Getting chore charts to work + FREE chore chart printable

Chore charts

Chore charts. It’s a divisive topic. Should kids be rewarded for contributing to their own household? Should parents have to make a captain obvious list as to what needs to be done? Do they actually work? Does anyone use them after the initial month of fervour wears off? Do the white board markers go missing in all families? If so, you could look into a site like, where you can purchase a fresh new set of markers and maybe a new whiteboard while your at it!

We currently have a chore chart hanging off the fridge, laminated and ready for ticks and crosses. Once we can find the white board marker.

I think there is value in a chore chart, but like all things, everyone needs to “own” it. At the moment, I feel like the sole owner of a pretty chart.

On my side of the equation, I wanted a something to enable smooth running mornings. My youngest and I have to leave at 6:50am on work days. That doesn’t leave much room for anything other than getting ready. The morning routine part of the chore chart acts as a prompt for what has to happen next.

I was also keen for my eldest to work on a few areas and have a visual reminder for him to do that. Things like making sure he can tie his shoe laces (he’s eight – it’s no longer cute).

The chart acts as a communication tool with our after-school nanny – so that she is aware of expectations and what’s generally going on in school life.

There are also demerits on our chore chart for unacceptable behaviour. A few crosses on that side of things and no reward at the end of the week.

I suppose our chore chart is more about routine, goal setting and behaviour than chores. Which is what we need. I just need everyone on board.

Here’s how I intend to do that:

  • Put it at a level that everyone can tick the boxes. I notice that it makes a difference when my eldest ticks things off himself, but at the moment he has to find a chair to do so.
  • Have the kids input into what actually goes on the list.
  • Clearly explain the chart and what it’s used for, with my husband around and on board.
  • Be consistent with using it.
  • Have a set time each weekend where we review the previous week and decide if the goals have been met and whether we will be headed out to the reward activity.

If you are interested, this is the chore chart we are using. The idea is to have a checklist for morning and afternoon routines, reminders as to the school routine, a list of expected chores (integrated into every day) and a weekly goal. If the goal is met, routine followed and limited unacceptable behaviour, then there is a treat — normally an outing.

I still haven’t really figured out the pocket money thing yet, to be honest. We put away a certain amount into an account for the boys every month, but that’s for the future. They know about it, but it doesn’t teach them how to handle money or relate money to work. On the flip side, I’m not comfortable paying pocket money to the boys for just meeting the status quo. They will have to actually go above and beyond to earn money.

The chart we are using only relates to the normal day to day routine, rather than extra chores. We have a cleaner that comes once a fortnight, which I rely on heavily. But I do worry that our boys are growing up not doing the jobs I learned, like how to clean the bathroom etc. Believe me, even getting them to flush is an effort at the moment. I am determined not to send useless men out in the world, so we will be addressing this as they grow older.

Here are some ideas around getting children to perform extra chores:

I’ll let you know how our chore chart goes.
I’d love to know if they work in your household.


Linking up with Kylie Purtell – Capturing Life and IBOT

13 thoughts on “Getting chore charts to work + FREE chore chart printable

  1. Jenni @unclutter my world says:

    I’ve never had an issue with giving kids money for chores done. It teaches them about the cycle of money in a way that they can understand. When the teen techie was 7yrs he had his own laminated morning routine chart, which had the things he needed to do in the morning and by what time. He was responsible for ticking them off and ensuring that they were done on time. There was a big clock in his room, a timer that he could operate himself, so was fully in control of how things panned out each morning. He very quickly worked out that if the chores were done quickly, there was more time to do his stuff before school, there was also the added incentive of money for him to decide what to do with. If the chores were done on time each day, he was paid an agreed amount, with money being deducted for things not done. Behaviour rewards were managed differently, good behaviour was rewarded with a non monetary treat from the bag of options that had been agreed by the family at the start of the process. The teen techie is now 17.5 and managing his time pretty well, he is great with money and has learnt to take responsibility for his own deadlines. Being paid to do a job at home has been a great lesson in life for him, which has been transfered to his part time work, to provide savings and fund his social life.
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  2. Renee Wilson says:

    We have just started a chore chart with Miss Six. She’s generally very good, but we thought we’d give it a crack anyway. I simply wrote mine by hand on a piece of A4, but this looks so much more attractive. I love the idea to laminate it and use a whiteboard marker. I like the demerit idea too. My husband suggested that to me and I thought it was mean lol. I’m a big softie. Thinking about it now I can see why it’s important.

  3. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side says:

    I wrote up a running sheet for Mr 6 this year for before and after school so he knows what is expected of him. I do have a whiteboard style chart but don’t use it yet because I don’t trust the boys with a whiteboard marker ?.

    Pocket money for Mr 6 started a few months ago. $2 every Thursday, unconditional. For me it’s teaching him about budgeting and money management. Also delayed gratification – do I buy the $2 game this week or save up for a $30 Lego kit? And when it’s spent, it’s gone and you just have to wait.

    • Robyna says:

      That’s such a great point about delayed gratification – all the things I read talk about how important it is that kids develop that patience.

  4. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life says:

    Our family used chore charts when the kids were younger and it’s interesting to note that now my daughter is in her HSC year she has started her own study chart of what she needs to study when etc which reminds me so much of our earlier chore charts.

    I like to think that she learnt her planning and time management skills from those early chore charts.
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  5. Kylie Purtell says:

    We got a reward chart from Aldi in January and started using it when school started. I wanted something that would encourage Punky to remember to do things like put away her shoes when she got home, unpack her lunch bag and also things like brushing her teeth each night (which she used to grumble about all the time). The last thing on the chart is staying in bed and going off to sleep once the lights are out, and the deal is that if they don’t get an owl (it has a bunch of little owl magnets that you pop on for each job done) every night for staying in bed then they forfeit any pocket money they might have gotten for doing the other things. So far it’s actually been working and they are staying in bed and not getting up and mucking around, it’s made bed time much less stressful!

    At the end of the week we check the chart and if they have gotten the majority of their owls and all of the owls for bedtime then they get some money. They can spend it on whatever they want, or save it to buy something bigger. And that’s the second part of the chart for us, we are using it to teach the girls the value of money, that you can’t just get money for nothing, and that if they want something like a fancy toy then they have to save up their money to be able to buy it. Punky just spent her 4 weeks of saved money on a Little Mermaid doll that spins around in water. She was so excited to be able to spend her money on something she has wanted for ages, and I find since then she has stopped constantly asking me to buy her things and instead tells me what she’s saving for next. Hopefully it’s a lesson that will stick and set her up for future good money management!
    Kylie Purtell recently posted…What I’ve learnt {since becoming a School Mum} | ParentingMy Profile

  6. Vanessa says:

    I can’t remember what chores I had to do for pocketmoney but I do remember getting it (like $2 a week, small amounts) but it did teach me to save. I learned how long I’d have to NOT spend it if I wanted a magazine or toy. I think money skills and mindset are very valuable. I guess it’s personal opinion about if you think it should be tied in with it being a reward for chores.

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