We have an “on again, off again” relationship with chores at our house. We get excited about back-to-school time and getting into new routines or learning a new skill and do really well with our chores for a while. And then summer comes and we all become a bit lazy. It’s that time of year, when I’m starting to think about getting everybody motivated to stay on top of their chores again.
We’re also at a bit of crossroads with the kids as they change stages. The kids are both ready to start taking on new chores, like mowing and putting dishes in the dishwasher. FYI, instead of the term “chores”, we actually use the term “responsibilities” and have always incorporated actions and making good choices into our chore lists in addition to household tasks.
We do give our kids an allowance, but it’s not really tied to the kids completing their chores. Our view on chores is that everyone in the house, no matter their age or size, can pitch in and help. Chores are about raising responsible kids and learning life skills, yada yada yada. Allowance, for our family, is more of a means to teach the kids about money and money management.
At this point, I’m not looking to create a new chore system, just update it. The kids have established some good habits from our current system, like clearing their plates after dinner, making their beds, etc., so it has its merits. As you can see in the picture, each of our kids has a magnetic board with their responsibilities listed on magnets. The magnets were made by taking their picture completing their responsibilities and then printing them on magnetic printer paper. They both enjoyed the photo shoot and this really worked well, especially before they could read.
We have a “To Do” side and a “Done” side on the boards. Sometimes the kids move the magnets back and forth and sometimes they use markers to check off what they’ve completed. Either way it’s about the visual reminder. We also change out the tasks for the day and the season. A lot of the responsibilities are still relevant, so we’ll keep those on the list. The ones like “Go Potty” and “Share”…I’m hoping are mastered or at least mostly mastered:) and will remove from the list.
Here’s a list of some of the chores, by age, which we’ve chosen that our kids will be responsible for. There’s lots of ideas on the web, just keep in mind that too many can be overwhelming for the kids and you.
- Make Bed
- Pick Up Books & Toys Around House
- Feed the Dog
- Put Laundry in Hamper
- Clear Table/Dishes
- Hang Up Your Coat & Backpack
- Be Courteous & Use Kind Words
- Use Good Table Manners
- Exercise Your Body
- Pick Up Outside Toys
- Say Please & Thank You
- Go Potty
- Eat Healthy
- Put Shoes Away
- Keep Room Picked Up
- Set Table/Dishes
- Clear Table/Dishes – Rinse & Put In Dishwasher
- Put Clothes Away
- Help Put Away Groceries
- Empty Trash Cans
- Practice Guitar
- Get the Mail
- Blow Grass Off of Sidewalk and Driveway
- Be Polite, Courteous & Respectful
- Hold Doors/Open Doors for Others
- Walk/Bike on Own to Friends House
- Be Responsible for Belongings
- Write Thank You Notes for Gifts
- Operate the Washer & Dryer
- Make Own Breakfast
- Make Own Lunch
- Make Own Snacks
- Take Proper Care of Bike
- No Whining/Keep Negative Opinions to Self
- Respond to People When They Ask You How You Are
- Thank Your Friend’s Parents After Spending Time at A Friend’s House
- Don’t Call People Mean Names
- Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated
Do your kids have chores? If so, how do you motivate them to complete them?