Chores with Kids


Chores with kids needs to change through the years. I used many different charts and systems to keep things fresh. If I am getting bored with how we do chores, I know the kids are. Here is one of the chore charts from when they were in high school

Chore Chart Excel File

We would alternate most of the chores and whoever had laundry had one less chore because laundry takes the most time.

Some other chore ideas from the past:

1) Ownership

They all live in the house, so they should contribute. Give them the feeling it is their home to. It’s not just mom that gets embarassed if the house is a mess when people arrive.

And allow them to take ownership of the work they do. Let them choose a time that works best for them (reasonably). Don’t redo their work. Use a method of teaching that goes beyond “Clean your room.” Try they way they do in the medical field. Show – instruct – do it together – supervised practice – loose supervised practiced till proficient.

2) After having the same chore time method for a year, we were tired of it. I recently read Mrs. Clean Jeans book on Housekeeping with Kids, and she shared her system which I used as a template for ours. It’s been working great this week.

I wrote out all the daily and weekly housekeeping chores that need to be done – including the parent’s like pay bills, go to work, etc. That’s an important part because since I did most of the cleaning and errands after they were at school, they complained that I didn’t do many chores. And each family member got a spot on the chore chart including Mom and Dad.

I split the chore list into daily and weekly chores. Then we went around the circle and everyone got to pick daily chores until they were gone. Then we went around the circle and picked weekly chores until they were gone.

Mrs. Clean Jeans recommends having the amount of chores be their age divided by two – rounded up if need be. So a 13 year old would get 7 chores on the list.

The list would look something like this:

laundry [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] set table [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] sweep [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] clip coupons [ ] mop kitchen [ ] sweep porch [ ] vacuum [ ]

clear table [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] etc.

The ones with 5 brackets are the daily chores, and the ones with one bracket are weekly chores. I only put 5 brackets because I know many times we can’t get all the daily chores in. I didn’t want to be perfectionistic about it.

Rules: complain, don’t do all your chores or do them very badly and you get an extra chore the next week. (including the parents!)

Chores do not include things like making your bed, doing your homework, picking up after yourself, since those are things everyone needs to do. And I thought dishes for a whole week was a bit much for one person (we don’t own a dishwasher), so the kids alternate washing and drying and on Sunday Jeff or I do the dishes.

Our chores need to be complete by 5:00 Saturday.

Here’s the book:

Housekeeping with Kids

3) Played Chore Wars

4) I did something similar to this chore game when the kids were little

How do you keep chores fresh?


  • Mary says:

    I need to give my daughter more chores and follow through with the accountability. I’m not so good with that. Thanks for the chart.

  • Mary says:

    I need to give my daughter chores more regularly and follow through with the accountability. I’m not so good with that. Thanks for the chart.

  • Louisa says:

    Thank you for the chore ideas for young children.Turning it into a game with fun things included I think will work.I downloaded the chore game. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the useful ideas.

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