School's out for the summer and kids are so excited! While we would all like to do nothing but have fun this summer, life must go on in an organized fashion.
My daughters, ages 8 and almost 6, have been learning about responsibility and accountability with chore checklists for the last 10 months. With the hopes of teaching them some of life's most important lessons, I've created a summer chore chart.
We are calling it a Summer Checklist though – just like our school year checklist. We used a checklist as a guide for stress free times before and after school.
The chore checklist guides them through morning and evening routines that not only make our lives easier, but also gives them ownership over their activities. These checklists also teach the girls important skills that will be crucial for when they fly the nest someday. Teaching Chores to become Good Habits
Most children don't really enjoy cleaning their room or putting their dishes in the sink after a meal. A lot of what we are asking the children to do around the house are good mannered behaviors! Instead of reminding your children daily to do things, why not teach them to incorporate these things into an easy to follow routine. The earlier kids learn to help with daily duties, the more likely they will continue to do the same as they get older.
It is not easy finding a kids chore system that works for everyone! I have based our chore chart and reward system off the way my husband and I run our household. IF the children want to do certain activities THEN they will need to earn it by completing tasks around the house. This simple chore checklist will help our kids become a working part of our household. It will also teach them the value of their work and how to earn what they want.Examples of Morning and Evening ‘Chores’
In order to earn 30 minutes of screen time or playing in the playroom, our children must first complete their morning checklist. In the evening they must complete their checklist to earn an end of day TV show.
■Brush teeth/hair■Make bed■Get dressed for day + put dirty laundry in basket■Put breakfast dishes in sink■Feed pet / Water indoor plants■Tidy play area■Wash face/shower■Brush teeth■Take vitamins■Get dressed for bed + put dirty laundry in basket
In addition to their everyday “chores,” we are also asking our children to complete other household tasks to earn EXTRA experiences – such as a trip to the playground or pool. For example, if they want to visit the playground they must clean up their playroom first. If they want to go swimming at the neighborhood pool, they must have a clean play area AND bedroom. Other chores children can complete for bonus rewards:
■Unload/Load the dishwasher■Vacuum■Dust■Wipe down windows■Rewards for Completing Chore Checklist
Rewards are pretty important when it comes to children and chores around the house. If you want your kids to step away from an activity to complete a task of YOUR choosing, then you may want to offer an incentive for the behavior. The more times a child completes a checklist, the more routine the behavior becomes!
The incentive for completing the morning checklist is 30 to 60 minutes of screen time OR playing in the playroom. The incentive for completing the evening checklist is 30 minutes of screen time before bed OR screen time at all the next day. My children are very motivated by screen time.
Examples of Rewards for Household Chores: TV time, iPad time, neighborhood pool, neighborhood park, Ice Cream Truck money, Popsicles, homemade ice cream sundaes, favorite meal for dinner, extra awake time at night, trip to the movie theater, s'mores by the fire pit. Summer Chore Ideas
Once we have adjusted to our new summer morning and evening checklists, I will be adding a few chores to their daily routine. Downtime can be dangerous with energetic sisters! We want our daughters to help with cleaning the living areas of our home, such as the kitchen and family room. Vacuuming, unloading/loading the dishwasher, dusting and cleaning windows are all age appropriate chores.
Caitlin Houston is a Wallingford blogger and mom of three who loves sharing all of her favorites on the Caitlin Houston Blog. Learn about fun activities at home, family friendly travels, easy recipes and more.