I have put together the best chores list as recommended by age, so that you can put your kids to work and get them helping around the house. If you're stressed out because there's too much to do around the house, this is a great way to get everyone helping. Starting at a young age helps children develop responsibilities and teaches them that it can be fun to do things around the house, especially if you start when they are eager and willing. You can download some of the free chore charts for kids to use as a reward program if you like hard copies to post somewhere in the house.
I also really like the app Privilege Points as a way to create a chores list on your phone and give your kids points for doing each task. They can put it on their devices and you an all access the same information. It lets you see when they complete a task as well as allow you to list rewards they can exchange the points for. My husband and I even score points for doing things around the house that we have created our own unique rewards for as well. It's amazing!
After reviewing the list and assigning your children chores, you may also take into account their own unique abilities to do things and their preferences. In some cases it may be necessary to work towards a particular job, such as having them simply put clothes into the washer or dryer.
You may have younger children assist you in sorting laundry as part of their chores list, which can be a great matching activity. Making sure everyone older than 2 years of age has at least one assigned chore is important to promote family contribution and help them see that you are a team that works together.
The chart below shows at what age a child is capable of performing a task, but it does not necessarily mean that they will be able to do a good job at the task. Always avoid criticizing any children under 5 years of age that would discourage them from wanting to help. For children 5-8 years old, I would limit constructive criticism to only 1-2 comments at a time AFTER positive praise for completing the job in the first place.
For example, if a child is expected to clean their room and leaves their socks on the floor, some blocks and a few pieces of trash, simply say, "Wow your room looks so good! Don't forget your socks and the trash too!" As your child gets older, you can relate your constructive criticism to how it may be if they were to get a job and learn how to accept feedback from an employer, but you also still want to make sure you are providing adequate praise as much as you can. Over time as they start to do things as part of a routine, you want to fade contingent reinforcers so that they don't have the expectation that they should always get something for helping around the house.
I like to tell my son, that's in High school, I am way more likely to give you money when you need it if you are helping around the house when I ask. So, I'm not necessarily giving him a chores list with reinforcers contingent on a specific task anymore, but if he needs money to go to something like a football game with friends, but he hasn't done things around the house I've asked of him, I simply say, "Oh that's too bad, if you had done X when I asked, I would have been happy to give you some money to go to the football game." It only took a few times of this happening that he got the message really quick and pretty much does any task I of him now.
Be sure to also check out the tips for getting children to do their assigned jobs from their personalized chores list and how to effectively use a chart that can be found on the pages chores for kids and kids charts. There are many ways to gain compliance in defiant children, so that they actually want to do their chores each day. My favorite is to withhold all electronics until the chores are complete. You'd be amazed at how quickly kids will try to get those chores done as quickly as possible! I also love having my kids clean their rooms and all their toys up prior to a quick movie or doing a nightly 10-15 minute family pick up around the house.
Additional pages you may be interested in:
• Printable Certificates for Kids
• Behavior Chart
• Homework Chart
• Feelings Chart