As parents, we all know the power of giving kids chores. Aside from getting them to participate in helping out, they are a powerful way to teach your kids life skills. They encourage responsibility and the setting of priorities, and teach kids how to look after themselves.
Right now, you may be using a chore or reward chart to manage your child’s chores, but chore cards are also a good option. The power of chore cards is they not only set expectations around chores (i,e. put your clothes away in a tidy way, don’t just throw them into a cupboard) but can also be tailored to your child’s personality and strengths.
Why are chore cards helpful?
From a parent’s perspective, chore cards make your life easier. You can hand them out and make the chore your child’s responsibility without always having to draw their attention to a chart. Alongside this, if the card is clear, your child won’t have to ask a million questions before doing the chore.
You can also make the cards age-appropriate, giving simple visuals and instructions to younger children and more detailed checklist cards for teens.
- Chore card for ages 6 to 9 - Tidy your room: pick up all toys, put away clothes and books and tidy your bed.
- Chore card for ages 12 - 15 - Tidy your room. Bring all mugs to the dishwasher, fold and put away clothes, vacuum the floor, dust surfaces and empty your bin.
From a younger child’s perspective, chore cards look fun (especially if they’re decorated, perhaps with their favourite TV character) and can feed into their need to collect things. You can suggest they do one a day but also allow them to earn some money by choosing to do more.
For older kids, chore cards give them control over what they have to do around the house. You could say, “today, you need to pick two cards out of the chore basket and do them” this then makes it their responsibility.
Free Printable chore cards for kids
Download our free printable chore cards, and set your expectations of what a “completed” chore looks like for your child.
What chores and activities to include on a chore card?
The list of chores you can set is endless but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. You can make family values a chore card, especially if you reference being kind to others, being considerate, and sharing. You can also put an academic twist on cards, asking your kids to go the extra mile with their school work or remember to mark off their reading diary or spellings each day.
Possible chores to include on chore cards
- Tidying your bedroom
- Watering plants
- Loading and unloading washing machine/dishwasher
- Looking after a pet
- Putting clean clothes away
- Helping with shopping
- Making your own breakfast
- Setting the table for dinner
- Turning lights off when you leave rooms
Possible habits to include on chore cards
- Brushing teeth
- Showering daily
- Brushing your hair
- Cleaning up the bathroom after use
- Completing homework
- Changing your bed sheets every week
- Being nice to siblings
- Bringing your dirty laundry down to the washing machine
- No complaining for one day
- Making your bed every day
- Going to bed on time/getting up on time
- Wash your hands before meals
How you can help your kids get their chores done
As we all know, nothing is worse than constantly reminding kids to do their tasks. And let’s be honest, the reason kids need to be nagged and don’t like doing chores is the same reason we don’t: household tasks can be tedious!
So it makes sense to incentivise chores to make your life easier and help your kids feel more motivated to do their tasks.
You can do this in several ways:
- Pay kids for tasks/chores (see below)
- Set your expectations clearly on the chore cards
- Be clear with instructions per chore
- Set a number of chores per week
- Create age-appropriate chores, so kids aren’t overwhelmed
- Recognise when a child does a task well and praise them
- Involve children, especially teens, in decision-making around chores
- Set time limits on each chore card
How GoHenry can help encourage your kids to do chores
One of the best ways to encourage your child to do their chores is to set up daily or weekly tasks on the GoHenry app. These can range from doing homework or displaying good behaviour to tidying their room. Your child can tick off the tasks, and once you have approved them, they will get paid. You can even give different reward values for various paid jobs. It’s up to you which tasks you monetise but you could always link them to your chore cards to help remind your child that they will be paid in return for their effort.