The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Getting Kids to Do Chores

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.
father and daughter sweeping the floor

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]

No matter what the chore, don’t forget to thank them for a job well done – even if it’s not done as well as you might have hoped! The effort is what matters most and they should feel proud of their contribution. And you should take pride in the fact that you are raising children to be responsible, practical, and aware of the effort that it takes to keep a family running.