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Chore charts are also called reward charts, behavior charts, chore calendars, chore lists or task lists. A chore chart is a listing used to track and organize the house work. The chart can be physical or virtual and is often a means used by parents to post chores expected of their children.
Different homes have different ways of organizing and implementing a chore system, including simple paper charts tacked on the refrigerator. There has been a lot of research, experiential evidence and discussion of chore charts.
Age Appropriate Chores
Chore charts list household tasks, sometimes one chore chart per child and sometimes a combined list. Since children of different abilities and ages can handle various responsibilities, the chores featured on a chore chart can be divided by age.
Younger children may not responsibly handle complex chores, but may still be able and want to help around the house. Easy chores can be included for younger kids. This may help instill the good habit of responsibility from an early age.
3-5 years: Everyday routine tasks
Children ages 3 to 5 can take on more responsibility, chores of which are known as everyday routine tasks. Many star charts are available for this age, rewarding everyday routines, the rewarding of which is a very important pinpoint in a young child's life. These everyday routine tasks include:
- Making the bed
- Gathering dirty laundry to take downstairs
- Take bath
- Going to bed
- Clean room
- Put Toys away
- Eating meals
- Using the toilet
- Help put clean laundry away
- Helping set the dining table
- Brushing their teeth
- Brushing their hair
- Getting dressed by yourself
- Help with cleaning
- Read book
- Do or help with homework
6-8 years: Independent tasks
Children at 6–8 years old like to be independent, so chores they can do by themselves are an ideal fit. Some of these include:
- Helping with cooking or food preparation
- Putting laundry away
- Taking out the trash
- Vacuuming or mopping
- Clean up after pets
- Feed and water pets on a schedule
- Do yard work, like raking leaves and gardening
9-12 years: Independent tasks with consequences
- cleaning kitty litter
- Washing the dishes
- * Clean the bathroom and kitchen
- Operate the washing machine, clothes dryer, and dishwasher
Teenagers can handle most household chores, but reward and consequence are important now because their schedules may force them to be forgetful about household duties. More chores include:
Reward for chores
Chore charts are often known as star charts and are available from many shops. Most commercially available versions come with stickers, and in most cases, a star or sticker is put up on the space if a chore is completed, and if it is not completed or only partially completed, a sticker is not put up. This helps to differentiate between right and wrong for young children. Some parents, if a task is inferior, put up a smiley face sticker saying something along the lines of "Well tried" although this could in theory be worse for children than the traditional star/no star method, as they can be confusing as they are still stickers and still carry a rewarding message.
Some mobile and web apps provide digital chore charts, such as ChoreMonster.