3 Downloadable Chore Charts for Kids—And How to Use Them Effectively
Even children as young as 2 can help out around the house. The secret? "Parents should present chores in a way that makes little ones feel they're contributing to the family," says Robert Billingham, Ph.D., a human development specialist at Indiana University in Bloomington. By setting the dinner table, for example, kids see that they are important and needed—both of which build their self-esteem. "Chores also help children develop a sense of responsibility," says Dr. Billingham, and they teach important skills like time management.
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So how do you keep your family on track with household duties? Many experts recommend a daily or weekly chore chart. These charts help children remember what responsibilities need to be done, and they give an incentive to finish tasks—especially if you have a reward system in place. Keep reading for tips on implementing a successful chore chart for kids, with three free options to print at home.
Setting Up a Chore Chart
Consider your child's age. Chores should increase in difficulty as your child ages. A preschooler's chart, for example, might include simple tasks like "brush teeth" and "clean up toys." A tween's chart could list "fold laundry," "rake leaves," "set the table," or "vacuum living room" as potential tasks. Make sure to adjust the charts regularly, based on your child's abilities and schedule.
Give instructions. Whether your child is in preschool or high school, you should explain each task on their chore chart, making sure they can complete it independently. Also realize that mistakes are inevitable, says Dr. Billingham, and patience is key.
- RELATED: 7 Great Chores for Toddlers
Decide on rewards. Many experts suggest holding off on rewards until elementary school or later; younger children are often motivated by praise alone. When you do implement incentives, it's usually best to link payday to their overall weekly or monthly contribution, so your children won't expect bonus points every time they chip in. Rewards can be anything from screen time to money to a pizza-making party.
Print the chore chart for kids. After printing the chore chart, hang it somewhere accessible, like the fridge or bulletin board. Kids can use the chart for reference throughout the day and mark tasks as completed with check marks, stickers, or whatever method you desire.
Consider apps for older children. Downloadable chore charts work great for toddlers and school-age children, but tweens and teens might not respond to these "old-school" organization methods. Instead, parents can easily make digital chore charts with Cozi, a free app that syncs across your family's devices. Children can "check off" the tasks they complete on Cozi, and parents can track their progress virtually. Cozi has several other functions as well; for example, parents can create to-do lists and shopping lists, a shared family calendar, a database of recipes, and a family journal. The app helps your family stay organized despite everyone's busy schedule. Click here to learn more about Cozi. (Free; iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Android).
Printable Chore Charts for Kids
Teach kids how to handle responsibility with these three printable chore charts. Download the best option for your family, hang it somewhere accessible, and let the household duties begin!