Alright, looks like chores with children is a hot topic right now. Let me just say that this entire post is our personal experience and how we manage things in our home. Some of this may spark some ideas for you in your family life and children’s chores and other stuff might not be a good fit and ya know what, that’s okay! Take what works for you and just forget the rest!
Chores Can Change
First, chores have evolved over time for us. The more children we had…and animals, the more responsibilities there were, and the more everyone pitched in to help. Ya ever heard, “team work makes the dream work”? Well that’s what we do in our family life, children’s chores, and our parental chores/responsibilities. It’s important for our kids to figure out how to work together to accomplish an end goal, this is also developing their problem solving skills. It’s not always easy, it’s not always peaceful, but most of the time they work out a solution before one of us has to step in to assist.
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Let’s start with how we organize chores. We’ve used multiple chore charts, rewards, systems, etc. I even recently created my own chore chart. After testing it, I’m honestly not a fan of my own creation (that’s why I haven’t put it up as a freebie). What we’ve loved is from Arrows & Applesauce! She has a chore/responsibility chart with images that also includes words. So this is great for the younger ones that aren’t reading yet. There are tons of images to choose from and it’s broken down into times of day. There’s 2 versions, the one we use has a morning and evening section, the other one has morning, afternoon, evening. There’s also an expansion pack of chores if you’d like to purchase additional ones.
And guess what?! She just announced a couple days ago that she’s having a birthday sale! Now until November 27th you can use code THANKFUL20 for 20% off any purchase!
During the summer we kind of take a break from using the charts to just refresh everyone. And don’t get me wrong, chores don’t get skipped, but we’re just more relaxed. Each of the kids have a chart (besides the baby) that hangs on the refrigerator, so we can easily see it. This helps too with the constant, “Mom, what do I need to do?” I simply tell them to look at their chart. When they get done with a chore, it gets moved to the done area. And by the end of the day all the chores are at done. For my kids they love being able to see what they’ve accomplished for the day. They’re like their mama and like checklists!
Okay, so now hopefully you know how you want to organize your chores and also where you want to put them. Next, is choosing age appropriate chores. And don’t forget to include the little ones. It’s so important to get them involved early and most of the time they want to do what the bigger ones are doing. I’m going to just give some simple ideas here and also what we personally incorporate for each of our kids based on their ages.
2-3 Years Old
- As you hand wash dishes allow them to place in sink or strainer to dry
- Hand them clothing from washer to put in dryer
- Pickup toys
- Help put food in crockpot + other meal prep tasks
- Help dusting furniture
- Unload dishwasher
- Brush hair
- Get dressed
- Gather dirty laundry
- Fold washcloths
- Match socks
4-5 Years Old
- All the above things
- Wipe table off after meals
- Unload + load dishwasher
- Fold towels
- Put their laundry away
- Set table for meals
- Empty trash cans
- Recycle sorting
- Water plants
- Care for pets
- Make bed
- Help clean bathrooms
- Feed + water pets
- Pickup bedroom
6 Years Old + Up
- All the above
- Wash + dry dishes
- Help cook meals
- Start laundry
- Switch laundry from washer to dryer
That’s not an exhaustive list and each household has different tasks that need to be done. Here we also have chickens, so the kids are responsible for feeding, watering, and gathering eggs. We also have a dehumidifier in one area of our home that our oldest is responsible for emptying twice a day. Here’s a little side note, tasks like emptying the dehumidifier twice a day, attach that onto something they’re already doing to help them put it into their rhythm, like brushing their teeth in the morning and also in the evening. So if there are other things your household needs done, write them down and see if they’re age appropriate for any of your children to take on as one of their responsibilities.
And this list isn’t what our children do all the time, that’s simply to give you ideas and different things we’ve used over the years.
Family Life and Teaching Children’s Chores
I think sometimes, well I know for me anyways, I’m guilty of thinking my kids know exactly how to do something, when in reality I haven’t taken the time to teach them. This takes a lot of patience, but over time it’s worth it. I promise! For example, teaching your kids how to wash laundry! Take a month or so and have the kids do the laundry with you, from start to finish, all the steps. For some it might not take a month and for others it may take longer and sometimes you’ll have to remind them how to do something, but take the time to do it. It truly does pay off in the end!
It’s part of my morning routine to start laundry first thing in the morning after my prayer time. But if there was ever a need our oldest knows how to get the laundry going without assistance. We’ve cooked in the kitchen together so many times, she knows how to read a recipe and follow the instructions. Funny story, she even made me AIP muffins one day that my husband couldn’t figure out the ingredients on. She knows how to do so many of our daily tasks on her own. Our next oldest has helped with breakfast numerous times, he can cook eggs and toast. All because we took the time to teach them these tasks. And it’s something they’re proud of!
Chores & Allowance
I’ve been asked about allowance before, so thought I would include this in here too. We don’t necessarily pay the kids based off of what they do or don’t do. We started incorporating money to teach them how to save and also in giving money at church. Every Sunday they each get 3 quarters. One quarter is for God’s money, the second quarter is for their savings, and the third is for their spending.
It’s important to us that we teach our children about giving and saving and this has worked the best for us. I bought some cheap plastic pencil pouches that are labeled for all of them and they go through and put a quarter in each. When we head off to church they have their money to put into the basket. They’re spending money they can use on whatever. Sometimes they like to save it up and sometimes they want to go buy something at Dollar Tree. Occasionally, they will help one of their grandparents with a task and will get paid for that too and again that money can go into whatever pouch they choose.
Family Life vs Children’s Chores
For our family it’s important that we teach responsibilities, that everyone has their special part to contribute that makes our family function. But we also try to teach them that because we’re family we help each other. So there’s times when they help, not because it’s on their chore chart, but simply because we are a family. We’re teaching them how to help others just like they need help sometimes too. I hope that makes sense and that this was helpful! Again, every family needs to find what works best for them and with different seasons of life these things can and do change.
Supply List for Chore Charts
You for sure don’t need any of this to get started, this is just how we’ve organized our charts and has worked well for us.
- Responsibility Chart (Morning & Evening) USE CODE: THANKFUL20 for 20% OFF
- Responsibility Chart (Morning, Afternoon, & Evening) USE CODE: THANKFUL for 20% OFF
- Responsibility Chart Expansion Pack. USE CODE: THANKFUL for 20% OFF
- Scotch Thermal Laminator
- Scotch Thermal Laminator Pouches
- Velcro Dots
- Adhesive Magnets
So there it is! I hope this helped ya some! Please let me know if you have questions and I’d love to hear more of how your family does chores and responsibilities!
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