By the age of six and seven, many children are familiar with some of their parents' household tasks. It's also around this age that some parents begin thinking about encouraging their kids to start helping out with household chores. It's up to each family to decide whether to ask their kids to help with the housework.
While it might work well for one household, it might not be suitable for another. But if you do feel that the time is for your kids to start helping out at home, you may also want to think about making chores fun and rewarding them for their efforts. Many kids love the idea of earning their own money, even if it's only a small amount. It's also a fantastic way to motivate kids to do their chores and introduce them to money management and establish a link between work and money.
If you do decide to give your kids chores to do, it's important that you give them age-appropriate chores. Says Sue Atkins, Family Parenting Expert and author of Parenting Made Easy, “The best way to set chores is to do it in an incremental way, Start with small, simple chores and gradually increase the difficulty and complexity so kids can learn new skills and develop a sense of responsibility. Incremental chores can also help kids feel like they are making a difference and contributing to the family team.
While our Youth Economy Report found that doing laundry became an increasingly popular task in 2021, this might be beyond a six-year-old. However, there are plenty of tasks your six or seven-year-old can help out with if you want them to start learning some valuable skills.
Age-appropriate chores for 6-7 year olds
- Making the bed
- Tidying and cleaning their bedroom
- Putting clothes away
- Putting out clothes for the next day
- A list of outdoor chores
- Watering plants
- Raking leaves
- Planting flowers
- Cleaning garden furniture
Why chores matter at this age
While it's entirely your choice to give your kids chores, asking them to help out around the house can really benefit them, now and in the future. If you decide to reward your children for completing chores, this will form the foundation of their financial education. While you may only pay them a small amount for a task, it will help them link money and work, and as their ‘earnings’ build up, they'll be able to see the value in their efforts. But their financial education doesn't end there. They may also begin to learn what it means to save their money (especially if they have their eye on a new toy), and how to spend responsibly.
There are also practical life skills that children can learn from doing chores. While chores for a seven-year-old may not be particularly complex, it will teach them basic skills that they can build on, such as putting their toys away, dusting the furniture or laying the table. It can also help to feel part of a team and a sense of pride that they are making an important contribution to the household.
Reward your kids for completing chores with GoHenry
Rewarding your kids for doing their chores is a great way to motivate them to help out around the house and thank them for their efforts. One of the benefits of chores and related rewards is that it teaches kids about the benefits of hard work and doing a good job. But if you are looking to combine rewards with learning valuable money management skills, then that's where a GoHenry prepaid debit card for kids can come in. For kids aged six to 18, the service combines a GoHenry prepaid debit card, a phone app to view and set goals, and parental controls. It's a safe way to pay your children for doing their chores while also keeping a watchful eye over their spending and saving habits. It also comes with many useful features, including spending notifications, instant transfers, spending limits and great money-saving offers.
Once you set up a GoHenry prepaid debit card account for your kids, you can create rules for where they spend their money, including weekly limits and reward them for doing household chores. The kids get their own personalised GoHenry prepaid debit card which they can use online, in shops or at ATMs to withdraw cash. You’ll also have access to GoHenry's Money Missions, which feature interactive games and quizzes to help kids learn about managing their money.
Establishing chore guidelines
Have a chat with your kids about how they feel about helping out with some chores, and then agree on a few chore guidelines for everyone to follow. For example:
It doesn't have to be perfect
Chores for seven-year-olds may be similar to some of the basic tasks you do around the house, but — being realistic — kids that age aren't going to do the same chores as an adult. They probably won't be as thorough as you, will make mistakes and may even create more mess. That's fine. It's more important that you focus on their eagerness to learn and help and guide them until they do it independently.
Family life can get very busy. But when it comes to chores, if you want to keep up their momentum and enthusiasm, you must try to find the balance of being consistent without putting pressure on your kids.
Preparing a chore chart
A chore chart is a great way for everyone to see what they need to do to help out and when they need to do it. Ask the kids to help you prepare the chore chart and pick which tasks they'd most like to complete, making sure the chores they pick are age-appropriate. Then you can split your chore chart into three columns — one for the list of chores and who will be doing it, one for the deadline, and one where kids can add a tick to mark the chore complete. Make sure you put the chart somewhere that everyone in the family can see it, such as on the front of the fridge.
A list of indoor chores
Making the bed
Many children from the age of six to seven can start each day by making their beds. It's a good habit for them to get into each morning, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Give them a few demonstrations of how to do it, and then leave it to them to ask for help if they need it.
Tidying and cleaning their bedroom
By this age, most kids will have a basic idea of how to tidy a room and where things go, especially when it's their bedroom. You can encourage them to get started by picking up and putting away their toys and putting books back on the shelf and dirty clothes in the laundry basket.
Putting clothes away
While they may not be able to fold or put clothes away as neatly as you would, most six and seven-year-olds will be able to pair clean socks and put their clean clothes away in the correct place.
Putting out clothes for the next day
One of the simplest tasks you can give your kids is to get their school uniform out ready for the next day. Make sure they know to get everything ready, including pants and socks.
A few tasks that kids aged six to seven can help out with in the bathroom include changing the toilet paper roll, putting the empty roll in recycling, hanging up dropped towels and putting wet towels on the towel rail or in the laundry basket.
A list of outdoor chores
Whether with a watering can or the garden hose, kids aged six and seven can help water the plants in the garden. You may have to show them how much water to give the plants first to avoid them getting oversaturated.
Raking leaves is quite a fun job for kids to do. You can get child-sized rakes that are much easier and safer for them to use to rake leaves into tall piles.
Planting flowers in the garden is a great chore for seven-year-olds that they can really enjoy while learning about different plants and how to care for them.
Cleaning garden furniture
Garden furniture can get grubby over winter, so ask your six or seven-year-old to help you spring clean the outdoor tables and chairs to get them ready for the spring and summer.
How GoHenry can help
GoHenry is a prepaid debit card for kids with a companion app that makes it easy for parents to give their children pocket money for doing chores. With GoHenry, parents can quickly and easily set up tasks and pay their child's pocket money when they are marked complete. This helps children learn responsibility and the value of work.