When faced with the chore (pun intended) of getting your kids to perform their daily responsibilities, chores, or jobs around the house, nagging quickly gets old for all parties involved and is probably not very effective. Many parents have turned to using chore charts to help children take more responsibility and initiative in getting their tasks done. Also called reward charts, incentive charts, or responsibility charts, these visual charts can also help you recognize when your child does something right, offering you an opportunity to praise them, thus promoting their good behavior.

Generally, chore charts are tied to a child’s allowance and the chores that are required of them. Reward charts can include chores as well, with the intention of rewarding good work or encouraging certain behavior. Expected behavior can also be worked into a chore or reward chart.

When to Start

Reward charts can generally be started when your child is three years old. You will want to modify your chart by your child’s age and abilities, being clear about what kind of behavior you want to encourage.

How to Start

When making a chore or reward chart for your child, I’ve found several tips to help you get started:

Printable Charts

I’ve found several websites that offer free printable chore or reward charts; some even allow you to customize them for your own specific needs.

Purchased Charts

I’ve also found a few chore or reward chart options that you can purchase:

Bulletin Board Charts

My favorite chore/reward charts I’ve seen have come from the creative minds of other moms! Some local moms were kind enough to share their charts with me, so that I could share them with you. As you can see by each of these charts, they were created to address certain areas that needed structure for each child/family.

The first chart was made by Kandice and it consists of three sections:

  1. The lower left corner is for morning routines. There are several tokens with morning tasks written on them. When her child finishes a task, he moves the appropriate token to the right. Once he has all morning tasks completed, he gets a reward (TV before school if time allows).
  2. The lower right corner is for extra chores. While many chore charts are used to help children perform their expected chores, this section of the chart focuses on extra chores her child may choose to do at any time, chores that help her out – in return for some extra money. On one side of each token is the name of a chore and on the back side is how much the chore is worth. For example, she tells me that sock matching is worth a whole dollar! What a great idea to encourage extra help!
  3. The top section is for X-Box time. To eliminate struggles over gaming time, her son now buys the time he wants. If he has enough tokens on the left side, he may play for that amount of time (mom sets the timer). Used tokens move to the right side, as you can see. When the tokens are gone, there is no more X-Box until Sunday night, when everything gets moved back. (He also gets the money from chores then, too).
Chore Chart Example

Kandice’s Chore Chart

Kandice hangs this chart in the hallway so her son can see it and get to it easily. To make the chart, she used thumbtacks to pin up brown ribbon; she purchased everything at Wal-Mart.

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The second chart I want to share with you was made by Nicole and it also consists of three sections:

  1. The top section is for attitude, as noted by the happy and sad faces. Her daughter starts the day out with three happy faces. Each time her daughter’s attitude becomes too much, she moves a token to the sad face side. If all three tokens are moved to the sad face in one day, she loses a privilege (such as watching TV the next day).
  2. The lower left side is for morning routines. Once the tasks are done, the token is moved to the center ‘Done’ section.
  3. The lower right corner is for extra chores. Again, this section focuses on extra chores her child may choose to do at any time in return for some extra money. On one side of each token is the name of a chore and on the back side is how much the chore is worth.
Nicole's Chore Chart

Nicole’s Chore Chart

In case you want some ideas to get you started, Nicole shared some of her chores and their amounts:

  • Dust: 50 cents
  • Clean art cart: 50 cents
  • Put away clean laundry: 25 cents
  • Play with the dog: 25 cents
  • Other: chore and amount to be determined by what she needs done

Nicole made a chore/reward chart for each of her two daughters; one used pink ribbon and the other used purple ribbon. They hang side by side in the hallway.
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As you can see by these two great examples, chore/reward charts can (and should) be customized for each family’s needs. There are so many ways you can use these ideas. Thank you so much Kandice and Nicole for sharing with us!

As you can see, there are many options and ideas out there for creating chore or reward charts. I hope I’ve helped you with some ideas – and some motivation to create a chore chart for your own family! Let me know how it works for you!

And remember, if you create one and it’s not quite working how you want it to, it can always be tweaked. Good luck finding something that works for you and your children!

Wendy – Parenting Tips 365

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