Today I made my first chore chart for my kids. They’re very rudimentary and basic but I’m certain (read: hoping) they will get the message across. Some of the chores on my list my kids already do. But there’s no consistency. Often my four-year-old, Hayden, will leave the bed a mess and needs to be reminded to make it up. But one day he made it up without me asking him too. Since then, he’s generally left it untouched unless I ask him.
These chores are simple but are things that I expect them to get a handle of, or at least try. They include: feeding the dog, taking the dishes back to the kitchen, which Hayden and Sebastian (2) are generally very good at, tidying the playroom and, of course, making their bed as I mentioned. With Sebastian, the task may be a bit more difficult as his cot is a bit higher than his head. But I’ll encourage him to do the basics – like at least pick up the blankets that he tossed to one side in the night.
So how did I make my chore chart?
There are plenty of free, printable weekly chore charts that are already laid out with themes and colours to suit almost any parent and child. However, I did it on a good old fashion word document and downloaded some images from their favourite characters. Hayden chose a Star Wars theme and Sebastian I know is a Mickey Mouse Club House fan, so images of Mickey were used. I listed the chores in a table and set numbers in the other column.
I thought including days and dates would be a waste of time (and paper) as they do tend to forget to do the chores some days. I’d rather gamify the entire thing by seeing who gets to what task the fastest. I’ve decided to make it that they get a treat (money or sweets – I haven’t decided which yet) when they finish a task five times.
Age appropriate chores
I’ve based the chores on what I know they can typically handle with ease – just for a basic start. But I am hoping (and praying) that at least one of them will master the art of picking up dog poop very soon. It’s one of my jobs that I well and truly hate.
A quick search online shows the following chores are considered right for ages 2 – 5:
- Setting the table for dinner
- Putting away toys
- Making the bed
- Wiping down counters
- Sweep small areas
- Clean the bathroom – I wasn’t so sure about this considering one would use cleaning fluids which may not be child friendly. But I’d hazard a guess that this would include things like packing away bath toys and maybe giving the bath a good wipe.
If your children are aged between 6 – 8 you can upgrade the chore list as follows:
- Help to clean the bathroom – make sure they’re wearing gloves.
- Sweep smaller rooms (perhaps their own?)
- Pick up the dog poop (with the necessary equipment of course).
Children aged 9-12 should be doing:
- Taking care of pets
- Emptying the trash
- Washing dishes
- Working in the garden (weeding, planting, perhaps even mowing).
- Clean and vacuum the car
- Help with the prepping of easy meals
Children that have become teenagers should:
- Do all the above and thoroughly clean the bathroom, iron their own clothes and even make dinner on some nights.
The benefits of giving children chores
There are many benefits to giving your children chores. It teaches them responsibility and, more importantly, gives you some time off! Again, searching the web there’s a lot of talk about mental and physical benefits of chores like hygiene, happiness, etc. But I’m just going to end with the one that means the most to me – it gives moms a break. That’s it. That’s all that you need right there. Because a rested, happy mom means a happy household.