Chore charts are a great way to remind your children of the tasks that you expect them to do. They give kids a visual reminder of their responsibilities, are a lot more fun than nagging, and allow you to track their accomplishments, too! So, how do you create a chore chart? These tips can help:
- First, decide what house chores you are going to assign to each of your kids. The tasks should be appropriate for each child's age and skill level. For example, a 3-year-old can make his bed, pick up his toys and put laundry in a hamper. Four- and 5-year-olds can set the table with non-breakable items like silverware and napkins, help put away clean laundry and do dry dusting. By the time kids are in school, they can do more elaborate tasks like sweeping, taking care of family pets, watering plants, and emptying trash cans.
- Decide how many chores each child will have per day. Consider how full your kids' schedules are. For example, while it may be reasonable to ask them to make their beds every day before school, you might want to leave larger household chores such as laundry for weekends when they do not have homework, sports practices and other major time commitments. While it is important for children to participate in family chores, they should not be burdensome.
- Now you are ready to start your children's chore chart. Use a piece of paper, poster board or a white board to create your kids' chore chart. Make seven columns, one for each day of the week. Next, make a row for each kid and place their names on the rows. You can find ready-made free printable charts online. Finally, on a separate piece of paper, list the chores you would like to assign and how often they need to be performed; you should put more tasks than you will actually assign so that you can give the kids some choices.
- Finally, you are ready to get the whole family involved. Gather the kids and let them know that you are making a chore chart. Let them know your expectations regarding their household work - for example, that they will each have one chore per day, five days of the week.
- Now, ask your kids to help pick the chores for which they would like to assume responsibility. For items where it does not matter what day it gets done, let them pick the day, too! Of course, some things need to be done every day (feeding the dog) or on a special day (putting the trash cans on the curb for pickup), but for other jobs it does not matter when it gets done, so let your kids have their say. These assignments may not seem like that much work for you, but your kids may need a bit more inspiration. Letting them have their say in part of the chore list will help.
- Now, the hard part is making sure everyone follows the chart. One way to do this is to let your kids mark off their accomplishments and then to reward them for consistently doing their tasks. The rewards can be simple, such as letting a child who did all her chores for the week pick the dinner menu on weekends or choose a movie to watch.