The Chore Chart
The Chore Chart - a typical household task organizer that we all have visited at least once. Today, I am going to talk about creating a chore chart that actually works. I know, you're heard it all before, however, after shuffling through a few as a kids and trying out even more as a mom. I now know what it takes to make a successful chore chart - and it's not about the chart.
The most important part of chore charts is the expectation. While kids can contribute, and chore charts help organize and strategize how, it ultimately comes down to these two realities.
The chore chart is the easiest thing to overlook on a busy day.
The chore chart is more of a lesson than an actual solution for long to-do-lists for parents.
The chore chart is the easiest thing to overlook on a busy day because no one is grading it, no one is starving without it, and no one takes attendance. just remember that when you are holding your family meeting and laying out your color-coded cardstock assignment sheets.
Good intentions are golden, but some days, an overly simulated or emotional kid with too much homework, not enough rest, or too many commitments needs a break. It is the same way that, as adults, we may set aside a responsibility for another day if something out of the ordinary messes with our mojo. Some simpler daily tasks should be performed (we will dive into this later) but extra responsibilities may sometimes be passed up in favor of a longer jump on the trampoline, a few more cuddles on the couch, or an earlier night in and that's okay!
When planning out the chores, make it as easy as possible on days that are always busy. Reserve a 15-20 minute chore for a day you typically have more down time.
The chore chart is more of a lesson than an actual solution for busy adults.
When writing down our latest iteration of the chore chart last month, I almost laughed at some of the things I was actually asking my kids to do. It seemed menial and too simply to even require- but I realized it was less about the task itself and more about the ask. Additionally, by assigning simpler tasks, the weight on parents isn’t so heavy if a day is missed, hence the previous point.
We made cute cards with craft supplies (a house of all girls, I should add), and making it to suit a child’s likes and personality makes it more personal to them. We decided we would switch it up and update it monthly, but it’s been a year, and we have changed it once! At the top, we recommend including daily expectations to remind them of basic responsibilities.
Next, make a list of the things you think they could help you with and then divide them up, changing it up from day to day to keep it interesting. Below are some simple ideas, but get creative with what works best in your house. You can even engage them and ask which things they like the best.
- Make bed
- Brush teeth/hair
- Clean up plate/cups after meals and snacks
OLDER KIDS TASK IDEAS
- Turn lights off before leaving for school
- Unload the dishwasher
- Table clearing after dinner
- Bathroom trash once a week
- Sweep the steps
- Tidy silverware drawer
- Make drinks for dinner
- Cut a vegetable used for dinner or snacks
- Set the table for dinner
- Clean bathroom mirrors
- Read to a younger sibling for 10 minutes
- Fold a load of laundry
- Put shoes in cubbies or closets
- Clean out one drawer in their bedroom
- Put 5 out of place items away
YOUNGER KIDS TASK IDEAS
- Wipe table after dinner, wet rag and lots of handprints
- Feed a pet
- Pick up 10 toys from around the house and put them in a designated basket
- Dust tables or furniture
- Clean glass on a low window or door
- Mop the floor (not that helpful, but cute and typically fun for them)
- Water household plants
- Put throw pillows back on couches
- Wipe out bathroom sink
- Put shoes in the owner’s room
- Collect pieces of clothing from the floor into one pile
SILLY ADD-INS (for excitement)
- Check the front porch for stray cats
- Make sure there are no gold fish swimming in dog bowl
- When finished emptying the trash yell “I knew it, the treasure is already gone!”
- Count siblings and make sure everyone is accounted for
- Check under the beds for monsters
- Sing a song about chores
- Re-enact a parent doing a chore they are good at
- Leave a note on a family members pillow with a candy like a hotel
- Hide a toy and see how long until a family member finds it
If you don't know where to start we made a simple printable chore chart to help you out!