I am a big promoter of kid’s doing chores around the house. It’s simple to me: if they live in it – they need to help take care of it. Not only does it teach them responsibility and gives them a feel for what it takes to keep it clean, but I think their future wives will be thankful we didn’t baby and do everything for them. I have found that having a chore chart is a must. Not only does it help you keep track of what still needs to be done, but they LOVE filling in the squares. It’s also easy for me to say to my husband, “Can you help _____ with his chores?” He doesn’t have to ask questions… he can see exactly what is left to be done. I have done all sorts of different charts for the kids and they all serve the same purpose. I made a pack of different charts for boys and girls that you can buy on Etsy. These are fun and colorful – great if you’re just starting out with younger kids… but also great for older kids!
Potty training can be a challenge and a fun potty chart can make all the difference! For this one, you move the boy/girl around the maze and the child gets a treats for the big squares! When my son(s) got to the end they would get a bigger prize they picked out from the toy section beforehand.
Here’s what a large personalized chart could look like…
…you could laminate the chart and use dry-erase markers to fill in squares and re-use as many times as you want! Use titles below to customize chart for each child or make your own! When all 10 squares are filled in for a particular chore/task they get a treat reward and start over for that task.
If there’s one task a child particularly struggles with you can focus in on it more with a single chart…
…like adding toppings to an ice cream cone!
…adding spots to a giraffe!
I ended up creating a whole new chore chart system for my kids recently that I can change as needed and print off a new one each week. For now, I just switch a few things between my biggest boys every-other week so they’re not doing the same thing all the time.
Here’s what they look like:
Caden is 7-years-old and can do everything by himself, except the dishes.
Jordan is 5-years-old and doesn’t “read”, instead looks at books or we read to him. For the bathroom sink he uses Clorox disinfectant wipes – super easy for kids!
Jonah is almost 3-years-old and was feeling left out that he didn’t have a chart. We made him one but don’t hold him to it. Once in a while he’ll do something and can mark it on his chart.
I designed the charts so there are certain chores they have to do at certain times of the day and that really helps so we don’t have a backlog of chores right before bed. You can see for my oldest boys they have 2 bold lines separating their chores. The top section needs to be done in the morning before they go to school. The middle section needs to be done right after school before they play. The last section is mostly after we eat dinner. I put thumbnail pictures to the side of each chore to help my 5-year-old since he can’t read yet.
We have what is called CHORE OF THE DAY and it is the kids favorite chore! What I did was write a chore on each side of a popsicle stick (chores that need to get done once in a while but not necessarily everyday). I have 4 sticks – so 8 possible chores. They close their eyes and pick one of the sticks. I tell them the 2 options for that stick and they get to pick the chore they like the most. They love it because THEY get to choose! (Chores on the back: fold blankets, clean under couch, organize toy drawer, organize coat rack).
We are not perfect about doing chores, and they usually get about half of their squares filled in. Not perfect but it’s something and that’s better than nothing.
I made a rule that they can only fill in their chart on THAT day… if the next day comes around and they forgot to fill squares in I don’t let them go back (otherwise they’d start filling in squares willy-nilly).
I didn’t really like the idea of paying the kids to do their chores because I feel like it’s just part of being in the family and living in the house. We were going to do something fun as a family if they got their charts completely filled in instead. Well, that’s more difficult than you’d think! I ended up telling them that for every square they filled in they could get 10 cents at the end of the week. Now that they have a chance to earn money they can learn how to save money, discover how much toys actually cost (take better care of them), etc.
I’ve heard from various people that you shouldn’t take away what kids earn. Somedays are hard and it seems like it’s more work for me to get them to do a chore than it’s worth. If I have to ask them 3 times to do something I put a frowny face on their chart and that takes away 25 cents from what they would have earned.
I make sure to remind the kids they aren’t getting paid to do their chores because it’s just what needs to be done to have a nice house. Instead I tell them mommy and daddy are so glad for their help and it’s our way of showing that we appreciate what they do.
Here is Jonah doing his chore of the day – cleaning under the couch!
Jordan wanted to do the dishes himself for the first time.
The boys putting their own laundry away! This is SUCH a big help to me – they don’t even know!