Chores are such a necessary evil, aren’t they? As adults, we know we have to do them to keep our home clean and running smoothly. As parents, we know we need to pass chores onto our kids, even if it’s a lot to keep track of. We got you — this chore chart for kids (free printable) will help.
Kids and Chores
Before I share the link for the printable, give me a few minutes, k? You reading and scrolling is how I make money and, therefore, can afford to give away free things.
The research shows that kids benefit from having real responsibilities around the house (aka, chores). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids who have regular chores at home have more confidence, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration.
Choosing Chores for Kids
As with anything, there are best practices parents should use when teaching and assigning chores. You can read my best tips for teaching and assigning chores here.
Select Chores for Age & Ability
Select an age appropriate chore, or even just a portion of a chore for your child.
It wouldn’t be fair to ask a three-year-old to fold a full load of laundry when first introducing a chore. You can, however, introduce many other laundry-related chores, such as making sure clothes go in the hamper, match and fold socks, fold hand towels and cloth napkins, and even put socks away in drawers.
Need some examples of age-appropriate chores? I got you:
Change and adapt the chores and your expectations as your children become more capable.
Demonstrate Chores for Age & Ability
After you have chosen developmentally appropriate chores, you then want to show them how to do the chore, probably more than once.
Think about how a teacher teaches children in school.
You can’t just tell your child to clean a toilet and expect that they’ll know how to do it well. Take your child through the process of what you’d like done. Provide verbal instructions and physical demonstrations. Allow them to practice the task while you oversee it.
Depending on the complexity of the chore and the age of the child, it may take multiple tries to master the job.
Manage Your Expectations
This is important — remember that your child is a CHILD. They’re learning.
When you try something new, do you like it when someone stands over your shoulder and corrects you? Do you like it when imperfections in your work are pointed out and mocked? I’m betting someone acting like that to you would be pretty discouraging.
Do not expect perfection from your children. Effort? Yes. Perfection? No.
If the pile of towels is a little crooked, let it go.
If the vacuum lines on the carpet aren’t quiet straight, it will be okay.
If the butter knives are all facing different directions in the silverware drawer, ignore it.
Do not go back and redo the job your child just did. It’s demeaning, discouraging, and you just told them all their effort was a waste of time.
How do you think they will respond to you the next time you ask them to that job, or any job?
Using a Chore Chart for Kids
Once you’ve established regular chores for your kids and they’re quite capable, it’s nice to say, “Please go empty the dishwasher,” and know (mostly) that it will get done, but it’s still a lot of mental load to track all chores that need to be done and which of your children needs to do it.
Using chore charts can be a handy tool for allowing your children to have more responsibility and reducing some of your mental load.
Chore charts are helpful because:
- They allow children to independently see what needs to be done
- They provide kids with a visual reminder of their responsibilities
- They help YOU track who did what and whether a reward should be given.
While chore charts come in many forms, I prefer an inexpensive, editable, printable chore chart I save on my computer and adjust as needed. As my kids grow, so do my expectations for how they will help around the house and my chore charts need to change.
I print my chore charts out weekly. Because of this, I prefer them to be black and white (to save ink) and super simple.
Paying Kids for Chores
Whether you decide to pay your children for helping around the house is up to you. Many parents have strong feelings on this topic and there’s really no right answer.
In our family, we expect our children to help in everyday ways (clearing the table, feeding the animals, etc.). We also ask them to help with “above and beyond” chores. These are “messes” our children don’t create, such as scooping poop, pulling weeds, etc.
Often, we pay our children a small amount for helping with chores we consider above and beyond.
We expect our children to chip in with chores so they have a healthy respect for what it takes to run a household. We also pay them so they get some experience making, saving, and spending money, which is another important life skill.
Our family’s routines and beliefs may not be ideal for your family, and that’s okay. Find a plan that works for you.
Chore Chart for Kids
Enough of the chitchat, just give me the chore chart, right?? For maximum usefulness, I’ve made a few options.
Chore Chart Option 1 – Editable Google Doc
While this template may not be the most beautiful piece of art you’ve ever seen, I promise it gets the job done. Below, you’ll find a link to a customizable, editable, FREE chore chart for kids.
Open it up and edit away. I’ve written everything I think you’ll want to change in blue. Leave it if you like or change it to black before printing.
Nothing about this template is locked, so be careful. You can totally customize it to meet your needs, but you can also move and delete columns and rows, which might change the look and style for the worse. Remember – Control Z is your friend if you make a mistake.
To make this doc multiple pages, simply select everything and copy and paste it onto another page.
Option 2 – Editable in Canva
This chore chart for kids option is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing.
Canva is a free graphic design tool. You can sign up for an account and edit many aspects of this chore chart (children’s names, chores, special directions, etc.) while maintaining the template I’ve created.
This template is 5 pages long. I’ve added three identical copies of the pages so you can customize and print them for each child (and you can duplicate more if you’ve got over 3 kids). It will save time and energy, which every parent needs. You can download and print this chore chart.
Don’t want to sign up for Canva? I got you. Keep scrolling.
Chore Chart Option 3 – Print & Write
This chore chart for kids option is less aesthetically pleasing than the options above, but it’s still cute.
Click the link below to open the Google Doc. Print as many copies as you need and write your own details in such as your child’s name, their chores, and special directions. It doesn’t get any easier.
This type of chore chart is also easy for you to create on your own with pen and paper, however keeping a file saved will save you some time.
Chore Chart for Kids
If chores are a struggle in your home, this chore chart may be the simple tool you need to keep everyone on track.
Chore charts help lessen a parents’ mental load and transfer independence to children. They also make it easier to provide incentives for jobs well done.