family,  parenting

Five Indoor Chores Most Kids Can Do and a Reward Chart Printable

Indoor chores are simple for any age. If your children are old enough to stand at the sink then they are also old enough to learn to help. There are many small simple indoor chores even toddlers can help with daily. The trick is making any job fun and encouraging them along the way.

TODAY-chores

We have a few rules at our house. One of them is that we all strive to be respectful. That is a work in progress some days, because my kids are now 11 and 13 and they often argue a lot. But even when they do that we are clear that when someone hurts another person’s feelings they need to find a way to say, or show, they are sorry. Another rule is that everyone needs to help out around the house.

indoor chores
Dishes can be fun for kids.

Families help each other. That’s the rule. I repeat that often even still with a teenager. You don’t always help expecting compensation. Sometimes you fold that laundry because you need a clean shirt. Sometimes you fold it because you like to fold things and you want to help. And other times you do it because Mom and Dad made dinner and fed you and drove you to martial arts ten times this month. Helping is expected. It’s part of being a family.

Chores are often easy to do and can be started at an early age. Even toddlers can manage some things, like putting the silverware on the table or tidying their rooms. There are several easy tasks that kids of all abilities and ages can manage.

This is a post about getting your children involved in the household chores. While it is better to volunteer to help without being asked, sometimes you have to be able to ask for help in order to get it.

Sometimes the ask is simple and kids help easily. Other times you have to get creative. Sometimes the language matters. There are days my kids won’t respond to the term chores and there are days where they enjoy the idea of having indoor chores to do. Kids are funny that way.

If it is a day when doing chores sounds ominous and dull, then I reframe it as helping. Most kids like to help. From a small age my kids enjoyed helping with certain things. Helping makes you feel needed and important. That’s powerful for small children.

If you are looking to get your children more involved in doing household chores here are some ideas. There’s a Chore Chart at the end of this post that you can print out easily too. Just click on the PDF link at the bottom of the post and it will appear in a full sized image. Then print it out and you can use it for your children. Happy Cleaning!

Five Indoor Chores Most Kids Can Do:

 

1. Dishes:

Even toddlers can stand on a chair and play in warm soapy water. Give them a cloth and show them how to wash and rinse some dishes. Obviously keep the sharp and breakable things out of the sink. Safety first. My one daughter has always loved washing dishes. Sometimes I let her do this because it calms her down. The warm soapy water is great for her as a sensory experience. I wrote about that once. Dishwashing as an easy sensory activity that helps provide calming feedback.

 

2. Tidying up their toys:

We used to play a game where we had a basket or a toy box (sometimes that’s a Rubbermaid container) and we played basketball to get the toys cleaned up off the floor. When Ainsley was very small that worked top get her playing along. Now, I’d love to tell you that it is now effortless and ingrained in her routine. It is not. I again this past weekend went into her room and had her play ‘basketball’ with me. Hand over hand also works when very small. You pick up the toys with them and put them away in baskets or bins.

 

3. Laundry Folding:

Folding towels is the place to start. My husband and I sometimes disagree a bit on this. I could care less how it is folded. If you are trying your best to help fold it and it saves us from doing the folding then away you go. I used to let Ainsley fold towels at a very small age. Maybe 3-4. Now she still likes that part. She also really enjoys the sock matching part (that’s good because nobody else in this family likes matching the socks.)

 

4. Dusting:

This is one I would keep simple. You know those feathery types of dusters. Give your child a duster and show them how to dust the surface of things like tables. I would supervise this or let Ainsley dust a table that had no breakable things on it. When kids are teens they can handle dusting around the breakable things.

 

5. Feeding the Pets:

Helps to teach responsibility. They need reminders often. Ours still need reminders, but keep the food near the pets where the kids can reach it and give them a scoop so they can easily measure the right amount of food and they learn to feed their pets. Pets are part of the family too.

chore-chart
Personalize this chore chart and your kids can help out around the home.

Use this indoor chores chart to help. Click through to this PDF link and print for your kids. Print on heavier paper or card stock. You could even laminate it and have them use an erasable marker on it. This isn’t a reward chart but it can show what everyone did to help and that can be very gratifying.

Chore Chart

Happy Cleaning!

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

29 Comments

  • Donna Ward

    Paula – this is great – I didn’t have the chart – but, I did have my little 5 year guy (now grown up) use a step stool to put in his laundry (as I kinda watched) and make his oatmeal (in the microwave), plus lay out his clothes the night before – all in prep for school – I wanted him to be more self-sufficient as he grew up – and I think it worked!! Great article 🙂

  • Terry

    I love the idea of a reward chart for kids. I really feel if you teach a kid to help out at home, he/she will do better in life.

  • Jeanine

    Yes! I find if I ask for help all 6 kids are right at my feet. If I ask them to pick up, or do anything… Well it can be a fight! This is great!

  • aimee fauci

    I just told my girls they would start helping me sweep. They are too old not to help but my problem is.. I could find myself doing it right after they did.

    • Paula

      Right I understand that. It happens here too. But I don’t sweat it. You have to let go of some of that and just let them do their best. My husband and I always disagree on that.

  • Amanda Ripsam

    I have a reward chart for almost everything because of Bella’s special needs. I think this is a great post that other parents could find useful. Bella helps with a lot of the chores she does not do things like dishes yet but she gathers the dishes and she picks up her toys and sweeps and folds and put away her laundry it’s when you start younger that they are suppose to not fuss as much about it when they are older.

  • Pam

    These are all things that kids should be able to do. My sons are adults now but they also helped with chores. As a parent, I had to learn to allow them to do the chores without me redoing them to my standards. That was sometimes hard but necessary. Love the chart.

    • Shaina braun

      I love what you said Pam and this is something I stress a lot when implementing chores with the families that I work with. They become fixated on putting the laundry away how they have always had it when really the point is that the kid was able to fold and put the laundry away which is a huge help in the long run (we will survive the socks being placed in the underwear drawer 🙂

  • Rachelle J

    I love the idea of having set chore charts for kids. We have a chore chart at our home for my 6 year old and she loves earning money by helping out around the house!

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    We always had a chore chart when the kids were younger. They knew they had to work for the extra treats they wanted.

  • Melissa Vera

    I wish I had this when my girls were younger. They often did chores when they wanted something in return. Now that they are teenagers help out a lot.

    • Shaina braun

      Melissa, I also had a chore chart when I was younger and when going into my teenage years, completing chores was second nature. I am so grateful that I had to complete these and learn while I was a youngster because it is all so easy for me now..

  • Shaina braun

    This is such a great article! I work with children with Autism and other developmental delays and chore/task reward charts have proven to be so incredibly successful! If the concept of the chore chart is newer to the kiddo we will sometimes identify a reinforcer for each task (something smaller like a scoop of ice cream for dessert) and then a larger reward like having a friend sleep over at the end of the week for stars across the board. I post similar articles to my blog as well and would love for you to check it out and leave a comment! 🙂
    http://parentinginmotion.com
    Smiles,
    Shaina

  • Lisa Rios

    What a cute idea! I think this Reward charts works out well with kids. They will definitely love to fill this Chart perfectly and this would motivate them for a happy cleaning. Thanks for sharing this lovely idea.