Free Printable Responsibility Chore Charts

I see it happening every day, all around me.    Harried and overworked moms trying to juggle way to many balls in the air at the same time.  Running here there and everywhere all while trying to maintain a clean and organized home.

How do I recognize it?

That’s easy, it use to be me.   I’ve been there and I hope to never to go back.

There are two distinct changes that we made as a family to slow down, carving room in our lives to just be, while reducing stress and saving our sanity.

1.  We stopped spending so much time on scheduled activities

2.  Everyone contributes in some way to the household responsibilities

Today I’d like to talk about #2….household chores responsibilities and why it’s important to get your kids involved.

First let me just say this.  I’m not an expert.  I’m a mom who never recognized the power of teaching my children to be contributing members of the household and have since seen the error of my ways and done something about it.  And you can to.  It’s about everyone in the family pitching in and helping out.

I just can’t stress enough how important it is for children to have regular household duties.

To contribute to the running of the household, everyone doing their part, means not one person is shouldering all the responsibility alone.

It means everyone in the family works as a team.

Many of my friends think I expect a lot from my kids.  I don’t see it that way at all.  Yes they have responsibilities and yes I believe them to be age appropriate.  Does it mean I never have to nag them to do these tasks?  No of course not.  Does it mean I never have to go behind them to provide gentle correction?  No of course not.  But it’s not about perfection either.  It’s about teaching kids’ responsibility.

The key for us is consistency, correction and consequences.

Here are the responsibilities of my big kids.

Daughter (age 12)

Daily:  Pack lunch for school, assist with supper as needed, clean up kitchen after supper, piano practice and homework

Weekly:  Clean toilets/sinks, dust main floor, major bedroom tidy, put clean laundry away, change her bedding

Son (age 9)

Daily:  Pack lunch for school, unload dishwasher, sweep floor after dinner, homework

Weekly:  Clean glass/doorknobs, empty household garbage cans, tidy playroom, major bedroom tidy, put clean laundry away, change his bedding

I have used many different chore chart systems over the years but currently I am using clip boards hung in the kitchen, with a weekly responsibility sheet attached (see below), allowing them to check off tasks as they are completed.  This has been working extremely well for us.  Now when they come to me to ask if they can do something (insert fun: TV, computer, friends, Wii, etc) I just have to ask them to bring me their chart so I can ensure everything has been completed.    The responsibility is theirs and I have to tell you my stress is less.

chorecharts

If you are interested in downloading the charts I use with my kids I’ve included the links below.

Responsibility Chart ~ Girl

Responsibility Chart ~ Boy

For younger kids, charts with pictures might be more appropriate and effective.

Age Appropriate Chores:

If you are looking for a list of appropriate chores, this is one of the most thorough age specific responsibility lists I have seen.

Online Chore Tools:

My Job Chart ~ online chore chart, teaching kids to work

Childzilla ~ online chore assignment, tracking and reward system

Handipoints ~ a fun way to earn cool rewards for completing your chores

PAYjr ~ chore & allowance system

It’s not too late, get your kids involved today!

Related posts:

What I Know For Sure

We are not our childrens’ slaves

Filed under: Kid Stuff, My Life

Comments

73 Responses to Free Printable Responsibility Chore Charts

  1. 1
    Kim says

    Excellent! I’ve slacked on the chore thing and have to get back on track. I’ll have to check out the charts. My kids will thank you I’m sure! LOL.
    Blessings Laura!
    Kim

  2. 2
    JanMary, N Ireland says

    A timely post for me! I have an 11, 9 and 4 year old, so definitely taking copies of your charts.

    Thanks.

  3. 3
    Dolli-mama says

    I have worked in a coffee shop (as well as managed one) and I can tell you that I prefer to hire high schoolers who show evidence of having chores or responsibility before ones who do not. I can tell within a few days whether or not they will like/continue to work at our shop. Having responsibilities as a child goes such a long way in preparing your children for the future. Feel encouraged that you are maintaining your house, keeping your sanity, and preparing your kids for the “real world”. Chores Rule!

  4. 4
    Roan says

    My children all have daily chores twice a day plus they help me with the general housekeeping/cleaning 4 days a week. They are a huge help to me! I feel confident that when they are on their own, they will be able to manage their home just fine. We all live here, so we all work together in keeping things clean and tidy. I try to be enthusiastic about chores. I also try to model cheerfulness and no complaining about my work. Children will model our behavior! I try to teach them that we are so blessed to have so much to clean/keep tidy!

  5. 5
    Lara Gallagher says

    A post after my own heart! My dad said to me last week, “If anything ever happened to you and your husband it would probably take a year for us to find out about it because your kids would just take care of themselves till the food ran out.” That made me laugh!

  6. 6
    Debi says

    Thanks for the charts!!!! (They are currently being spit from the printer at a furious rate.) I’ve tried making several different kinds over the past few years, but haven’t ever come up with the “perfect” one. But I really like the looks of yours, and am excited to put it to the test. Oooh, and maybe the girls can e-mail about who’s got all their tasks checked off. LOL, somehow I think they have more “important” things to giggle about together.

  7. 7
    Sarah says

    thank you for the printable charts! I SO needed this exact thing! I really appreciate it! Thanks!

  8. 8
    Erin says

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! I love the resources! My kids are 3 and 1, a great time to start this!!

  9. 9
    Chele says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one! My kids do chores from an early age. I want my children to learn responsibility. I won’t be able to fold their laundry or clean their toilets when they move out! Great charts too! I’m always searching for the perfect chart, this may be the one! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10
    Ang @ The Creative M says

    Thanks for linking! I love your chore-clipboard idea. I’m definitely going to use this when the boys are older.

    Happy Wednesday!

  11. 12
    Annie says

    Something I’m still working on…

  12. 13
    Jenny says

    I took alot of flak from some neighbors, can’t say friends, when they found out my children had chores. First of all, how could I interupt their play time, their most important job of all? And the job would never be done properly (who cares, at least I’m not doing it!) Like requiring my children to say please and thank you, and holding doors open for people at the store, I’ve never budged on this and don’t ever plan to.
    I like your clipboard idea, think I will hit the dollar store today and find a few.

  13. 14
    Barb in Edmonton says

    I think this is a great idea, and I don’t even have kids! I really believe in what you’re doing.

    FYI, the last word “initials” on your charts has an extra “t” in it.

  14. 15
    Laura says

    Barb thank you so much for pointing that out. I went in and fixed it up right away!

    Jenny I feel the same way when you said “at least I’m not doing it”. I’m not a perfectionist and so appreciate whatever help I can get even if it’s not entirely the way I would have done it myself.

    I don’t expect perfection from my kids, I just want to know they are doing their best. That’s good enough for me.

  15. 16
    Susanne says

    This is awesome! I tried to establish regular chores for each child but now that they’re teens they like variety so it’s switched up quite often. We still have tons of issues with room pick up though and surprisingly not with the boy but with the girl.

  16. 17
    Tina says

    how does the initials part work? is that parental initials? and why is there a column AND a row for initials? trying to figure out how that works. thanks! i am going think start thinking seriously about chores again, since i’ve always failed miserably with them in the past.

  17. 18
    Casey says

    I was just introduced to Tidy Kidz. {I will be doing a review of them soon.} So far everything I have seen/read about them is awesome! They are all about teaching kids to be part the ‘team’ and making household responsibilities a team sport.

    I too am late in teaching my son this. {Thankfully, he’s only 4 and not a teenager yet.} I never wanted to push him too much or make him too responsible too quick. I wanted him to have a great childhood. However, looking back, I realize I should have started at an earlier age! I’m trying to find a balance between creating a fun childhood for him and teaching him to be responsible!

  18. 19
    Laura says

    Hi Tina, yes the initials section is for parents to sign off on. It provides the option of signing off daily or weekly depending on how much you want to stay on top of them. I check my kids charts daily (especially if they ask to do something fun) so I initial the bottom daily and at the end of the week I initial for the week for allowances purposes.

    Hope that helps!
    Laura

  19. 20
    Organising Queen says

    Excellent post, laura. I agree with your view totally and by the way, I noticed the smiley faces on the kids’ clipboards :)

  20. 21
    GiBee says

    I would totally agree, Laura… but I would add one thing: Moms that work full time have a more difficult time keeping things clean and organized, all the right balls in the air, and the kids where they need to be.

    It isn’t impossible, but I will say this… if you can’t drop any activities, then if you take a while to organize yourself, then STAY organized, it is much easier on you when your time is precious and packed with activity.

    Just a little something i’ve picked up… oh, I don’t know… HERE!!! ;o)

    Thanks for your continued encouragement!

  21. 22
    Laura says

    Oh Gibee, I have such a heart for working moms. I did it for so many years and it was so hard. I look back on that time now and don’t really know how I did it. You are doing an amazing job with your circumstances and I’m so proud of you.

    Hang in there!

  22. 23
    Lori says

    I have really slacked off on this situation since the kiddos went to public school last fall…seems like they have no time….BUT as we near summer, you can be the charts are coming back out and the chaos is coming to an end!! Thanks for sharing!

  23. 24
    leighann Marquiss says

    Thank you for talking about this. I am one of seven kids and we were taught family responsibilities as you set forth for your kids. When we complained my mom reminded us that we were a family – a team – all working together to make the house run smoothly. I feel it was great preparation for being an adult.

  24. 25
    Marci@OvercomingBusy says

    This was a great post for me. We are working to revamp our chores for the summer. Thanks for the resources!

  25. 27
    Allison says

    This is a great post! I am all for teaching children responsibility around the home. My kids are 3 and 1. they don’t have a lot of responsibility right now. But, you can already see a shift in our own thinking. Our parents did so much for us, we don’t know enough about what to do ourselves. We were never expected to help out much at home (and there were four of us!) and as a result, my brothers don’t know HOW to do things to run their home. My youngest brother (now 27) didn’t know that you had to change your furnace filter once every couple of months!!! You don’t just suddenly know how to run a home when you turn 18, you learn it. And you learn by doing it. Responsibility is NOT a bad thing!

    Thanks so much for this post and the ideas and links!

  26. 28
    JOY says

    LOVE this! Thanks for the chart ideas! I couldn’t make it without my kids helping me!!!

  27. 29
    jennibell says

    Thank you for this post!! Summer begins next week (!?!) and I’ve been thinking about “how it’s gonna be”. . .these charts are wonderful. We do do chores (daily & weekly) and they are posted but not in a way that the kids can check them off. What a great idea this is. Thank you for making your charts available to us!!!

  28. 30
    Chelle says

    Thank you for this post, I have been looking for a good list of chores. It’s nice to see other mothers making their kidlets work.

  29. 31
    Lauren says

    My daughter is only 10 months old. Do you have a chore chart for dads??

    ;)

  30. 32
    Vikki says

    It amazes me all the time how many grown up folk I meet that do not know how to do simple things such as laundry. It amazes me because I grew up in a time when all children did chores. In my day, children didn’t leave for school until beds were made and rooms were tidy. They didn’t go out to play until homework was completed AND checked by mom, they came in to help with dinner and every child helped clear the table and clean up the kitchen after dinner. Not many dishwashers in our neighborhood either.
    Laundry was done by all, I remember when my job was to take cloths from the washer and put in the dryer, to fold and put away laundry and the most dreaded job of all, match up all the socks!…giggle usually a job left for the younger children.
    Saturday mornings were spent doing heavier house work before going out to play. And I can’t ever remember my mom cleaning my room.
    I guess it was a different time back then, but it was invaluable training. I left home knowing how to take care of a home, and I knew that in order to acquire something, I had to work for it. Nothing was just handed to me.
    So I say bravo to you for teaching your children these basic self reliant skills they will use for the rest of their lives and hopefully pass on to their children as well.
    Vikki

  31. 33
    Lisa says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post all these wonderful charts. My children are 5 and 7 and I struggle to keep them interested and positive in maintaining their chores. I’m hoping some of your ideas will give us all a fresh perspective.

  32. 34
    Jodie R. says

    thanks for the links, though I have to disagree with a lot that the New Life Community Church has to say about chores at different ages. For example, I don’t think I’ll be giving my nine year old the job of watering plants. I would end up with more water on the floor than in the plant, and that’s just more cleaning for me! I also can’t picture a four year old vacuuming and polishing the silver and the car.

  33. 35
    Jodie R. says

    oops- I meant nine month old, not nine year old. Sorry!

  34. 36
    Jenean says

    Awesome post!! My problem seems to lie in the fact that I rotate the chore chart every week. We constantly have the complaint that “that is not my chore!” “So and so didn’t wash her dish from lunch, so I’m not going to wash it!” I want to pull my hair out every day because of the chore arguments! I seriously need help :(

  35. 38
    Sandy says

    Thanks so much for the shout out on your blog!!
    Love your charts!
    Love the clipboard hanging on the wall thing too. It is sooo me!! LOL
    I am picturing my dorm room in nursing school with my clip boards hung on the wall with different colored clear protectors covering the front of them (and also to make them look neater)
    I have used it other times in my life, but great way to do it for the kids!!
    Kudos to you yet again.

  36. 39
    Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    I wanted to let you know that I linked to this post on my weekly roundup. My little one is only two, so it’s just in time to help me get started! Thanks!

  37. 40
    nicole says

    i need a chore chart for my kids

  38. 41
    nicole says

    hey

  39. 42
    Keli says

    Do you ever have a problem with them telling you they did something when they really didn’t? I only ask because that’s my BIGGEST problem, even if I go and check consistently for weeks – as soon as I stop checking and start just telling them ‘bring me your chart’ it starts again. I currently use the Doug & Melissa responsibility charts, which work well and are completely reusable (magnets and dry erase)

    Thanks in advance!

  40. 43
    Laura says

    Hi Keli! Yes I do get that problem but not so much since I’ve told them they aren’t allowed to do anything else until I’ve gone and inspected and given my seal of approval. Since they know I’m going to check and will make them do it ALL over again if it’s not done, they know now that they might as well just do it right the first time. Lying is also a huge no no and consequences are usually double for doing so. For instance I’ll find even more chores for them to do.

    Hope that helps.

  41. 44
    Thea says

    Love the clipboards idea! As a teacher, I have plenty of these top use!! Thanks for the tip! BTW- LOVE the new look on you blog!!!!

  42. 45
    Heather says

    I tried the link for the Age Appropriate Chores: and the link is no longer there. Can you help. My son is turning 5 soon and I want to add structure to his chores. I have made a list for his nightly routine and working on one for morning routine with pictures and words and it has really helped him and us. I’ve read some many things regarding what is age appropriate. But they are are all so different and conflicting and only dealt with one or two areas.

  43. 46
    Renee says

    GREAT! Thank you…

  44. 47
    Sarah says

    So… Where’s the dear husband’s chore list? Ha ha! I have a toddler and just started back full time. How do I divvy up these responsibilities? Is it just a dream to think this could possibly happen?

  45. 48
    Chrystal says

    I’ve been trying for about 2 weeks now to come up with a good way to divide the household chores between my partner, house-mate and myself. The two boys have never had the responsibilities of doing chores and I find it very trying to be asking them to do things whenever they need to be done. It’s not right for me to be doing everything for them as I am not their mothers.
    Any suggestions on appropriate expectations for two 25 yr old boys?

    • 48.1
      Laura says

      25 years old? And both still living at home? They should be helping with meals, chores, cleaning. Everything. Or paying rent to say the least. I wish you all the best, that’s a handful for sure. Hang in there!

  46. 49
    Tina says

    Thank you so much!! I was so surprised when my 10 yr old daughter actually LIKED the idea!! I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in my home within a few months :)

    • 49.1
      deanna says

      cool

    • 49.1
      Anna says

      You are right on with your thinking! I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for posting.

  47. 50
    Andie says

    Is it bad that i use this for my husband lol

  48. 51
    LA Sproles says

    Thank you soooo much for sharing this!! I just wondered if it’s possible to see a picture of a completed chart?

    For the weekly chores, do they pick which day they do them?

    Thank you very much! I realize you posted this just a “little” while ago, :) but was hoping you could still answer a question!

  49. 52
    Suzanne Holt says

    I getting ready to write a blog post on responsibility. I have pinned your great post to my Pinterest board that will support my post. Thanks!

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