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Looking for an easy to use kids chore chart? This post outlines how to set up chores with your kids, what ages are best for what chores and how to make it all work realistically!
Thank you to Gain for sponsoring this post.
Let's talk about chores (are your kids groaning already?)……here's the thing. When I was a classroom teacher, we had weekly jobs. The kids rotated turns, and they LOVED being the paper passer or the door monitor. So, what's the difference between those classroom jobs and chores at home? The setup. The way we talk about them. Right? At school? Those jobs are a responsibility and the kids are treated like mini-adults. They are responsible for those things. We expect them to do their job with minimal prompting and most kids? Thrive with those responsibilities.
I created a kids chore chart for our household after one too many rants about how I feel like I'm doing too much of the cleaning and household tasks on my end. It was my millionth time asking my child to pick up her toys, and I realized…..I was totally missing the point. I needed to set up some reasonable expectations, and stick to them.
Printable Kids Chore Chart: How to Make Chores Work in Your House
Expectations by Age: Now, here's the thing. Different ages have different capabilities when it comes to chores and household responsibilities. And a huge part of our success here? We will be having realistic expectations of our kids (and ourselves).
A few ideas for each age group:
Toddlers (ages 2-4): put away toys in a basket or bin, putting trash in the trashcan, putting clothes away in drawers, putting laundry in the dirty clothes basket
Preschool and Early Elementary (ages 5-8): setting and clearing the table, folding clothes and putting away, making the bed, sweeping and mopping, putting away groceries
Setting these expectations up by age has been a HUGE help for us. Lydia is six, and we just added a couple of new responsibilities to her chart. She's now in charge of setting and clearing the table, which she loves. And her other big responsibility? Helping with folding laundry and putting it away.
This has totally changed our laundry routine and made my life a million times easier. How does it look these days? I do the washing and sorting and Lydia helps with the folding and putting away. In fact, this was perfect timing because we also just started using a new laundry detergent and it's a WHOLE zen experience. We started using Gain with Essential Oils and I'm……obsessed. Detergent with Lavender & Calm Chamomile? It's amazing. This concentrated detergent works in all types of washing machines and contains no dyes, phosphates, CFCs, or parabens. Bonus? It does really well in a cold wash (that's always my test). There are three variations (Lavender & Calm Chamomile, Eucalyptus & Mindful Mint, and Orange & Energetic Grapefruit) and the Lavender? Makes me ALMOST feel like I'm at the spa (you know, just surrounded by laundry). The scent lasts amazingly well, and its such a treat….I love that we can experience the scent of essential oils with every wear or use.
How to Monitor: Ok, so let's talk about how to monitor the chores you choose. In our house each day, we expect Lydia to set and clear the table for meals, fold and put away laundry, pick up her own toys, and to water her plants. So how do we do this? We created a simple kids chore chart and it's SUPER helpful. On one side, we list the chores for each day. On the other, a spot for each day of the week. As she completes each task, she puts a check for that day. She's in charge of this HERSELF. I check at the end of the day.
Freedom to do the Work: Now here's the hard part. I have to give her the space to DO THE CHORES. With a younger child, I'd probably give more guidance. But for a six-year-old? My goal is minimal prompting. She knows what she needs to do. She can set the table at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. As long as it's set for dinner, that's on her. And I've found at this age, she does better with the ability to choose. Did it take a few days to get into the habits? Absolutely. But now? It's been moving pretty smoothly!
Do you do chores at your house? Do you have a kids chore chart you use? Be sure to let me know if you try using ours!