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The Family Chore Chart: How to Organize One and Make it Fun for Kids

The Family Chore Chart: How to Organize One and Make it Fun for Kids

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The Family Chore Chart: How to Organize One and Make it Fun for Kids

Maybe you’ve just finished your yearly round of spring cleaning and realized how much extra you had to do due to letting some chores slide. Or maybe with schools out and summertime in full swing, things are more chaotic (and messy!) than usual with everyone home. Either way, you might be thinking it’s time to make a family chore chart. If you’ve never made one, there are so many reasons why you should, ways to organize it, and ideas for making it fun for your kids! And here is a short guide to get you started.

1. Why you should make a family chore chart

2. To reward or not to reward, that is the question

3. How to know which chores are age-appropriate

4. How to organize a family chore chart

5. Ideas for making a family chore chart fun for kids 

1. Why you should make a family chore chart

Parenting a child can be a highly subjective experience, which lends extensive debate to many parenting topics. But one topic which, at its core, is rather unanimously agreed upon is that including your kids in a household chore routine is a GOOD idea. The methods of which are up for debate. But the fact that giving your kids a sense of responsibility by including them in regular household tasks is a benefit to both your kids and you. 

How it helps you

First of all, whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a work-from-home parent, or a work-in-the-workplace parent, you’re a BUSY parent! No one ever said being a mom is easy. Whether you have a separate job or not, and whether you have outside help or not, every parent has a lot to do. And with an entire house of messy humans to maintain, apart from being a great mom and spouse, things can become overwhelming fast. 

But that’s where a family chore chart comes in handy! Whether you have one or a few kiddos, they can become your best helpers as they start growing up. The trick is to make helping fun (more on that later)! And since this is a family affair, don’t forget that your spouse should be in on the household chore help, too. Be sure to have an honest conversation between the two of you about what you both can handle, what your kids can handle, and where you might need outside help. 

How it helps your kids

Having a family chore chart not only helps relieve your workload of small household tasks, but it helps to teach your kids about responsibility and how to function as an adult. Not only do they learn adult life skills, but they learn how to work hard at any task. This understanding and experience of hard work helps them learn not only to be a successful adult but a successful member of the workforce in the future. 

The process should be gradual, of course, starting your little ones off with small tasks and assigning them more responsibility-dependent tasks as they get older. Especially with the little ones, it’s important to give praise simply for completing tasks even if they are not completed perfectly. They are learning, and the learning process is imperfect while always striving for ways to improve. 

2. To reward or not to reward, that is the question

Probably the biggest debate when it comes to the family chore chart is whether or not to offer a fiscal reward. What you choose is entirely up to you and how you decide to raise your children, but here is a brief synopsis of the debate. 

On one side, some parents believe it is important to reward their children with an allowance for completing chores because they believe it builds up an understanding of what it means to earn things at a young age. By having to earn their allowance, they learn the concept of earning money and the value of money. 

On the other side, however, some parents believe that you should not reward your children financially for doing everyday chores because they should understand that those are something you do out of thankfulness and as part of being a family, not for a prize. It is also a tough realization to learn early on that there are some things you need to do to function as an adult that you don’t get special rewards for. No one gets prizes as an adult for cleaning their own house, yet we all know we need to do it. But instilling a sense of independence and a job well done early on might be crucial!

Alternatively, as with most things, there might be a happy medium within the extremes. Perhaps there could be a system where certain everyday chores are compulsory and expected, while other more strenuous tasks are voluntary on a reward basis. But, again, this is all a parenting choice that is up to you!

3. How to know which chores are age-appropriate

So you’ve decided you need a family chore chart, but how do you know which tasks are appropriate for the various ages of your kids? For that, the people of the Child Development Institute have a great, fairly comprehensive analysis, which we will summarize here. 

Toddlers (Ages 2-3)

  • Put their toys away 
  • Fill up a cat or dog’s food bowl 
  • Place clothes in the hamper 
  • Dust or wipe baseboards with socks on their hands 
  • Pile up books and magazines on shelves or tables 
  • Help make the beds 
  • Mop small areas with a dry mop

Preschoolers (Ages 4-5)

  • Make their bed without supervision 
  • Clear the table 
  • Pull weeds 
  • Use a hand-held vacuum for crumbs or room edges 
  • Water flowers 
  • Put away clean utensils 
  • Wash plastic dishes with supervision 
  • Assist an older sibling with setting the table 
  • Help bring in light groceries 
  • Sort laundry into whites and colors before wash 
  • Match socks together 
  • Dust with a cloth 
  • Care for an animal’s food and water dishes

Primary Schoolers (Ages 6-9)

  • Sweep the floors 
  • Help make bagged or boxed lunches 
  • Rake the yard 
  • Clean their own bedrooms, with minimal supervision 
  • Put away the groceries 
  • Load the dishwasher 
  • Empty the dishwasher or drain 
  • Vacuum 
  • Help a parent prepare dinner   
  • Make their own snacks/breakfast 
  • Scrub the table after meals 
  • Put away their own laundry 
  • Take the family dog for a walk (in the yard or with supervision) 
  • Wet mop 
  • Empty indoor trash bins into the kitchen trash

Middle Schoolers (Ages 10-13)

  • Wash the dishes or load the dishwasher without assistance 
  • Wash the family car 
  • Prepare easy meals without assistance 
  • Use the clothes washer and dryer 
  • Take the trash to the bins 
  • Take the trash bins to the curb 
  • Babysit younger siblings with parents at home

High Schoolers (Ages 14+)

  • Clean out fridge 
  • Help deep clean kitchen (appliances and cabinets) 
  • Clean the toilet, sink, and shower in the bathroom 
  • Babysit younger siblings independently (for short periods) 
  • Mow the lawn 
  • Care for pets independently (including walks) 
  • Make more complex meals 
  • Accomplish small shopping trips alone (after receiving their license) 
  • Iron clothes 
  • Resew buttons on clothing 
  • Help parents with simple home or auto repairs

See Also
7 Easy Ways to Get Your House to Smell Good

4. How to organize a family chore chart

Great, so now you’ve decided you need a family chore chart and are aware of what chores might be appropriate for your kids. But how do you organize it? There are a few different ways to approach chore chart organization. 

  • Separate daily, weekly, and monthly chores
  • Separate by the amount of time needed to complete chore
  • Evaluate time needs and your daily schedule to build a functional daily chore list
  • Organize your family chore chart by rooms in the house
  • Assign your least favorite chores first

5. Ideas for making a family chore chart fun for kids

Okay, so now you’re all organized but now how do you make this family chore chart fun for the kids!? Luckily, a quick Pinterest search will enlighten you with countless ideas, but here are just a few of our favorite simple and fun options. 

Printable charts

To start off, shouldn’t a chore chart be…a chart? Not only is a printable chart fun, but it can be easy to personalize and reprint for your needs day to day, week to week, or month to month.

Lists/spreadsheets

The most straightforward option! If you don’t have time to dedicate to creating endless cute chore charts, a simple straightforward list or spreadsheet that’s easy to moderate might be your best bet. To make it fun, keep it colorful and incorporate things like stickers to check off each task!

Shoe organizer

You know that over-the-door pocket shoe organizer you barely use? Turns out it can be a perfect and fun tool for creating an actionable family chore chart! Using a system of index cards, give each person their own labeled row on the shoe organizer. Label the vertical columns of the organizer: Chores, Activities, Extra Credit, and Completed. Place the tasks in the appropriate slots, and allow the kids to move their completed cards to the final pocket in their row.

“Flower” pots

This one’s probably the cutest, but also requires the most pre-craft preparation on your part. Use one flower pot per child. Cut flowers out of paper and adhere each with glue or tape to some kind of stick. On each flower head, write the name of a chore or draw a picture. The objective is for each child to fill their flower pot with flowers every day. You can even have the kids decorate their own pots so it’s more personal.

And if all else fails, you can try getting the family excited for chores with a “Chore Wheel,” as Pam tries in The Office:


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