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Ask Nancy: Chores and Kids

Nancy Bock 2012

Nancy Bock, Senior Vice President of Meetings & Education at the American Cleaning Institute®

Q. School is almost out. How can I get my kids to help with chores during the busy and active warm-weather months?

A. There are two key strategies you can try for getting your children on board with chores. Keep it simple … and challenge them to be part of the solution.

Start by creating a Chore Chart in a central location. Try a chalkboard, bulletin board, or basic sheet of paper set up in a grid: columns for days of week, and rows for family members. Scratch paper with pushpins or reusable Post-its®sticky-notes are great tools – involve the kids by having them write one chore per slip of paper. These can then be moved around to different days/"assignees" as desired.

Don’t forget about the basic chores that everyone should do every day – these can be a general list to serve as a reminder for all!

Sample Chore List

Use this general list as your guide; add additional/specific chores that are required in your own home. Remember to keep the ages of each family member in mind as you make chore assignments!

Every Person/Every Day

  • Make Bed
  • Clean up after showering (hang towels, wipe up water spills)
  • Clear plate after meals
  • Put dirty clothes in hamper/laundry room
  • Put away toys and games

Household Cleaning: Team Tasks

  • Set the table
  • Do the dinner dishes
  • Wash pots and pans
  • Take out garbage
  • Bundle/sort recycling
  • Pick up clutter
  • Clean your room
  • Dust family areas
  • Sweep the floor
  • Vacuum carpeted areas
  • Feed the cat
  • Walk the dog
  • Mow the lawn
  • Do the laundry (NOTE: keep laundry products out of the reach of young children)
  • Put away clean/laundered clothing
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________

[Download the Checklist]

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