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How to Create a Children's Chore Chart

by Nicole Vulcan

When you get your children to do chores, you're not just being a nagging mother -- you're providing them with a sense of responsibility, self-worth and competency, according to Colorado State University Extension. To get them to do those chores without constant reminding, some parents create a chores chart. You can make your chore chart using any number of materials, but the old standby is a basic piece of paper and a set of fun stickers.

Create a list of daily and weekly chores that need to be done around the house, and then let your child to choose a few chores from the list, suggests Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. As you create the list, ensure that the chores you list are age-appropriate; your 5-year-old might not be ready for laundry or washing breakable dishware, but your 10-year-old might be. Ask your child to choose one or two daily tasks and a few weekly tasks based on her level of responsibility and the number of chores on the list.

Help your child choose some fun stickers that she'll be excited to use on her chart. Get a sheet of small, coin-sized stickers with enough stickers to fill at least a weeklong chore chart. Place the stickers in an envelope that you can staple to the bottom of the chore chart. If your child is not likely to "cheat" or use the stickers for her own art projects, placing them near the chart might work.

Use a ruler to draw seven vertical lines along the length of a piece of paper. Then draw a horizontal line across the top, representing the header section. In the top left section, write "Chore." Then write the days of the week in the other top sections. While you could create a single family chore chart, your children might enjoy having a chart that belongs only to them.

Draw horizontal lines across the page for each chore you want your child to complete. If you have two daily chores and two weekly chores, for example, draw three horizontal lines with space for writing the chore between the lines. Then write a single chore on each line. If your child is not yet reading, draw a picture for each chore. You'll need to help your nonreading child decipher the days of the week, but having a visual representation of the chore will at least get them doing the chore without reading help.

Make the chart fun by adding glitter, paint, coloring the borders with markers or by letting your child customize her chart the way she wants it. When it's done, show your child how to use it. Tell her she'll get to place a sticker on the chart when she's completed the chore, and review the chart at the end of the week to see how she did.

Items you will need
  • Paper or poster board
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Stickers
  • Envelope

Tip

  • Some parents also choose to include an incentive on their chore charts. For example, when a child gets a certain number of stickers, she gets a prize, such as a trip to a fun place or something else the child values. While this works for some families, Jim and Charles Fay of the "Love and Logic" parenting seminar recommend that parents not "pay" children for helping around the house. It's up to you to decide what works for your family, but whatever you choose, ensure that the consequences are well-defined and consistent, advises the Colorado State University Extension.

Photo Credits

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