Looking for printable chore charts for kids? These free printable kids chore charts and templates make it easy to start your own chore system at home!
If you know even a little bit about me, you know that I love charts and checklists. There’s just something so satisfying about getting organized and checking off those tasks! You could also say that I’m a stickler for responsibility, which I’ve tried to pass on to my daughters.
One of the best ways I’ve taught my kids how to be responsible and organized is with chore charts. My journey with chore charts has been filled with trial and error, but I can honestly say that the rewards have been worth the effort. And it’s important to find the system that works for you, you know?
I previously created a fantastic chore chart system for kids, complete with picture job cards for sale in my store, but now I’ve made a set of free printable chore charts for kids you can snag at the end of this post. They’re perfect if you’re just starting out or want something you can quickly print and start using instantly!
Why make your kids do chores?
For some parents, forcing their kids to do their chores seems like a neverending struggle. So, why make your kids do chores at all? I personally believe assigning tasks is essential, and here’s why:
Chores teach responsibility
A huge benefit of chores is that they teach your child how to be responsible. Yes, they can get every toy out of their closet to play with. And yes, they will have to pick up all those toys and put them away. Chores help teach that while tasks like cleaning up might not be fun, they’re necessary.
Research supports this, saying that children who have regular chores “have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification.” That same research suggests that a child’s success later in life is directly influenced by whether or not they had to do chores as a young child. Crazy but true!
Another important benefit of assigning chores is that they help your child develop independence so they can succeed in the outside world. Learning how to prepare meals, sort and do their own laundry, and keep their living space clean helps them function as adults.
No parent wants to get that panicked phone call from their college-age daughter because she put ten times the necessary detergent in the dorm washing machine. However, you can avoid situations like this by consistently expecting your kids to help with household chores. It’s that simple!
Chores help develop time management
A simple Google search on “time management” will get you hundreds, if not thousands, of resources about how to organize the hours in your day. It’s safe to say that time management is an essential life skill. Well, chores are an excellent way to help children organize their time wisely.
When you consistently enforce weekly chores, your child will begin to learn the importance of how they spend their time. For example, your rule might be that they can’t have tablet time until their chores are completed. Then the kid is responsible for how much time they spend completing their assigned tasks.
If they spend an hour whining about having to do them, that’s less time they get to spend on something they like doing. Eventually, your child will figure out that necessary tasks come first, then playtime.
Now, we’re finally to my favorite benefit of chores – parents are less burdened! While it may not be a day at the beach to model and teach your child how to do their tasks, you’ll reap the rewards of your consistency and dedication.
Just imagine a world where you aren’t the only one responsible for cleaning up, cooking, doing the dishes, and making the beds. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not! By assigning chores, you can distribute the household chores more evenly and maybe even gain some free time in the process.
Are you new to the whole chore chart thing? Here are my top tips for helping your kids be successful with their new responsibilities:
Work the printable chore chart for kids into your routine
An important thing to remember when starting up a chore chart routine is that change is hard, especially for younger children. They like routine and woe to the mom who tries to mess with it!
It’s a good idea to have a family meeting with all of your children to let them know how the process works. This isn’t something you want to spring on them without warning. Instead, explain what chores you’re assigning, when they need to be completed each day, and how the reward system works.
Also, keep in mind that attitude is everything! Act excited when you introduce the chore chart, even if you’re not exactly feelin’ it. There’s a reason a mother’s motto is “fake it ‘til you make it.” And you should be happy about this! A future is coming where you don’t have to clean the kids’ bathroom!
Once your children understand their daily duties, it’s time to teach, teach, teach. Your kids will need a little help in the beginning, and expect the first week or two to be, well, exhausting. Just keep in mind that it won’t always be this way!
Expect to be met with some resistance from your kids, even if they have the most even-tempered personality. Just because your preschooler whines and cries that they have to clean their room doesn’t mean you’re a horrible tyrant of a parent.
Just be consistent, and they’ll eventually learn that you won’t cave just because they shed a few tears. Make sure you follow a predictable daily routine, and everyone will begin to understand what they’re supposed to do.
Here are some extra tips for the first few weeks:
- Remind your kids to look at their chore charts each day.
- Help them be consistent about checking off their completed tasks.
- Don’t just tell your kids what to do next. Instead, have them look at their charts to see what’s left to complete.
So, what happens if your child doesn’t complete their assigned chores?
The simplest answer is that they don’t do anything else until they finish their tasks. This includes having TV or tablet time or playing with any toys. Patiently tell your child that as soon as they complete their jobs, they can do something fun. Be firm but kind. And be consistent!
Hang the chore chart templates where your kids can easily get to them
Do you know the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind?” Take this to heart!
Hang your child’s printable chore chart where they’re sure to see it multiple times a day. Prime locations include on the fridge, on the kitchen wall, or in their room.
Don’t make the chores too difficult
Have you ever looked at your to-do list and gotten so overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that you ended up binge-watching Netflix shows in your pajamas instead? Well, a chore chart that’s too long can make your kids feel the same way!
Having too many chores can make your kids want to give up before they even start. Consider your child’s age and schedule when deciding how many duties to assign them. For example, a toddler might only have four to five simple tasks to do each day. Your teenager, on the other hand, could probably handle a longer list.
Need additional chart ideas? Check out these posts!
- Morning Routine Charts for Kids – destress your mornings and teach your kids to be more independent
- Ready for School Checklist – no more trips to school because your kid forgot their folder and lunchbox!
The most essential part of creating a chore chart system is deciding on a reward system.
- Will your children receive an allowance? Or will that be a separate thing?
- Will you do weekly rewards? Monthly rewards? Or a combination of both?
- What rewards are you going to give your kids?
You can take several approaches, depending on what you think will work best for your kids. For example, we pay our kids according to their age – $10/week for my 10-year-old and $8/week for my 8-year-old. That means they have to save their money to buy what they want.
And if you don’t ever have cash to pay out for your kids’ allowance, don’t worry! You can use a free printable allowance tracker like the ones below to keep track of your child’s allowance “balance”… a great way to give kids an allowance without having to run to the ATM every week!
If you don’t want allowance tied to your kids’ chores, you could try a weekly/monthly reward instead. Some great rewards for kids completing their chore charts include:
- Ice cream date with mom/dad
- Bowling night
- Dollar movie date
- Mini Dollar Tree shopping spree – give each child $3 to $4 to spend
- Take them to the local bakery for a treat
- Mommy and me date
- Movie night at home – let them pick the movie
And of course, screen time is a great reward that doesn’t cost you a thing! You can hop over to this post to grab these screen time reward coupons for kids: Printable Screen Time Reward Coupons for Kids
For more ideas, check out 51 more reward ideas to motivate kids!
Grab the Free Printable Chore Charts for Kids Here
Want to grab some free printable chore charts to test out a new responsibilities system for your kids? You can click the links to download a few different chore chart templates below:
Colorful Chore Charts for Kids with Chores Already Included
Want an easy print and go chore system? Use the printable chore charts for kids that already include jobs printed on them!
Free Printable Blank Chore Chart Templates
These blank chore chart templates are great for creating your own personalized chore lists for kids! You have a few different options for how to use these blank chore charts:
- Print out a new chore chart each week and write the chores in by hand.
- Print a blank chart and laminate it. Then, use a dry erase marker to use it over again week after week.
- Use the blank chore chart with the job cards down below.
Job Cards to Use with the Blank Chore Charts for Kids
These printable job cards for kids work in conjunction with the chore charts. Just pick out which jobs you want to assign to your kids each week, and attach the printable job card to the chore chart. Easy peasy!
*NOTE – If you need picture chore charts for kids with printable picture job cards like the ones below, then check out this post: Chore Charts for Kids & Age Appropriate Chores
Chore Ideas for Your Printable Chore Charts
If you need ideas for age appropriate chores for kids, check out this master list:
Chore Ideas for Toddlers (2-3 years)
- Put away their toys
- Feed the dog/cat
- Brush the dog
- Put dirty laundry in the hamper
- Wipe up messes on the floor/counters
- Dust baseboards
- Organize books and magazines by stacking them
- Put laundry in the washer/dryer
- Use a dry mop to clean up small areas
- Clear their own plate
- Help make their bed
- Put away silverware
Chore Ideas for Preschoolers (4-6 years)
- All previous chores for toddlers
- Get dressed
- Make bed
- Tidy up bedroom
- Pick out clothes for the week
- Bring in mail
- Clear the dinner table
- Water plants
- Clean up crumbs with a handheld vacuum
- Help put away groceries
- Match socks
- Sort laundry
- Dust surfaces with a sock or cloth
- Help set the table
- Fold towels
- Pick up their toys and put them away
- Sweep up small messes
- Vacuum rugs/small areas
Chores for Older Children (7-9 Years)
- Load and empty the dishwasher
- Put groceries away
- Carry things in from the car
- Wipe down kitchen counters
- Get their own snacks/make their breakfasts
- Help pack lunches
- Clean their bedrooms (Just make sure to check under their beds!)
- Vacuum carpet/rugs
- Mop the floor with a wet mop
- Put indoor trash into kitchen trash can
- Help make dinner
- Exercise family dog in the backyard
- Pull weeds
- Help rake leaves
- Put clean clothes in drawers
- Clean bathroom sink
- Clean bathroom mirror
Chores for Tweens and Middle Schoolers (10+ years)
- Wash the dishes/load dishes into dishwasher
- Take out garbage
- Take trash cans to the curb on trash day
- Wash the family vehicle
- Make simple meals without help
- Wash and dry their own clothes
- Fold and put away laundry
- Check mail
- Wash the dog
- Walk the dog
- Clean out litter box
- Babysit younger siblings
- Complete short shopping trips (once they get their license)
- Iron clothing
- Complete basic sewing tasks
- Prepare family meals
- Help with deep cleaning
- Clean the bathroom (toilets, shower, sinks)
- Mow the yard
- Wash the windows
- Help with meal planning
- Drive younger siblings to and from after-school activities
- Clean out basement/garage
- Do homework
How to Use the Printable Chore Charts for Kids
If you’re using my free printable chore chart template, there’s some assembly required (but not much!). Here’s how to assemble this printable chore chart for kids:
Supplies needed for these printable chore charts for kids:
- Printer – You can print these responsibility charts at home or a professional print shop. If you’re going to use them in black and white, it makes sense just to do it at home. However, if you’re concerned about color quality, you might want to have your kids chore chart professionally printed.
- Laminator – I absolutely LOVE this laminator! It’s reasonably priced, and you can use it for so many home projects. I’ve laminated weekly meal plans, my daughters’ artwork, and other checklists I use around the house (like my weekly cleaning schedule!).
- Laminator pouches – I use these for my laminator (affiliate)
- Velcro circles
- Dry erase marker
- Clipboard to hang your charts on (optional)
Assembling the chore charts:
Once you have all of your supplies together, just follow these easy steps:
- Download and print the kids chore chart template that you want to use. I suggest printing your templates out on high-quality card stock.
- Cut out the job cards and reward coupons, if you will be using them. *NOTE – The job cards must be cut out before you laminate them so the laminator pouch will seal around each one. You could also laminate the reward coupons to make them reusable! If you’d like to do this, cut out each reward coupon as well.
- Place job cards in laminator pouch with space in between each card.
- Laminate all the job cards and your choice of chore chart according to your laminator’s directions. *Or most office supply stores or FedEx Kinkos can do this for you. I bought my own laminator because I use it for so many things, and it saves me tons of runs to Kinkos. They also charge more for each sheet, so it makes sense for me to buy my own!
- Cut out each laminated job card, if using. I suggest leaving a small border (¼” or a little less) of clear lamination around each card to make them more durable.
- Place velcro sticker on the back of each chore chart job card and in the center of each blank slot on the chore chart.
*Want to see step-by-step instructions for how to laminate your job cards at home? You can head over to this post for more detailed directions: Chore Charts for Kids & Age Appropriate Chores
What job cards are included in the Printable Chore Charts for Kids?
I’ve included 30 different job cards for kids along with my free printable chore chart for kids, so you can choose which age-appropriate jobs are right for your child.
Here is the list of chores that come on the pre-filled job cards:
- make bed
- get dressed
- make breakfast
- clean room
- wash dishes
- water plants
- check mail
- pick up toys
- make breakfast
- feed pets
- clean bathroom
- wipe dinner table
- walk dog
- change towels
- take out garbage
- dust furniture
- fold laundry
- iron clothing
- clean windows
- clean toilet
- sort out pantry items
- match socks
- rake leaves
- collect dirty clothes
- clean bathroom
- wipe dinner table
- sweep and mop floor
- set the table
- clean car
My free printable chore chart file also comes with two types of reward cards – One that rewards completion (no additional reward) and a blank reward coupon you can fill in with whatever you and your child decide on.
Looking for more ways to simplify your life and encourage your kids to be more independent? Head over to these posts:
- The Best Allowance Trackers – Give Kids Allowance Without Cash
- Printable Reward Charts for Kids (And How to Make Them Work for You!)
- How to Use Printable Reward Tickets for Your Kids – 8 Easy Tips!
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