Daily Chores for Children

Grace asked me on this post about my children’s chores.  I’ve written about how I set up their chores and also their weekly chores, but I haven’t given you the specifics of our daily chores.  The everyday stuff that is required of them.

If you read my post on our modified workbox system, you know how I keep track of the fact that the chores have been completed and you also know that their daily chores are listed next to their What I Did Today chart.

Now, here is each of my children’s lists (AM & PM) along with their age and gender.  My disclaimer is that no two households look the same, so you will more than likely see something you either don’t need or something lacking that you do need.  Tweak away…’tis the name of the game!

Boy age 12
AM Chores – get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, tidy room, laundry in (get your basket from the shelf & put clothes away), laundry out (gather up soiled clothing and put in dirty laundry basket), pet care, Bible reading
PM Chores -15 minute Tidy, pajamas, get drink, brush teeth, say prayers

Girl age 9
AM Chores – get dressed, brush teeth, deodorant (son doesn’t need to be reminded…daughter does), brush hair, make bed, tidy room, laundry in, laundry out, pet care, Bible reading, vitamins (she takes quite a few supplements and needs to be reminded to take them)
PM Chores -15 minute Tidy, pajamas, get drink, brush teeth, say prayers

Girl age 5 (pictures are included with each chore)
AM Chores – get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, make bed, tidy room, laundry in, laundry out
PM Chores – 15 minute Tidy, pajamas, get drink, brush teeth, go potty (because she needs to be reminded), say prayers

Boy age 4 (pictures are included with each chore)
AM Chores – get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, make bed, tidy room, laundry in, laundry out
PM Chores – 15 minute Tidy, pajamas, get drink, brush teeth, go potty (yep, also needs to be reminded!), say prayers

Morning chores are ideally done before breakfast and evening chores are done before bedtime.  What it all boils down to is expectations.  What do you want your child to do daily?  How can you easily convey that to them and then move from you harping on them to them owning their daily chores?  This system has worked out quite well for us because it is posted (with pictures for the non-readers) and there is no room for questions.  They know what is expected.  It isn’t a mystery.  And once the AM Chores are complete, they get the satisfaction of moving that tab off their folder and onto the their chart!

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20 thoughts on “Daily Chores for Children

  1. OK, I am loving “seeing” how you do things in your home. Trying desparately to hold off on totally copycatting your workbox system until a. baby comes b. we move or c. both a and b happen. I can only successfully accomplish up to 2 major changes at a time. :)
    Anyway, I understand that you left room for each family to include what is necessary for them…just wondering though… Do your kids have any daily cleaning tasks? My kids have morning chores that look something like empty dishwasher, sweep kitchen floor, wipe down bathroom counters/sink, etc. in addition to the types of things you have listed. Do your kids have these type responsibilities? Where do they fit into your daily schedule? Wondering because I expect a LOT in the morning and we are having a difficult time getting school started at a reasonable hour. (and my definition of reasonable is quite loose)

  2. just wanted to clarify my question after re-reading your previous posts. I am not talking about weekly type chores. This chore for Mon, this chore for Tues, etc. I am talking specifically about chores that a particular child is assigned everyday of the week. For example, my oldest son is required to sweep the kitchen floor everyday just like he brushes his teeth everyday. Or is all this included in your chore list not labeled AM chores?

    • OK, I’m glad you clarified b/c I wasn’t sure what to tell you. But, yes, they do have regular chores. However, the chores are a little different than what you would expect.

      The children are in charge of table chores…every single day, every single meal. Someday I’ll post about that too, but it’s basically clearing the table, wiping chairs, sweeping, putting away leftovers, unloading dishwasher, reloading dishwasher, tidying kitchen.

      Other than that, we do 1 or 2 15 minute tidies (from the Cleaning Music post) where everyone pitches in to tidy up. Everything else falls into either the daily chore list or the weekly chore list.

      Does that make sense?

  3. Yes this makes sense. I just have mine divided up a bit differently then. For example, if my littles can do it, then I try to leave the olders out of it so I can assign bigger jobs to them. For example, my 6yo is responsible for getting ALL the laundry to the laundry room, but technically it should already be in the hamper so he only has to move the clothes from the hamper to the laundry room and return the hamper to the front bathroom. My 3.5yo is responsible for clearing the breakfast table cause she can without help. While my older children have things like use clorox wipes to wipe down the bathroom (littles not quite ready for that). These are all things that are done daily. Then we have a weekly chore list as well. I also find that this house has a different level of maintenance that must be done in particular areas…we HAVE to “vaccuum” everyday. In our other house, this was a once a week thing. So here, I bought a carpet sweeper (non-electric, like you see in restaurants). It does the job daily and then we haul out the vaccuum once a week and each kid has a different area to do.
    We also do the 15 minute tidy concept. Usually I assign everyone an area to be in charge of, but if you finish then you move on to someone else’s area to help out. You are responsible for your area when Mom inspects. I have tried to make the # of chores pretty equal for all the children, but the level of the task depends on age. Every once in a while, an older child graduates to a more “responsible” chore. Then the littles take over the previous chore. Our table chores have just made this switch. I needed my oldest to start mopping the kitchen floor (instead of me) so I took one of his easier chores (getting drinks for meals) and gave it to the 6yo. The 3.5yo got the task of getting all flatware for meals and the 9yo got something else.
    Wow, I am giving you all kinds of info and I’m was the one asking you how you do your chores…not the other way around. ;) I’ll stop now.

  4. The 15 minute Tidy is a great idea – My crew has a.m. and p.m. chore lists, but somehow there’s still a mess in between. Having one quick pick up like this is a great idea. Thanks!!

  5. Hi Amy,

    wow, you are so organised!
    My mother had 5 children too, I have only 2 so far and we never even thought of such an systhem.
    Maybe I should try that, although they are only 2,5 and 4,5 years old.

    Only one thing I find a bit weird: Does a 9 year old girl really need deodorant? With boy 12 years old need some I agree.

    Greetings from Germany
    Salo

  6. I like the pictures attached to the toddler chores. My little girl is 2 and I am trying to show her how to clean up, put toys away, and help mommy. She loves to right now. She even likes brushing her teeth (I do it first of course.)

    When did you start giving them a chore list? What age?

    • I don’t usually give them a daily chore list until they are 3 or 4. At 5 they graduate to full-blown weekly chores, albeit very easy ones. We make a big deal about them getting to help the big kids and be an even bigger help to the family.

        • I wish I were half as organized as I appear! We’re still a real family w/ major glitches, but I think by nature, a large family has be organized or all you end up with is chaos. We like to call it “organized chaos” or “herding cats”! ;)

  7. Do you think this would work with an almost 11 y.o. and a 14 y.o.?
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Breaking out of a reading rut & a Giveaway =-.

    • Definitely! The whole idea is to give them a particular set of chores to complete that doesn’t require you constantly breathing down their throats. As a friend of mine once said, “Let the list nag them!” If they know what to expect, all that needs to be said is, “Are your morning chores done?”

  8. Oh man! All three of mine are younger than your youngest “chore child”! I’ve been wanting to start a chore chart with them for a while though, mostly just to help me stay more organized. They’ll just have pretty short lists for now :)

  9. This is awesome Amy…thank you!!! I’m gonna go read over your previous posts now too! I have a dry erase board I use for chores…everything is in Sharpie so that only the dry erase check marks get erased every day. I don’t have any pictures for the boys…I need to incorporate that. I used to use chore cards, but they always ended up lost or chewed on :)

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for this!
    .-= Grace Wheeler´s last blog ..Cue The Drumroll Please… =-.

  10. We just implemented a responsibility chart for our kids (9,9,7) this week. I am hoping it relieves my stress at harping on them to get their responsibilities done as well as laying out their expectations in an easy to read and follow manner.