Chores for a 6 Yr Old

Updated on July 27, 2010
D.S. asks from Miami, FL
14 answers

Hi ladies,
My son just turned 6 years old and has never had any tipy of chore or responsabilities. I know its taken me long, so I want to start before its too late; can anybody give ideas on what type of chores are appropiate for his age group? also do you have any samples of reward charts?
The other thing is, do you give them allowance? how much for this age group?
Thank you!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Columbus on

you have a lot of good responses below... I just want to comment on something my parents use to tell me when I wanted an allowance. I can hear my dad now..... "you don't pay us to do things for you.... why should we pay you to do things around the house"...use to make me mad since my other friends were getting an allowance but now I understand. It makes sense for them to help, the whole family to pitch in......

More Answers



answers from Harrisburg on

Vacuum floors, take laundry out of washer, take/load dishwasher, take groceries out of car, clean his room (make bed) - Pretty much anything that won't break his back or cause him harm. He might not do it perfectly or do it every day religiously, but he can sure try and get some type of routine task done. It doesn't even have to be 10 different things. His one chore might be just to take the light groceries from the car when you shop. You are basically just trying to teach responsibility.



answers from Indianapolis on

My just-turned-5-year-old has these on her chore chart:
put clean clothes away (I put them on her bed)
give cat water
set the dinner table
help put food away and dirty dishes to sink after dinner
put her breakfast dishes in sink
make bed
have all toys/books/clothes off bedroom floor by bedtime

My 8 year old does most of those but they aren't on his chart anymore... now that he's in the habit, he just does those. His stuff is more like plan dinner menu 1 day a week, help cook dinner a few times a week, feed/water dog, walk dog, pick up sticks before we mow yard, etc.

The kids have opportunties to do more for extra $... stuff that isn't really normal everyday living stuff. Like helping to spread the mulch around plants, wash the cars, trim the bushes, cut/carry branches from a tree that falls during a wind storm, etc.

I just draw a grid on a piece of construction paper for each kid every week. That way we change up what they need to do - we're always adding more or removing stuff as it becomes habit.

Our 5 year old gets $1 allowance, the 8 year old just got an increase on his birthday last week to $2 (a week). We usually keep the allowance separate from chores. They don't help out around the house for money - they are expected to help out around the house because they are part of the family. The allowance is tied to behavior, however - especially for our son (ADHD, Asperger's, Anxiety issues, highly gifted) because it's a great motivator for him and he struggles with basic social interactions due to his disabilities. We use the 1-2-3 method but time-outs are meaningless to an AS kid who craves time alone and sees it as a reward. So we take away 10 cents if/when we get to '3' on a behavior thing. We will take away some of the allowance if a certain chore is routinely not completed but that doesn't happen very often.

Many experts say the purpose of an allowance is to teach kids how to handle money. It's MUCH better for them to blow $20-$50 when they are 6 or 7 years old, and learn how to not impulse buy, then when they are teenagers (heck, many adults never learn this!). So we don't really enforce rules for their money... they can save it, they can blow it on candy or comic books or video games or give it away. For the first year, my son spent it as soon as he got it... and regretted it the next day. Took him awhile, but he learned and is now saving up for a video game he wants... it takes a long time with $1/week (now will go faster with his birthday 'raise') but he's sticking to it and learning valuable lessons. He also saves birthday/Christmas money and is close to his goal (been saving for 4 months). Last year he actually saved enough to buy a $70 lego set. Just before that, though, he blew $30 on some toy he saw on TV and begged us to order online for him. We tried to talk him out of it, saying how commercials dont' always tell the truth, make toys seem better than they are, etc but he persisted and we did it. He learned that lesson the hard way, but at least he learned it. :-)

My 5 year old just turned 5 and just started an allowance. She'll learn alot more about counting money in kindergarten this year. I'm sure she'll blow it on trash for awhile, but she'll learn.

The amount depends on what you want them to spend allowance on. When my son went to $2 we told him we were no longer going to buy him candy. If he wants something at the ice rink or ball field concession stand or candy store, he has to spend his own $$. If the kids want soemthing at a souvenier place like the local zoo or Children's Museum (we go to both often), they spend their own $$. If we go out of town to somewhere special, we'll buy 'em soemthing from the gift shop or tell them we'll give them $5 or $10 and they can spend their money to buy somethign more expensive.



answers from Chicago on

My son at that age would do these chores:

1)Help feed the dog/cats

2)pick up his room

3) 'help' me fold laundry, then put his laundry away

4)help me pick up the house


6)'help' make dinner and put dishes in the dishwasher ( with grownup help)

We did not start giving an official 'allowance' at that age. We tried using a 'reward' sheet, but none of us, including my son, seemed very interested in sticking with it, lol. Usually we would 'target' something he really wanted - a toy he liked, a movie he wanted to see, etc. and let him know that he needed to do his chores for that to happen.\

The other big thing we have always insisted on with chores is a GOOD ATTITUDE. Being grumpy, complaining or dragging your feet negates the chore, in our household. He needs to show willing and be cheerful and just do his part to keep the house running, just like the rest of the family!



answers from Washington DC on

I have seen this question a lot lately, and I feel mean!! haha - my kids do a lot of stuff, but only because they know if has to be done for a family of 5 to function. If I had one kid it would be different, but good for you for teaching him the responsiblitly. My kids all basically do the same things, with different levels of adult help or sibling help. My three year old LOVES to push the is one of his FAVORITE things to do. My 5 and 7 year old do dishes, and the 3 year old puts away the silverware. Great for counting and shapes! They all bring laundry from the hamper to the washer, my 7 year old turns the water on and puts the soap in, and they all play basketball to get the clothes in. They even like to sort out the whites! They all clean up their own rooms and load their own dinner dishes. As long as you dont make chores a bad thing, he will love them. Though my kids do get the chores they don't like if they are being extra difficult in a day. Good luck!



answers from Redding on

6 year olds can do lots of things!
Sweep, vacuum, dust, rake the yard, set/clear the table, fold laundry, help load the dishwasher or put the clean silverware away, feed and water pets, etc.

I didn't pay my kids to do chores, but sometimes if I gave them a big "job" like raking all the leaves and putting them in bags, I'd offer them a few bucks IF they did a good job. By good job, I don't mean perfect, but no whining or just doing half the yard and stopping. I always told them I could do it myself for free so if they weren't going to do it that was fine. But, they still had to do their other chores, which they didn't get paid for.
We never kept a chart or anything. I suppose it works for some people but my kids took turns doing this or that and it's actually funny, because they would argue about who got to use the new swiffer or duster.
Some kids hate doing chores, but if you start them out doing it just as a matter of helping with what needs to be done around the house, I think they take to it better. I never wanted my kids to feel like they had to be paid everytime they folded a load of towels that they and their friends had used outside playing in the water in the first place or helping put groceries away.

I think it's best to start early though, because if kids are used to not having to do anything, it's harder to convince them chores are good for them.
Always notice a good attitude and job well done (even if it's not perfect) because kids really do, deep down, like to feel important by helping.

Best wishes!



answers from Washington DC on

- clear his place at the table.
- pick up his room
- put his clothes in the hamper
- help sort dirty clothes into piles.
- help put light-weight groceries away



answers from Dallas on

dust furniture or polish.
Clean glass windows or mirrors in reach.
Sweep porch/patio.
Care for pet (feeding, bathing, brushing).
Pulling weeds.
Learning how to cook with you starting with simple things.
Put away toys before bed. Put up books.
Sorting laundry.
Help clear the dining table of serving bowls (if not breakable) and shake out mats, and wipe the table.

You're also teaching him pride in learning new things, in helping others, in getting some satisfaction in a job well done, in playing by the rules of the house, in getting rewards for allowance that come not with each thing, but in doing all things well for a week. (Having a goal like a bicycle to save for helps motivate too.)



answers from Scranton on

my daughter is 7 and she picks up the dirty clothes and puts them in the laundry room, cleans up her toys and messes, clears the table, helps her younger sibs pick up the yard after playing outside, runs the vacume, unloads the dishwasher so i can reload, among other things. i mean i don't sit eating bon bons watching her i am also cleaning to. she dosnt do every chore every day except clear the table and unload the dishwasher and of coarse pick up after herself, when her 5 year old step-brother is here he helps her. even my 21 month old has to pick up his toys and throw his dirty diapers in the garbage. my 3 year old also has chores. with 5 sometimes 6 of us living here and 25 acres to take care of everyone pitches in to help as i am not a maid! i started my kids out young though and if your son is just starting i wouldnt give him all the chores i have my older ones doing. Megan C has a good list. but don't be afraid of him breaking dishes though if you ask him to clear the table as things are replaceable. i wouldnt have him handle good china or anything though lol.



answers from Pittsburgh on

You already have a great list of chores from all who have posted. My children do many of these things as well. The only thing different that I can add to the list is that my now 7 year old also loves to take the recycling items down to the recycling box and put them in. Also my kids like to put away their own clothes, my kids love to be given the hangers and put their own shirts on the hangers and hang them up. As far as rewards, I use quarters. My kids do not get quarters for every task, that way they are not just doing it to get paid. I will often give one or two quarters depending on how many chores they have done and if it is a big job or they have helped out a lot I may give a dollar or two. The easy part with quarters is that you usually have them around and they can add up quickly. It also makes the child feel good to earn $$.
Good Luck


answers from Spokane on

This is what my 6 yr old can do. This is not what he ALWAYS does but these are the things that he can do when they are needed. I do not have a reward system for him nor does he receive an this point everyone pitches in and helps tidy up because we are a family and that's what family does...however I can see giving him an set "chore chart" and an allowance when he becomes a teenager and needs some "Green for the hand" as my DH says!

-Clean his room
-Make his bed
-Wipe down kitchen counters
-Take recycling out to the bin and curb
-Rig and un-rig for vacuuming the pool
-Test Chlorine level in pool
-Empty out skimmer basket in pool
-Throw in a load of laundry into the washer
-Move clothes from washer to dryer
-Help rake pine needles
-Help straighten family room and living room
-Carry in fire wood



answers from Toledo on

First off, I do not give an allowance. My thought (and many may disagree), why should I pay my child to do things that are expected. It has become an expectation in our home that you will do things to help mommy out around the house. My children love the praise and positive comments and hugs and kisses they get instead.

Some of my almost 6 y/o's responsibilities. She usually has at least one responsibility a day and if she refuses, there is a natural consequence.
-setting the table
-emptying out the dishwasher
-feeding/watering the dog or cat
-picking up her room
-putting her clothes I folded or hung on hangers away
-helping to pick up the family/toy room
-helping make dinner (she LOVES this and it is more like a reward)
-water my outside plants



answers from Cleveland on

Kids are all different, and I'm right there with the other mom who said she felt mean, lol, but I have a family of 5 and a baby on the way, plus we homeschool and I do daycare from home while DH works 50 hours a week. Without my kids help I think my home would fall apart.

We have a list, not for rewards but so I do not have to sit there and tell them to do things all day long. The kids are in charge of
-feeding dog, fish, turtles and hermit crabs
-making beds and keeping rooms clean, all toys put away, clothing put away , dirty clothes in hamper ect.
-setting table, clearing their own dishes and putting their things in the dishwaser
-my boys carry laundry up and downstairs for me, (age 10 and 9) though they can not sort it, and they load the washer, and switch things into the dryer for me as well. I do the soap and such for the wash.
- they all help with yard work, clean up dog poo, pull weeds
and i know that they can dust, vacuum and wipe down the bathrooms id i really need them to
We started chores from the time they were old enough to put an empty cup in the sink, or pick up their toys, and while they are not paid for it, they know that the more we work together the faster things get done and the more time we have for fun.



answers from Muncie on

He should be able to keep his room the way you request it. Bed made, floor picked up and clothes put away. He can probably help you with laundry, like taking his basket out where you want it and helping you fold socks, towels and washcloths. He can help clean up the house by cleaning up his things (my daughters toys magically migrate into the living room). He can either set or clear the table, load a dishwasher if you set aside the dishes you want him to be handling (some people pre-rinse, if you do, you can just hand him what you want him to load). If you have pets he can take care of them. At 6 he should be able to understand the concept of saving and earning money. I would suggest a quarter for every year he is (6 quarters) per full day of chores. You can even make it 6 chores a day and if he misses one, he looses a quarter. They make chore charts, you could find on easily on-line. You can put a sticker on each finished chore then at the end of the day, before bed, you count up his stickers and let him put his earnings in his jar/pig.

My daughter is nearly 4 and loves to help, I let here towel dry and put away the plastic containers. She folds and puts away washcloths, she'll even carry my and my husband's clothes into our room and sets them on the sides of the bed that we sleep on.

Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions