Summer is here! For some of us it has felt like summer since March, right?!? If you’re struggling to find a balance for your family schedule, we have created a tool for you. Hopefully, you can be encouraged to take small steps toward shifting time frames and mindsets to help manage expectations for the time you are home together as a family. Our homes needed a "fresh start" regarding daily responsibilities in the home and we wanted to share with you some FREE printables for your family. We created free printable chore charts to take the guess work out of making one.
DOWNLOAD AND PRINT HERE
Click for Toddlers. Click for Ages 5-10. Click for Ages 10+
When we set out to build a schedule or set of rules, oftentimes we don’t think through the purpose or intentions of our efforts. We need to start with the end in mind. If we recognize every moment can be an opportunity for teaching and training our little ones, it helps us answer bigger questions about why we do what we do.
When it comes to chores you will find a myriad of voices on the subject and developmental specialists with opinions on the age appropriateness of certain tasks. While these articles are sometimes helpful, it is first helpful to evaluate why we want our kids to do chores. Sometimes it’s to keep them busy, right? Other times we want to enjoy a tidy space.
Chores are a wonderful way to spend time with your kids, ready them for the future, and give them a purpose to help them feel like an important part of your family. Our overarching goal should be to teach them how to pick up after themselves and help the family unit. When we keep this thought at the forefront of our mind, we can be gracious teachers rather than strict monitors about the end results. We are essentially inviting our kids to join us in the mundane everyday tasks that need to be done and in that process share invaluable life skills along the way.
A helpful first step when requiring chores is to make it fun! Basically, we agree with Mary Poppins: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” A few fun suggestions include the use of timers or stopwatches to play speed rounds of doing specific chores or singing a silly song or having a dance party to a fun playlist while cleaning. When presenting chores, introduce them as a natural part of life and not a punishment. Another way to think about it, is that we want to work ourselves out of a job! How wonderful to think about one day having functioning adults who have independence and life skills they can use.
When first introducing a chore, it’s helpful to model and demonstrate from start to finish what we expect from our children. Basically, “Show don’t Tell.” But then we need to take a deep breath and remember it will not look the way we would do it! Making a bed, setting a table, wiping up a spill-- these all take a focus and attention to detail that our little ones, depending on the age, might not have yet. But we still want to verbally praise and encourage their efforts. They will get better over time and with lots of practice, promise!
There are various ways to rotate children, chores, and days of the week, but ultimately we are aiming for consistency. Give yourself (and your little ones) grace if you need to tweak things along the way.
We have included several fun printables for you to utilize for your family. For the young ones, a visual list with icons has been included, but for the older children, we have a chart that you can laminate or frame so you can use dry erase markers and then wipe clean each week. Feel free to add your own in the blank spaces. Here’s to having some good, clean summer fun!