Chores are a great way to teach kids responsibility, independence, and self-sufficiency. Getting started with kids assigned chores can be challenging, but organization can help. Use one of these chore charts for kids to begin.
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At the beginning of this school year our family began a new morning routine.
After breakfast and before getting dressed, our girls began doing assigned chores – feeding the cat, making school lunches, sweeping the floor, etc.
It’s something I had been meaning to do for a long time, but getting the motivation to start was difficult.
But once our plan was in place and the kids knew what was expected, chores became routine and are now a normal part of what my girls do every day before school.
Now as the kids take care of these household tasks I just sit back, sip my tea, and enjoy scrolling through the morning news.
But truthfully, it has been nice to pass some responsibility over to my children (hello, packing their own school lunches!) and I love seeing them confidently contribute to the household.
One key to being successful with kids’ chores is to write them down – that way there’s no question about who’s responsible for what on a given day.
Chore charts do just that. And they also serve as a visual reminder (for both parents and kids!) of which chores need to be done and when.
13 fun chore charts for kids
The following are some of the best chores charts for kids that I’ve found. A few cost money while others are free printable chore charts. You can laminate downloadable chore charts and use a dry erase marker
Try to find a chart that fits your family, life, and the timing of when your children need to do their chores.
Lemon Squeezy Home‘s DIY chore chart for both younger kids and teens:
Self-Sufficient Kids‘ printable chore chart:
A clear acrylic chore chart from 1801 & Co.:
A minimalist chore chart for older kids from GoGetterClub:
A list of tasks from I Should be Mopping the Floor:
A whimsical design from A Beautiful Mess:
A DIY chore chart option from Craftaholics Anonymous:
A turquoise personalized chart from Whimsy & Hope:
A fun, playful design from Hello Cuteness:
The Freebie Finding Mom‘s chart:
A colorful minimalist design from Simply Designing:
Penny Pinchin’ Mom‘s chore chart:
From A Bowl Full of Lemons:
Chore Chart Ideas & List of Chores for Kids
Of course, you’ll need to come up with a few things to put on your kids’ chore list. Here are a few chore ideas to help you get started:
Age-appropriate chores for kids ages 5 and under
- Pick up toys
- Put dirty clothes in hamper
- Help set dinner table
- Put away laundry
- Make bed
- Tidy bedroom (with assistance)
- Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher
- Get mail from mailbox
- Feed pets
- Put away groceries
- Help load the dryer
- Help match socks
- Rake leaves
- Weed garden
- Water plants
Get your kids started on chores with these cards. They can serve as a visual reminder for kids and make doing chores fun! Click here to learn more.
Age-appropriate chores for ages 6-12
- All previous
- Wash bathroom sinks
- Clean counters
- Sweep floors
- Put together lunch for school
- Vacuum small areas
- Wash dishes
- Bring trash to curb on trash day
- Fold laundry and put it away in room
- Wash, dry and put away laundry (around age 8-10)
- Make easy meals for family (with assistance at first)
- Mop kitchen floor and bathroom
- Clean toilets
- Wash windows
- Take out the garbage
Age-appropriate chores for kids 13 and older
- Iron clothes
- Vacuum entire house
- Unload dishwasher
- Mow the lawn
How to Successfully Begin Chores with Kids
Picking out a chore chart is a great first step to beginning chores with kids, but it’s going to take a few more steps to be successful.
Interested in getting your kids started on chores? My four-lesson course will teach you how to get started, avoid nagging & power struggles, and keep your kids motivated. Click here or the image below to learn more.
Tip #1: Toddlerhood is best age to begin:
Giving toddlers chores may see absurd – at this age, kids can barely tie their own shoes. But toddlers are naturally willing helpers and are eager to get involved in cleaning. Harness that willingness now before it fades. To begin chores with your toddler click here for more advice.
But what if your children are beyond toddlerhood? Not to worry, it’s still possible to begin chores with kids, no matter their age. It’ll just take a bit more finesse to encourage kids to begin doing household work. The following tips will help you get there.
Tip #2: Let kids have input:
Both adults and kids are more motivated to do work when it’s work they’ve chosen – as opposed to something that’s been imposed upon them. So letting kids have input into which chores they do is a great first step in keeping them motivated to do their chores.
After you pick out a chore chart above, have all family members decide who will do which chores. Including parents in the discussion reinforces the idea that chores are something that every family member does. Kids may be surprised to learn just how much their parents already do around the house.
Beginning chores on this note creates a sense of teamwork and working together for the family’s greater good.
Tip #3: Make sure tasks are age-appropriate:
Kids will feel discouraged if they’re given chores that are too difficult. Make sure your children are choosing chores they can handle and can accomplish successfully.
To see which chores are age-appropriate for your child, click here to gain access to my Age Appropriate Chores for Children List.
Tip #4: Teach kids how to do the chores they’ve chosen:
Sometimes parents assume kids will know how to do a chore that’s easy for a parent to do. But kids almost always need a bit of guidance. Take the time to coach your kids about how to do a chore well.
Also, be careful not to have too high standards. Young kids, in particular, will never do a chore as well as adults. Instead of focusing on a perfect completion of the chore, keep in mind the larger goal of raising a willing helper.
If you feel like your child (especially young child) will feel discouraged if they’re corrected too often, let minor imperfections slide. As kids get older, we can expect more from them, but the main objective of teaching kids responsibility should always come before perfectionism.
Tip #5: Point out the positive and then correct:
If you feel that it’s appropriate to give your child feedback on how they are completing their chore, try your best not to criticize or condemn. Kids will only feel discouraged if feedback is given as a criticism. And it’s like to cause them to not want to do chores anymore.
Instead, point out a positive aspect of their work and then ask them if you can share some advice for future improvement. Kids are more willing to listen to your advice if it’s framed in a non-dictatorial way and they’ve been asked permission first. This delivery continues to set the tone of teamwork and supporting one another as every family member cleans the home.
Tip #6: Have your family do a Cleaning Saturday:
Having kids do chores daily is a great way to establish habits of responsibility. But as a family you could also establish a once-a-month Cleaning Saturday when everyone comes together to clean the entire house.
Teamwork is on full display when everyone is working at the same time. And children get a bigger glimpse into what it really takes to clean a house when everything is accomplished in one day.
Another benefit to having a Cleaning Saturday is the satisfaction of having a fully clean home for at least a day. Or more realistically a few hours. 🙂
Tip #7: Have fun:
No one enjoys cleaning! (I actually know a few people do – which blows my mind – but aren’t they the exception?). So to keep kids motivated, try to make cleaning fun. Most kids enjoy listening to music or a podcast when cleaning. Others may enjoy playing a word game (like “I Spy”). These additions are especially helpful during a Cleaning Saturday when multiple tasks are completed at once.
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What to do next…
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3. Get your kids started on chores.
Learn how to get your child started on chores (& keep them motivated + avoid power struggles) by enrolling in my Get Your Kids Successfully Started on Chores course. Click here to learn more and sign-up.
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About Kerry Flatley
Hi! I’m Kerry, the mother of two girls and a certified parent educator. I believe it is possible for parents to have a supportive, loving, and warm relationship with their kids while raising them to be independent and ultimately self-sufficient. Over the years, I’ve read numerous books and articles that support this belief and I’ve put these ideas into practice with my own kids. Read more about me and Self-Sufficient Kids here.