6 years old is a wonderful age to be. Your child will be relishing in their newfound abilities, self-confidence, and knowledge. While at five, they required a lot of hand-holding—both literally and figuratively, your 6 year old will be able to do many more things by themselves.
So how does this translate into the types of chores you can give them? Well, chores for 6 year olds require a bit more responsibility, coordination, and other skills than chores for 5 year olds. They’re also not as complicated as chores for 7 year olds.
Below, you’ll find a roundup of the best chores for 6 year olds that will help them develop key skills while having some fun along the way.
If you read our guide on chores for 5 year olds, you’ll recall that getting your child to water the garden is one of the top chores for this age group. Now that they’ve mastered the art of watering a garden, it’s time to progress to proper gardening. For more, here’s our list of the 11 easiest plants for kids to grow at home.
As is the case with any other type of skill development, it’s always a good idea to build upon their existing skills. So how can you do this with gardening? Let them get their hands dirty by doing everything from pulling weeds to potting plants.
Believe it or not, there are significant benefits to getting your 6 year old to garden. Michigan State University notes that gardening gives young children an opportunity to practice their locomotor, body management, and object control skills, to name just a few examples.
2. Help Make Lunch
Another way to progress your 6 year old’s existing skills with chores is to get them to help make lunch. This is a step up from the chore of making simple sandwiches that we recommended for 5 year olds. At 6, your child will be able to work their way around the kitchen with far more ease, and hopefully, excitement.
While they may not be able to master something as complex as a soufflé yet, there’s no shortage of delicious recipes they can make for the family. For most dishes, adult supervision will be needed. You’ll also need to run through safe food handling techniques and how to safely use kitchen utensils.
3. Set the Table
While we’re on the subject of food, setting the table is an ideal chore for 6 year olds. They have the necessary motor skills, coordination, and listening skills to complete this chore without a fuss. Of course, as they may need to handle knives, be sure to instruct them on how to safely do so.
This doesn’t need to be a boring chore, either. Make it fun by encouraging them to add their own flair to table settings. For example, perhaps they can design place cards for each family member and mock up a menu. They may even want to try their hand at some napkin folding techniques. Give them the space to unleash their creativity, and you’ll never hear a complaint about needing to do this chore.
4. Clear the Table
Every parent has heard the painful sound of plates coming crashing down at the hands of their toddler. It may have even been not too long ago, when your son or daughter tried to clear the table without much success. The good news is that your child is now at the perfect age to carry out this chore
They have enough physical strength and coordination to complete this task without trouble. The only hiccup you may encounter is that they complain that they’re always the one who needs to clear the table.
If you find this to be the case, be sure to take it in turns to carry out this chore. Doing so is a great way to demonstrate that all members of your family are equally responsible for keeping your house spick and span. It’s also an opportunity to model positive behavior.
5. Wipe the Table
Once the table is cleared, it’s time to wipe up all of the crumbs. Who should this chore fall on? Making it your child’s, whether every day or every other day, is a good idea for a few reasons.
For starters, it’s a simple and quick chore that all 6 year old children can do. After all, as long as the table is completely cleared of dishes, there’s really nothing that can go wrong… except for crumbs ending up on the floor! And as it’s not taxing, they can tick it off their list of chores with relative ease.
Just be sure they do a thorough job. To make sure they’re not rushing through, show them how to take care when wiping.
6. Wash the Dishes
Washing the dishes is one of those chores adults either love or hate. Your 6 year old won’t be any different. When deciding whether to assign this chore to them, you may want to factor in how they react. You’ll also need to work out if they’re even ready to handle this responsibility, as it won’t be a suitable chore for every child.
If you decide that they’re indeed ready and willing to take on this chore, one of the major benefits is that they’ll be developing a life skill. Washing the dishes additionally develops their coordination, sense of responsibility, and healthy habits. And what about if you have a dishwasher? Teach your child how to stack it as well.
7. Sort Laundry
Assigning this highly practical chore is sure to make any parent over the moon. Like all of the other chores listed here, it’s a critical life skill. After all, you don’t want your child to end up being the college freshman who still doesn’t know how to operate a washing machine.
The great thing about setting laundry as a chore is that there are numerous types of responsibilities involved. You can ask your child to complete a handful of them, or alternate between them. Better yet, you can get your child to pick which ones they’d like to be responsible for, in turn bolstering their sense of independence and autonomy.
Laundry-related chores you can assign to your 6 year old include:
- Separating clothes by color
- Turning on the washing machine
- Loading and unloading the washing machine
- Hanging clothes on the clothesline
- Folding clothes and towels
- Matching socks in pairs
- Turning clothes the right-side-out
- Pairing socks
Once you assign these chores to your 6 year old, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Chores are an excellent way to equip your child with the skills they need to thrive. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they help keep all adult family members that bit saner! If you’d like to discover more chore ideas, our custom chore chart and comprehensive guide on chores for toddlers are handy resources.