Preschool Chore Chart

Last summer I was having an issue with Cooper not wanting to be helpful around the house. He didn’t want to pick up his toys, he complained and pitched fits about having to take naps, and he just overall wasn’t having a serving attitude, which is something I feel very passionately about teaching him. I decided to come up with a chore chart for three reasons 1) to establish set “rules” and routines that he must do daily 2) to track his completion of chores and 3) to reward/monitor his attitude and completion of chores.

This is the Preschool Chore Chart that I came up with!

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The file itself was purchased from Etsy, and when I tried to link to the seller, it appears her shop is closed. However, there are tons of chore charts on Etsy. Simply make sure the chart itself is editable (so you can add your own chores) or ask the seller to do a custom order for you.

These are the things I thought Cooper could/should be able to do at 3.5 years old:

  1. Pick up his toys
  2. Put dirty clothes in the correct laundry hamper (whites, darks, towels)
  3. Put his dishes in the sink
  4. Help me unload the dishwasher and put away clean dishes
  5. Fill up the dogs’ food and water dishes

Now that he’s 4.5 years old, he has added a few other responsibilities:

  1. Make up his bed
  2. Pick up Sullivan’s messes – the life of an older brother!
  3. Take the trash from our small wastebaskets and put them into our kitchen trashcan
  4. Pull weeds
  5. Water the flowers with assistance
  6. Pick up dog poop (this is done with gloves and is supervised)

Not all the things I listed above made it onto the chore chart. The chart you see is the original one I made last summer and it needs to be updated now that he’s older. Also, I included some things that aren’t really chores, per say, but are routines: bath, naps, etc. just because I wanted to reinforce when he did them without complaint. For example, getting dressed had become this huge battle each morning that always ended with me loosing my temper, so he got to check off when he dressed himself without meltdowns each morning.

Cooper can’t read, so it was important for me to add pictures so he could track his progress himself and see what he needed to do. He’d check the chart throughout the day and would see what he still needed to do.

The chore chart included:

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Feed the dogs
  • Take a nap
  • Clean up your room
  • Pick up your toys
  • Obey your parents
  • Take a bath
  • Say your prayers
  • Go to bed

I included “obey your parents” because I was having to repeat requests 4 or 5 times before he would do them. We talked at length about what it meant to obey – which to me is doing something the very first time you are asked to do it, without complaint. We also related it to obeying God and how it makes God happy when we obey our parents and other adults.

I have a laminator at home so I laminated the chore chart and used magnets to place it on our fridge. I used a dry erase marker to check off items as they were completed.

As for rewards, I was never consistent about that. He received praise every time he got a check:  “thank you for picking up your toys, Cooper! I really appreciate your help!” If he filled up the chart for a week, he got to pick an activity (Chick Fil A, the park, swimming) or a small toy (from the Dollar Spot, for example).

We are thinking now of moving to an allowance, but my husband does not want to link it to chores. He believes strongly there are just things you should do because it is your responsibility as a family member. For example, Cooper would receive $5 a week for an allowance. He would be expected to do his daily chores. We’d also have a list of “above and beyond” chores he could do to earn more money (for example, $1 for vacuuming). As he gets older, those “above and beyond” chores would become harder and more time consuming.

Obviously we need to update the chore chart and make decisions on the allowance thing… that is probably something we will implement when he turns 5.

How do you handle chores in your house? Do you use a chore chart? Do you give your children an allowance? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Comments

  1. I am going to have to make this for my youngest! He complains about going to school every day! He talks about it at night, he has me check if I think he’s sick (so he doesn’t have to go), he whines, it’s all super annoying. And after school – he talks about how awesome his day was and how much fun he had with his friends and how fun school is. What! I can’t handle the complaining LOL so maybe something like this would work!

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