Why involving young children in weekly chores, and praising them by using a chore chart is worth the hustle? Let me share with you what happened to us lately!
We had friends visiting us last week. This time even it was a playdate for my Daughter as well, we invited one of MY best friends with her two Daughters. How cool is it that we all can have fun together?😁
Anyway, when they were about to leave, I asked my Daughter to come to the front door to say goodbye to them, and she replied
“Just a moment Mom, I am finishing picking up my toys in my room.”
Well, all the other rooms were still a mess 😅 But we needed to stop talking for a few seconds with my friend to allow us some time to fully understand the meaning of her reply. 😂
I involved her in household chores from a young age, but realizing that by now she is happy to do these simple tasks without needing any reminder honestly made me feel proud!
What are the benefits of involving kids in daily chores?
Well, one obvious benefit of involving the kids in age-appropriate chores from pretty early is that you do not have to do everything alone! Nowadays I am confident about having a playdate or a “party” as I know, that my Daughter is ready to help with all the organization of the event as well as cleaning and getting our home in shape after it.
What are some other good reasons to consider going through your chore list and delegating some tasks to your Little Ones?
- Responsibility: Assigning chores helps children develop a sense of responsibility as they learn to take care of themselves and their surroundings.
- Life Skills: Chores teach important life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, organizing, and time management, which are essential for daily living.
- Independence: By participating in chores, children become more independent and self-sufficient, learning to rely on their own abilities.
- Teamwork: Chores often involve collaboration and cooperation, fostering a sense of teamwork and the importance of contributing to the well-being of the family or community.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Chores can present various challenges that require problem-solving skills, helping children develop critical thinking abilities.
- Time Management: Through chores, children learn to manage their time effectively, balancing responsibilities with other activities.
- Respect for Others: Participating in household tasks teaches children to appreciate the efforts of others and respect shared spaces.
- Sense of Accomplishment: Completing chores gives children a sense of accomplishment and boosts their self-esteem, contributing to a positive self-image.
- Routine and Structure: Chores help establish routines and structures, providing a sense of stability and predictability in a child’s daily life.
- Appreciation for Resources: Involvement in chores may make children more aware of the resources required for daily living, fostering an appreciation for the work that goes into maintaining a household.
How can you introduce chores to your little ones?
I would say, just do it! I really mean it! Add chores to the daily routine as soon as you can. The best way is to start with little kids and get the entire family on board! You can even get a family chore chart and list all the specific tasks each family member should do during the week, or on dedicated days. Make sure that everyone is taking their part in the basic chores, as even younger children are pretty smart and will figure out if their older sibling or Dad is not willing to do any chores.
I collected some more hints for the successful introduction of chores:
- Start Early:
- Begin introducing simple tasks at an early age. Even toddlers can start with basic activities like putting toys away or helping with small, age-appropriate tasks.
- Make it a Game:
- Turn chores into games to make them more enjoyable. Use a timer for a quick cleanup race or create a scavenger hunt to find items that need to be put away.
- Lead by Example:
- Children often learn by observing. Demonstrate a positive attitude towards chores and let them see that everyone in the family contributes to maintaining the household.
- Use Positive Language:
- Frame chores positively. Instead of saying, “You have to clean up,” say, “Let’s tidy up together!” Use positive reinforcement and praise their efforts.
- Provide Choices:
- Offer your child a choice between two or three tasks. This gives them a sense of control and allows them to choose a chore they feel comfortable with.
- Keep it Age-Appropriate:
- Tailor the chores to your child’s age and abilities. Younger children may focus on putting toys away, while older kids can take on more complex tasks like setting the table.
- Work Together:
- Especially for younger children, doing chores together can be a bonding experience. Make it a family activity where everyone contributes to a common goal.
- Use Positive Reinforcement:
- Praise your child for their efforts and accomplishments. Positive reinforcement, such as verbal praise or a small reward system, can motivate them to continue participating in chores.
- Be Patient:
- Understand that it may take time for children to get used to the idea of chores. Be patient and offer guidance as needed.
- Celebrate Success:
- Celebrate small victories. Acknowledge and celebrate when your child completes a task or reaches a milestone in their chores.
- Link to Daily Activities:
- Integrate chores into daily routines. For example, make cleaning up part of the bedtime routine or involve them in meal preparation.
- Create a Chore Chart:
- Make a visual chart with pictures or simple words to illustrate the tasks and responsibilities. This helps children understand their roles and gives them a sense of accomplishment as they complete each task.
The Best Simple Printable Chore Charts for 5-8-Year-Olds
You can consider different types of chore charts to use to monitor the fulfillment of the weekly tasks in a fun way:
- Printable Chore Charts:
- Choose from a variety of printable templates available online. Customize the charts with your preferred design and categories.
- Magnetic Chore Charts:
- Use a magnetic board or sheet and create magnetic cards for each chore. Children can move the magnets to mark completed tasks.
- Dry Erase Chore Boards:
- Write down daily or weekly chores on a dry-erase board with dry-erase markers. This can be an easy-to-update and reusable option.
- Velcro Chore Charts:
- Attach tasks to a board using Velcro. This allows for easy rearrangement and customization of chores.
Despite the huge variety of options, for us, printable chore charts (and reward boards by the way) proved to be the perfect solution!
I made different versions of our favorite chore chart designs and also added some “stickers” that you can print to make rewarding even more fun!
I made our weekly chore chart with the design elements my Daughter selected (we had such a great time designing it!), printed it, and then she could list her own chores. We laminated this colorful chore chart before using it for the first time. We put the new chore routine chart on the fridge, to make it easy for us to keep track of daily tasks. It was a simple chore chart, just the list of chores and spaces to add little star reusable stickers to each day when a task is fulfilled.
This was our very first (and still favorite) design. The cute forest animals chore chart can be a great choice for all 5-8-year-old kids!
These printable chore charts are available both with a Sunday and Monday start!
When the school year started we made a similar chart to track her daily practices – but this is a different story 😊
If your kids love outer space, this astronaut printable chore chart is definitely for them!
My chore charts come both in US Letter size and A4 size, so you can easily choose the one that fits best your own printer!
Younger kids might enjoy a more visual chore chart, pictures can help them to understand what are the different types of chores that need to be done.
But in any way, you do not need to overcomplicate it! 😊
How to use a chore chart?
I would say just try this easy 5-step method if you would like to introduce a new chore chart to your family!
1. Decide about the chore chart system and the exact chore chart you are planning to use. It can be a good idea to use a common family chore chart, but younger kids might enjoy it more if they have their own chore charts with different designs.
2. Make sure to set clear expectations and rewards. It is really important to focus on age-appropriate chores (and rewards)!
3. Put the chart(s) in an easily reachable place.
4. Use either stickers or checkmarks when some household duties are done.
5. Celebrate! When the goals that you set with the chore chart are fulfilled, make sure to praise your kids, and give them the reward that you agreed to at the beginning. This can be either an ice cream, some little things or toys, or even extra money for older children.
This way, you can build doing chores in the daily and weekly routine of your kids, and build really good habits!
Chore ideas for 5-8 year old kids
When introducing new chores, it is important to make sure these are appropriate for your kids. Of course, you know them the best, and what can work with one kid, might be too complex for another one. I know for example an 8-year-old boy, who already could cook a full meal for the family. But for most kids of that age, I would be more careful with such complex tasks that can also be a bit risky…
So if you are wondering what chores might be great to start with 5-8-year-olds, I collected a few ideas for you:
- Making the Bed:
- Teach them to straighten sheets and arrange pillows. While it might not be perfect, the effort also matters, and it will surely get better with time.
- Picking Up Toys:
- You can also make it a game by turning cleanup into a race or challenge. Set a timer and see how quickly they can put their toys away.
- Putting Clothes in the Hamper:
- Encourage them to toss their dirty clothes into the laundry hamper. Well, this is something we are not having that much success so far, I have to admit 😅
- Setting the Table:
- Teach them to place spoons and forks (you might want to wait with knives), napkins, and plates on the table before meals.
- Clearing the Table:
- After meals, have them help clear the table and bring dishes to the kitchen or even put them in the dishwasher.
- Wiping Surfaces:
- Provide a damp cloth and ask them to wipe down surfaces like tables or countertops.
- Watering Plants:
- If you have indoor or outdoor plants, show them how to water them responsibly.
- Feeding Pets:
- If you have pets, involve them in feeding and caring for them.
- Give them a feather duster and let them dust low surfaces or items within their reach.
- Matching Socks:
- Make a game out of matching socks when folding laundry. We play it regularly 😁
- Putting Away Groceries:
- Teach them where different items belong in the kitchen and have them help put away groceries.
- Sweeping with a Small Broom:
- Provide a child-sized broom and let them sweep small areas.
- Simple Meal Prep:
- Allow them to help with simple meal preparation tasks, like washing vegetables or stirring ingredients.
- Brushing Pets:
- If you have a pet that enjoys it, let them help with brushing.
- Sorting Laundry:
- Teach them to sort laundry into lights and darks before washing.
- Craft Supply Organization:
- If they enjoy crafts, ask them to help organize art supplies.
You can use simple printable chore charts with different designs to build daily chores in your kids’ routines. Using chore charts is a great way to make it more interesting and fun, while you are teaching a lot of important life skills to your Little Ones.
Which chore chart is your favorite one? 😊