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 right 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 encourage 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.
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.
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 7 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 setting 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 can come in. For kids aged six to 18, the service combines a 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.
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 7 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 clothes 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.
Putting away toys
Putting toys away is a great chore for 6-year-olds to start practicing taking good care of their belongings. This habit helps kids build personal responsibility for their space while preventing toys from being lost or broken.
Wipe up food spills
Chores for 7 year olds need to be simple while still helping them build life skills like cleaning. Show kids how to wipe up food spills, so they can clean up after themselves. Consider having 6 and 7 year olds wipe up food spills after meals.
Taking out garbage
Taking out the garbage to the outside bin might be too much for younger children, but they can start helping empty trash by bringing smaller waste baskets from around the house to the main household bin and sorting recycling.
Two perfect chores for 6 year olds are stacking books on shelves and organizing magazines. Getting kids involved with tasks in shared family areas can help them feel like they’re contributing to the household.
Clearing the table
Consider having kids help clear the table after meals, but be mindful of any fragile or heavy dishes. Kids aged six and seven can help carry dishes, throw away trash, and empty plates. Parents can also have children help put away any leftovers.
Washing dishes in sink
Washing dishes is an important skill, and the earlier your child can start learning, the better. Start with easier dishes and avoid any fragile or heavy items. Show your child how to wash things thoroughly and stack dishes so they dry well. Be prepared to walk kids through the process a few times as they learn.
Depending on how easy your vacuum is to use, vacuuming may be a suitable chore for younger kids. Help children learn how to go over floors and make sure they know how to operate the vacuum properly.
Help put away groceries
6 and 7-year-olds can help carry in bags of groceries after shopping and pull items out of bags. As kids get familiar with where things go and how to pull items out of packaging, they can better help put groceries away where they belong.
Help parents make dinner
Many kids love getting involved in the kitchen, and helping with dinner is a great way to start teaching basic cooking skills. Start small with easy tasks and work up to bigger responsibilities as kids grow.
While most 6 and 7-year-olds can’t do their own laundry yet, they can start helping out. Have kids pair socks and show them how to fold different items like pants and shirts. Have kids sort folded laundry into piles or put folded clothes into a 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.
Bring in newspaper from outside
Grabbing the morning paper is an easy task for kids, especially early risers. Have your child grab the paper and pick a designated spot for them to put it in the house.
Parents can start teaching their children how to walk pets early, even if they aren’t ready to walk alone yet. Show kids how to care for their pets, clean up after them, and handle a leash responsibly.
Pulling weeds and old leaves are good chores for 6 to 7 year olds to get outside. Teach children to wear proper gloves and use any garden tools needed to do the job. You’ll likely need to pull weeds with your child until they’ve practiced enough to do it independently.
Get the mail
Like grabbing the newspaper, young kids often get excited about grabbing mail out of the mailbox. Give kids a set location for where to put mail after they grab it, so nothing gets lost.
If you live in an area that snows, your child can help you shovel the sidewalk, driveway, and areas around the house in the winter. Show kids how to shovel correctly and have them help you as they learn.
Be a gopher
Young children are excellent at picking up new skills. If you’re working in the garage, on a project at home, or can bring them along for any work experience, they can do easy tasks to get involved. A gopher is responsible for grabbing items and doing easy jobs to help out, which makes a perfect way to get younger kids involved in a new skill while they watch and learn.
As kids take on more responsibility with chores, consider building a chore chart and allowance system. Set them up with their own GoHenry kids debit card to easily manage chores and payments. Your child can build essential life skills while learning smart ways to manage their money.