Chore Charts for kids are one of those best kept secrets for parents who use them and a total game changer for families who don’t. Reason being, they can change the way your child interact with activities throughout the day because they know what to expect. We want our children to participate in chores and giving them the tools to engage in a meaningful matter can set your household up for success!
Why Visuals are so Helpful
As adults it’s easy to forget that we experience the world in a different way than our children. We are in charge of the sequence and often by the time we wake up in the morning, we know what needs to be done (and often there’s too much on that list!)
But our children are required to follow us while often not knowing what is next. Therefore, this can make it difficult to adjust their energy expectancy accordingly and result in more confrontations and meltdowns. The more information we can share with our children in an age appropriate way, the more agency they can take of their environment. This will ultimately make it easier for the family to move along the day in a synchronous manner.
Let’s say you were planning to go to the store after the playground but did not tell your child that, and your child might have imagined that they were going directly home. Subsequently the chance of a tantrum in the car increases when their mental plan gets broken to adjust for yours.
Our children’s priorities are different than ours so remembering what the day will look like is often an issue. That is why visual schedules are so helpful to set expectations for your child and they can adjust accordingly. Visual schedules are not just for planning out the full day but are also used to help set reminders for daily expectations.
Different Types of Visual Charts
Usually these visuals are set together in a sequence which we call a chart. For example you can have a visual chart of how to wash your hands in the bathroom (turn faucet on, get soap, rub hands together, rinse, dry hands) or a visual list of everything your child needs before leaving the house (clothes, shoes, hat, jacket etc).
You would hang visuals charts around the house at height appropriate levels for your child so that they can easily reference them at certain times during the day alleviating the need to continuously remind them (although based on your child’s personality they might need a bit extra support referencing the visual charts).
Daily Chart :
This chart breaks down the activities for the day. It is helpful if you can rearrange the images as the sequence because your day will change with time.
These charts remind your child of specific recurring sequences within their day. For example there could be a sequence chart for needing to wash their hands before and after eating or when returning home. Another example could be a sequence chart for needing to put their toys away before bedtime.
This visual chart helps them remember things they need in order to accomplish daily actions. For example before going out they need their shoes and jacket and hat, when going to bed they need their pajamas, their lovey and a book for the parent to read, when leaving school they need to bring home their backpack, their water bottle and their homework sheet.
When should your Child Start with Chores
Having children participate in household chores is every parents dream and many parent’s struggle. Reason being is that they start TOO LATE including their children in daily house maintenance because it’s more work. If you need to fold the laundry it’s easier to have your child play with their toys while quickly putting the clothes away than having them throwing that new blouse on the floor and trying to stick their head in the dryer.
It is imperative that you turn that creative switch on and find ways that your child can help you throughout the day even if they are making a bigger mess than before they started. Break down the chores into bite size pieces and find small actions your child can participate in that makes them feel involved.
If you start this early your toddler will become accustomed to the chores and it will be a natural part of their day. With time and practice you will notice that the big mess they were making become less and less until one day your child is putting clothing away for you or emptying the dishwasher without supervision.
Why Chore Charts
Although your child might be used to helping with certain home chores, it doesn’t mean that they will take the initiative to start cleaning or folding on their own or that they are able to do it in the correct order.
To set your child up for success it is a good idea to have a visual chore chart that reminds them WHEN chores are done and WHAT the chores are. You can also include a visual sequence chart to help them remember HOW to complete the chore, and depending on how the chart is designed the how might be a separate sequence all together.
Where to find Chore Charts
Buy Chore Charts Online
A popular place to find charts are on Etsy because they are often made by parents like us and therefore end up being more personalized to the needs of family life.
You can also find charts on Amazon although they are often be more generalized.
Some Blogs sell charts as well and these are easiest found via Pinterest. The charts that are sold tend to be in par with the ones you find on Etsy and often bloggers will sell their products on either their blog or a third party site.
Download Chore Charts from Personal Blogs (like this one)
Mom blogs are the go-to place for finding Visual Charts of any type. The best part is that very often the charts are FREE. Why you ask? Downloadable give-away’s is a great way for bloggers to build their email. By downloading the chore chart you will receive future emails from that website, so make sure it is a blogger who’s writing you enjoy. Alternatively unsubscribing is always an option and can be done very easily from your inbox.
Get your downloadable Chore Charts for Ages 1-2 from Mama Questions Here
Make your Own Chore Charts
With some practice you can use the basic Word program or PowerPoint on your computer to make chore charts, so you don’t have to be a designer in order to make your own. You start by finding images online that you would like to use as the visuals for the chart and import them into your preferred program to arrange.
For the crafty type, you can print out separate images right away, cut them and glue the images onto a piece of paper.
However you choose to create your Chart, make sure to laminate it afterwards because it should be child-proof. I got this laminator from Amazon and use it all the time. It is small enough to be safely stored away in the closet. Make sure to get extra sheets too.
Lessonpix is a paid website that helps you make Charts and Schedules. It will give you the images and template to easily design, print and use in your home. Their membership is super affordable, only $36 dollars a year.
Personally I use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to design and lay out charts but if you are not in the design field these are expensive and pretty complex software’s to use.
Our days are busy and often we have more to do than hours available. Creating simple visual charts for our children can help them manage their expectations of what sequence the day will unfold. Chore Charts are one of these visual charts that take the stress away from the parent and help stimulate some independence for the child. It helps them remember the WHAT, WHEN and HOW of chores making it more fun and lighthearted.
If making your own charts feels overwhelming and time consuming, start off by downloading our beginners chore chart here for ages 1-2 (2 separate charts) and start using them today![frontpage_news widget=”1871″]
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