It can sometimes be a struggle to get kids to do their chores, but with some creativity, it doesn’t have to be. That’s where a chore chart comes in.
Most kids enjoy using a chore chart to see the progress they’ve made throughout the day and to see how much more they have yet to do. It’s the same mentality as lists.
We all like knowing what tasks we have to do in a day’s time and there’s something to be said for crossing items off that list.
Kids get that same feeling of accomplishment when they check off a chore box. And they don’t even have to ask you what chores they still have to finish because it’s on their chart.
This allows kids to be self-sufficient and teaches them responsibility. When our girls used chore charts, we awarded points for every day they finished all their chores without getting reminded.
Rarely did we have to ask our girls to finish their chores. They took pride in their work and loved cashing in their points for special time with mom and dad or for a favorite snack.
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How to Start a Chore Chart
Chore charts can be super basic, like the one I offer for free down below. Or it can include variables like columns for the entire family, a reward system, etc. (This chore chart is wonderful for those who like to get creative and want a more in-depth chart.)
The chore chart I include in this post is a weekly chart with a column to list chores and boxes that correspond with each day of the week. Your child can check off each box after completing each chore or, if they’re anything like my kids, they’ll want to cover each box with a sticker.
What are some age-appropriate chores for kids?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to raising kids, but generally, you as a parent know what your child can and can’t handle. But a good rule of thumb is, if they can navigate an electronic, they can work an appliance, like a washer and dryer or dishwasher.
Here is an infographic I put together with some basic guidelines:
What chores should be done daily?
Again, each household runs differently, but our chore charts usually listed only the tasks I expected our girls to handle in a day’s time.
For example, the girls are responsible for deep cleaning our bathrooms every Saturday, but I do the general wipe downs during the week. So bathrooms are not on their chore charts.
But making their beds, feeding our dog, dishes, etc. are on the chart because these are to be done every day. You want the chart to be something they can manage on their own.
If you add all the chores that are ever done in a month onto their charts, the kids won’t have the satisfaction of marking off their chores every day and they’ll become discouraged with it.
If you have workdays as we do, having a separate chore chart for those days is effective. We have used chore charts and hung them in the bathroom when our girls were learning how to clean them. I listed everything that needed cleaning and they checked off each box until they finished the space.
Another option is to have a day chart and a night chart. Our youngest came up with this when she was struggling to remember everything she needed to have done before bed.
We often sent her upstairs to brush her teeth, only to have her get sidetracked. A chart kept her focused, and she loved knowing she wasn’t forgetting anything.
Honestly, I think the less complicated we make things, the better. Kids thrive on structure, but it need not be complex.
My suggestion is to start small and find what works best for your child and your family. You can always tailor your charts to fit your needs as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
And if you’re concerned chore charts won’t be enough to motivate your child, check out this post for other ideas on how to get your kids to do their chores.
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About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.