Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Magnetic Responsibility Chart 

The Chore Chart for Kids: Helping to Teach Responsibility

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Magnetic Responsibility Chart 

The Chore Chart for Kids: Helping to Teach Responsibility

When it comes to parenting, there are many roles that we have to master, and believe it or not the humble chore chart for kids can be one of your greatest allies. As parents, we are many things — comforters, advocates, cooks, chauffeurs — but one of our greatest roles is that of teacher. We are the primary educators of our children, teaching them everything from honesty to how to make a peanut butter sandwich. When it comes to teaching responsibility, few things are more effective to teach this virtue than chores.

Not only do chores teach children valuable life skills (such as washing dishes, ironing shirts, vacuuming, etc.), they also help our children see what it means to be part of a family and how much work it takes to keep a household running.

Why You Should Consider the Chore Chart for Kids in Your Household

No one likes nagging their child. But when it comes to chores, you might feel like the act of reminding them to do one chore and then the next and the next takes more time than if you’d simply done the job yourself! Keep in mind, however, that completion of the household task is not the primary goal. Rather, the goal is to teach your child responsibility.

Chore charts for kids are helpful in this area because by displaying their jobs right in front of them, you are placing the responsibility on your child. He knows what his chores are and what is expected of him. The chore chart for kids eliminates your need to constantly nag your child because the choice of whether or not to follow through with his responsibilities lies on him — and he reaps the consequences, positive or negative, of that choice.

Motivation and Incentive

Motivation is an important part of implementing a chore chart for kids. Whatever type of chart you choose to use, consider the incentive behind completing the chores. It’s important to note that a toddler will require more reminders and motivation in comparison to a third grader. For example, if you choose a “star” type chore chart, you might tell your toddler that each star (or each chore completed) equals one TV show, whereas with your third grader, you could suggest that if he receives all of his stars for the week, you’ll take him out for ice cream.

Let’s look at how chores and chore charts for kids might differ with age…

Chore Chart for Little kids

Toddlers and preschoolers can do their share around the house. It’s important that their chore chart has a picture of their chores (since most can’t read yet) and possibly something they can “do” to signify that each chore has been completed (like placing a check next to the completed task or a star, for instance). I’ve been using this responsibility chart with my four year old and it works great!
Possible chores for little ones to help out with might be:

  • Sorting and folding socks
  • Putting away the dishes from the dishwasher (even the smallest hands can help with the silverware!)
  • Feed the dog/cat
  • Clean up toys
  • Make their bed
  • Stay in bed at naptime/bedtime
  • Get dressed

Chore Chart for Big Kids

Older children still need to have their roles clearly established, and a simple (and free!) way to do this is to create a chort chart for older kids.  You can create your own chart. You can print it out and laminate it if they would like to check it off daily!

Possible chores for older kids might be:

  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Keep their room picked up
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Weeding/watering the garden
  • Raking leaves/shoveling snow
  • Folding laundry (or even doing their own!)

Chore Chat for Pre-teens and Teens

Although many teenagers carry demanding schedules — sports, jobs, relationships — it is still important that they maintain chores because they are still part of the family.  Of course, balancing their time should be taken into consideration — you don’t want all their time at home being spent doing chores.

Most likely, teens will not need their chores clearly displayed (and might be embarrassed should their friends come over and see their “chore chart” hanging on the fridge!), but they should clearly understand what their role is at home.

Although the chores for which your child is responsible may differ depending on his age and your family make-up, the important thing is that he learns the discipline and confidence chores provide while in the safety of his home.