Weekly Challenge – Creating chore charts for kids.

May 15, 2011
I am super busy with activities with my family this week, so Becky has offered to host todays’ challenge.  I always love Beckys challenges. She is super organized and a wonderful person to learn from.  Thanks Becky!

Hello, I’m Becky from Organizing Made Fun!  Toni asked me to share with you another challenge!  This time I want to talk about how much YOU {as Mom} do around the house..

Do you sometimes feel like you are the ONLY person in the house who really cares if the house stays clean?  Does it seem like everyone, kids and hubby included, seem to sabotage your efforts at having the floors so spotless and clean that you can eat off of them – when five minutes after cleaning them, they spill milk, step in it and walk across the floor to get more?

If this seems to be a problem for you, I have a solution!  No matter how little your kids are {well, maybe not an infant}, they can begin to help you clean up!  I have a rule in my house with the kids {now age 7 and 12}.  I do NOT clean up after them – at all.  Now, occasionally Mom will have mercy upon them and HELP them, but I try to save that for a time when they really need it and not every time.  I want them to learn to be responsible for the messes they make. Another rule I have is:  if they take something out to play, they need to put it away before starting something new. This is important to remind them EVERY time they play stuff.

Being a stay at home mom, it would be easy to just do everything myself. I don’t ask my hubby to do much – I have set up “systems” to help make it easier to put his clothes in the hamper and such – but I don’t ask him to clean much of anything.  Around here, his job is the “fixer” and “provider” so the kids and I do most of the cleaning and keeping other stuff up.  

If you have NO idea what your kids are capable of doing, here is a few ideas for you, listed by age. {Sources:  Me, Cozi morning routine, and Simple Organized book}. 

1-2 yr. old1.  Put toys away in bin {with Mom’s help}2.  Wipe {just give a damp rag and a table and let them go at it}3. Hand Mommy things to put away

2-4 yr old –  1.  Get dressed, put pajamas away {tuck under pillow to use again = less laundry}2.  Brush hair3.  Brush teeth4.  Set the table5.  Make bed6.  Fold clothes and small items7.  Empty dishwasher {with Mom’s help}8.  Empty wastebaskets9.  Pick up toys before bed

5 – 6 yr old – 1.  All of the above2.  Clean bathroom sink3.  Help clean and straighten drawers and closets4.  Clean up after pet5.  Feed pet6.  Walk dog7.  Dust furniture in room8.  Vacuum room9.  Help put groceries away

7-9 year old – 1.  All of the above2.  Wash bathroom mirrors3.  Wash windows4.  Wash floor in small area

 10+ yr. old – 1.  All of the above2.  Wash car3.  Mow lawn4.  Make dessert5.  Paint6.  Clean refrigerator7.  Do yard work8.  Iron9.  Fix an entire meal10. Do grocery shopping

To quote Emilie Barnes in her book:  “We cannot do it all by ourselves in our homes {when we try, we become frustrated}.  When we begin to delegate responsibilities to our children and allow them to do some of the work for us, they begin to feel as if they are a vital part of the family.”Here is a copy of my kids’ current chore charts.  Teach your kids YOUNG to clean up after themselves.  But, you must also teach them where everything belongs, so don’t assume that they know where things go.  

You have to teach them how to organize and declutter, also.  Another great resource is here to teach them how to organize.

So, now you know that I can’t keep my house “immaculate” {a term I use loosely} by myself!  Teach your children to clean up after themselves and do part of the housework!

I challenge you, this week, to set up chore charts for your kids – fancy or not, pictures or no pictures.  Get your kids to work….teach them to be responsible!


22 comments on “Weekly Challenge – Creating chore charts for kids.

  1. Laurie says:

    great post! I totally agree with chores for kids. Funny thing is, some people think that we give our son “too many” chores. he just turned 10. But, I’m only having him do the types of things you suggest on your list; our list & yours is very comparable.

  2. I am a FIRM believer in chores as well! I have created some chores charts and it has made SUCH a great difference in our lives!!

  3. Emily S says:

    We are 7 weeks in to my 2 and 4 year olds having chore charts and getting allowance. They are expected to clean their rooms make their beds every morning and clean their rooms every night. The 4 year old is expected to feed the dog every day and take the trash out from the bathrooms every week. They get 50 cents per year of age weekly and we pay them in dimes so they can tithe and put money into savings. What a difference it has made in our house! Already they are taking better care of their things (mostly) and they have gotten really fast at cleaning their rooms by themselves.

  4. this is too funny.. I was just thinking on Friday I needed to make chore charts for my kids – and here this challenge comes along – I am participating. Tone

  5. Colleen says:

    such a cute idea. I think my 5 year old might be ready!!

  6. Kori says:

    Great advice I printed them out and was reading them to my 5 year old and she says” I don’t think it says that! You are making this all up” LOL a friend had a great idea she give them allowance in tickets say 10 tickets a week- Hangs them on the door and if she has to clean or do something they aren’t doing she takes a ticket- her kids learned quick if they want to keep there tickets they needed to step up- I am off to make a list and get me some tickets for 3 messy kiddos LOL – Im the do it all myself gal-

  7. I need to do this so bad, I have a 6,5 and 2 year old who need to start cleaning up themselves before I go nuts!

  8. JC says:

    This was a very helpful post! My oldest will soon turn two and I realize that I’ve not been working enough with him on picking up his toys. It’s so hard to take the time to teach them these things when it’s faster to do them ourselves. But, I know that it’s the best investment in the long run for a clean house and respondsible kids! Thanks!!!!!

  9. Laura says:

    I’m curious about the systems for the husband 🙂 He needs “help” in this area. Our 19 month old does pretty good…wishing it would rub off on his father. lol!

  10. My 4-1/2 year old son has chores and although I don’t give him a set weekly ‘allowance’ he does get incentives. If he does good I will take him to the candy store (gas station!) and let him pick out what candy he wants or we will all go for ice cream or something. I usually let him choose what he wants. Luckily I have a housekeeper that comes every saturday and she does the bathrooms,floors,dusting/etc so I only have to keep the kitchen clean (which is easy since I always seem to be in there haha!) and do laundry and of course daily upkeep and organizing! It makes life much easier.

  11. Katie says:

    I just started a chore chart with my three year old about a month ago! He gets 10 cents a day (50 cents a week) if he completes his ‘jobs’ for each day. (He goes to his dads on the weekends so that’s why it’s not 70 cents a week, for those who were calculating). He only has three jobs a day (Dirty clothes in hamper, pick up toys, and brush teeth). He also helps with putting dishes away and with laundry but those are just things that we have to do when we live in a house with a family. 🙂 No incentive for those things!



  12. Rosario says:

    Oh the chores, and the chore charts… I have tried so many methods, and they work for a while then they fade away. I guess I tend to be a very nice Mom and not a disciplinarian. The kids get most of what they want instead of earning it. I know is wrong. But how do I fix it. They are now to old to retrain. 8yrs boy and 12 yrs. girl.

  13. Cate says:

    My problem was it seemed I had a 4th child named “It Wasn’t Me”. Not Me would leave messes everywhere. And since he/she was invisible, it was pretty hard to get them to clean up after themselves.

  14. Great post. I made chore charts a few months ago, and as long as I stay committed, it works really well. I have always had my kids do chores, just not in such an organized way. I have been amazed how many people are surprised that my 4 year old empties the dishwasher (after I take out the knives).
    Generally speaking, we don’t pay allowance for these chores. These are the “you’re part of the team” jobs.
    Rosario – It’s NOT too late. Sit down with them and set out the expectations. If you’re anything like me – it’s you who needs the re-training and they train more easily than we do lol. Our system only works if I stay committed. If I let it go even for a few days, it takes some effort to get it going again.

  15. I am a firm believer that children need to learn how to help with daily chores. We don’t have allowance for regular chores as I feel that it is just part of something that they are expected to do as part of being a family. But I do have a list of harder chores, like pulling weeds, cleaning oven, cabinet door fronts, etc that they may earn money for certain activities or things they want to save for. It works for our family. I have created simple chore chores on my blog as a free printable. You can check them out under chore chart on my sidebar!

  16. We plan on having chores that our son is required to do just because he’s a part of the family. However he won’t get allowance, he will get commission on doing chores around the house. We want to teach him that you have to work for money.

  17. LOVED this post… I have been feeling like I am drowning the past while, trying to stay on top of things, and still have time for fun stuff, and now that the outdoor season is here, it’s only going to mean more chores! You have completely inspired me to get my almost 3 year old involved, thank you so much for reminding me that she’s not helpless!

  18. bonniemomof5 says:

    I’m finishing up a chore chart for this week. My kids are total slackers and need one so they can grow up to be functional, contributing adults in society. Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Heather R says:

    I loved your post and agree that kids do need to learn to pick up after themselves and do little chores around the house! I have also found that since my daughter knows that she will have to pick/clean up she automatically puts her toys away before I have to ask her (not always tho!)

  20. Chip says:

    I’m just started to really deal with this. My son is 11 and I realize that he is much more capable than I was giving him credit for. It’s certainly not an easy transition from going from just keeping his room clean and picking up after himself to cleaning up after dinner and mowing the lawn. Ohhhhh, the complaints.

  21. pinkbeary says:

    Great list! I bookmarked it. Thank you!

  22. Ginger says:

    My grands, their parents, and papa and I all live together. Papa and I watch the kids, an eight year old and a six year old. They have made their beds since they could reach the sheets. They have regular chores they are expected to do and extra chores that will earn them points they can redeem for fun coupons. They don’t mind doing them at all.

Get the latest downloads from A Bowl Full of Lemons printables shop.
Hello. Add your message here.