fold clothes with you

Take clothes out of the washer and put in the dryer

There's probably more..... :)

Take care!


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answers from Columbia on

I had my son start with helping with things. Such as cleaning his room and dishes. If you have pets you can make it his chore to feed and give water to the pet. If you have little trash cans in your bathroom have him be responsible for gathering the lighter trash. Just a few suggestion...hope that helps.

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answers from Wichita on

Good Morning Sue, 6 yr olds Want to be Big Helpers, they can do many little things also. Help you sort laundry or fold towels. Our grand kids like to help put the laundry in the washer and move it to the dryer when ready.

You could have him collect trash from bathroom or bedrooms. It may be to heavy for him to take out side.
If he asks or wants to help let him push the vac around the livingroom. Start with small things if he hasn't helped before now. Making his bed and keeping his toys picked up is all part of family up keep.
Good Luck and make it fun for him.

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answers from St. Louis on

My daughter will be 4 at the end of June and she already has chores and she likes doing them! It is her job to make sure that her room is clean before bed every night, then at the end of the week she gets a coin! We are starting her to do the family room also.
I think a 6 year old could do things like taking laundry out of the dryer into a basket, unload dishwasher (plastic items)
dusting..easy thigns that don't take long so they don't feel like it is a chore! IN the summer picking weeds if you have flowers...I am sure there is alot more..when I was 6 I learned how to do my own laundry..my mom marked the washer with nial polish so I knew where to turn the dial to.
Keep the ideas coming..cause I will make a list for when my daughter turns 6 ..lol!

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answers from Kansas City on

I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter and here is what we do. It works well. Everyday she needs to make her bed, get dressed, brush hair and teeth. She also needs to pick up her room and the the toys in the playroom (I help with this at times). We do this before bed or before dinner so the house is picked up for the next day. She also helps take in the trash barrels / recyling bins, and set and/or clear the dinner table. We just started a refrigerator chart listing each day and each duty. Before that I have always rewarded her with quarters. It works well for us. My reasoning for the chart is the visual part of her seeing what she has done. We will still use quarters as she responds well to it. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My daughter is now 8 but theses are the chores we started her with: empty trash cans(kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms), take laundry downstairs to laundry room, feed dog, and keep her room clean. Nothing too major or difficult but enough to teach her some responsibility and a few less things for me to do.

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answers from St. Louis on

My 7 yr old boy has been folding towels for me twice a week now since he was 6. He empties the trash cans around the house weekly, he cleans his room and sweeps the kitchen floor whenever asked. Next year he will empty the dishwasher for me but right now his older brother (9) is doing it.

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answers from St. Louis on

My kids went to Montessori school where ordinary work was part of the teaching. Young children love work, love doing what grown-ups do. They suggest getting your child a small broom and dustpan, and even a small mop, and letting them sweep and mop the floor. Also, I thought this was really odd at the time, but the school strongly suggested putting the dishes in the lower cabinets so the kids could empty the dishwasher and set the table. Yes, even the breakable dishes. This teaches kids to be very careful! We put all our plates and bowls on the shelves of the microwave cart when our kids were little and they became great helpers in setting the table every day. They are teenagers now, and we still keep our dishes in the microwave cart! That just seems normal now!

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answers from St. Louis on

Take one day at a time. picking up behind himself.your list will be made up of the thing you visially see him not do and maybe can do at 6yrs. old. Be an example you do he will follow. Just ask with kindness.



answers from St. Louis on

start now. if you don't they get lazy and do not want to do anything as they get older. just have him start by empting the dishwasher, or letting dogs outside, keeping his room clean.



answers from St. Louis on

I think that is a great age also. however his chores have to be to his size, help set the table, help load the dishwasher. Help polish furniture that is low to his height. wipe off the kitchen table. pick up trash from the yard if needed. water plants, empty small wate baskets from rooms into one. Hope these help...



answers from Lawrence on

I have a 5 year old and 3 year old. They both put their dirty clothes in the baskets, make their beds, put their toys away, and feed the dog. My oldest helps her sister pick out what to wear in the mornings and helps her get dressed. They also help set the table. I can't wait till they can do their own laundry. Maybe in 3 years. They also love to help cook and do the dishes, though they obvously can't do that alone. We present it as just doing your part for the family. They get $2.00 a week, but its not related to doing chores, thats just to help teach them the value of money.



answers from Kansas City on

My son is 7 and he takes garbage to garage trash can, feeds the dogs, does some dusting, picks up things in the yard and depending on what's for dinner - he will get condiments out to place on the table. I also have him putting his own clothes away. I admit I will give him items that go together in one drawer and have him come back to me for the items that go in the next. (He's ADHD, so I don't want to give him too many instructions at once) He feels good about helping. And on Trash day he always brings the trash cans back in when we get home.
Kids are capable of more than we think.



answers from St. Louis on

I have a 5 & 9 yr old. My 5 yr old puts dirty laundry in the hapmer, helps sort it for washing. He empties the trash cans, helps his sister feed & water the dog, helps put groceries away & keep toys picked up.
My 9 yr old helps with fixing dinner, washing dishes, putting clean clothes away, picking up dog poop in the yard. My 9 yr old gets $3/wk allowance & my 5 yr old gets $1/wk. I will give them extra money for extras they do around the house.



answers from Springfield on

Household Job Participation Chart

The chart lists common household tasks, the percentage of children involved with the task, and the average age of children at different levels of involvement.

H means the child needs help with the task
R means the child needs to reminding or supervision, and
A means the child does a task as needed without reminding or supervision.

Task / Percent(children involved)
Dress self 99%
Brush Teeth 99%
Bathe self 99%
Pick up belongings 99%
Put dirty clothes away 99%
Hang up clean clothes 97%
Make bed 93%
Tidy room 98%

Wipe spills 93%
Vacuum floors 79%
Clean sink 75%

Take out trash 72%
Care for pet 72%
Do laundry 54%

Set table 93%
Wash dishes 75%
Fix snack 89%
Cook meal 71%

Age & Involvement:

Dress self: Age 2-3(H)
Age 5 (R)
Age 10-1/2 (A)

Brush teeth: Age 3(H)
Age 8-9(R)
Age 10-11 (A)

Bathe self: Age 3 (H)
Age 7 (R)
Age 11-12 (A)

Pick up belongings: Age 4 (H)
Age 8-9 (R)
Age 12 (A)

Pick up dirty clothes: Age 4-5 (H)
Age 8-9 (R)
Age 11-12 (A)

Hang up clean clothes: Age 4-5 (H)
Age 10 (R)
Age 12 (A)

Make bed: Age 4 1/2-5 (H)
Age 10 (R)
Age 11 1/2 (A)

Tidy room: Age 5 (H)
Age 11 1/2 (R)
Age 12-13 (A)

Wipe spills: Age 3 1/2 (H)
Age 9 (R)
Age 10 1/2 (A)

Vacuum Floors: Age 5 1/2 (H)
Age 11 3/4 (A)
Age 12 3/4 (R*)

Clean sink: Age 6 1/2 (H)
Age 11 (A)
Age 12 (R*)

Take out trash: Age 5 1/2 (H)
Age 11 1/2 (A)
Age 12 1/2 (R*)

Care for pet: Age 5 (H)
Age 10(R)
Age 11 1/2 (A)

Do laundry: Age 10 (H)
Age 13 (R-/A) 14yr, 4 mos.

Set table: Age 4 (H)
Age 10-10 1/2 (R)
Age 11 1/2-12 (A)

Wash dishes: Age 6- 6 1/2 (H)
Age 10 1/2 (R)
Age 11 1/2 (A)

Fix snack: Age 4- 4 1/2 (H)
Age 7 1/2 (R)
Age 12 (A)

Cook meal: Age 7 (H)
Age 9-9 1/2 (R)
Age 13 (A)

Data from a study of Washing state families by Elizabeth Crary, 1989

*Children require supervision again after becoming independent

From: Pick Up Your Socks...and other skills growing children need! by Elizabeth Crary Reprinted with permission. (c)1990 Elizabeth Crary

NOTE: Be sure when children are initially learning that you (as the parent)are teaching your child the correct way in detail and then make sure you don't set too high of expectations for standards. Remember that you may need to lower standards of cleaning (on some level) down to your child's age. They may not clean or cook as well as you do. It's a learning process...

Hope this helps.
A. H.



answers from Kansas City on

You know your child & what he can handle at his age. Gathering the trash from the other rooms in the house, help putting the groceries away, running the sweeper, keeping his room clean, putting his dirty clothes in the laundry room/area. If you think he can handle dusting let him do that...remember your raising him to be a man & not to have to be dependant upon a woman. Set the table for the two of you, I hope this helps in some way. Good luck & God Bless!



answers from Memphis on

My son will be 6 next month.. here are some of the chores he does at home.. he puts his dirty laundry in the hamper, puts his clean laundry away, feeds the dog, puts the silverware and kids dishes/cups from the dishwasher away, picks up his room, sets the table, empties the small trashcans into the big one outside, windexes the sliding glass doors, swiffers the kitchen floor.
We have a chore chart-he just checks the things off as he goes. Not all the chores are on the chart each day-typically 3-4 chores. He's definately a "task-master" and loves to see his chart with all the checks on it. At the end of the week, he get $4, which he uses to buy all the things on his wish list-toys, books, etc.
Every other Saturday, we have a household clean-up hour. Everyone gets a list and we all work to pick up and clean the house, but the limit is set at 1 hour. After that, the kids have earned a trip to the Dollar Store or McDonalds for a treat. It seems to work really well and starts the weekend off with a clean house (well, more or less)
I have 3 kids and they all help out a lot. It took a lot of effort in the beginning (and still does some days-it would definately be eaiser for me to just do it myself, but). I still fight with my 8 year old most days to do his chores, but the little two do a great job. In a big household everyone has to pitch in, now if I could just get my husband to help:)



answers from Kansas City on

He can help sort laundry (lights whites and darks)...my little girl has her own drawer of her dishes and she helps put those away out of dishwasher. Of course the stand by of putting up the toys and this one is new but she love to do it makes her feel big...put groceries away in the pantry. (Sometimes I have to go back and straighten a little but it's worth it b/c she feels she's contributing.)

Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

Anything and everything, even if he doesn't do it that great right now. My "bar" is to let them do/try anything that won't wind them up in the ER

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