How to Get Kids to Do Chores: One Easy Tip

Posted on October 20, 2014

How to Get Kids to Do Chores Without Asking in One Easy Tip


 As a family of 5, our home can get very dirty, very fast. I have to keep it real. If I take even one day “off” by the end of the day it will look like a tornado came through. We live in a condo closer to the beach, and I stay at home with our kids, so  we sacrificed space for that joy. It is great to be able to go swimming in the ocean on any day we feel like it, or to take a quick drive and watch the boats at Coronado Island. BUT it means that the space we have is ALL being used. All of it. Every last spot. SO, if something is left out of place, soon a domino of dirty house evolves. I got tired of constantly reminding the kids of their daily chore duties. Here’s what I did. It works GREAT for us!

How to get kids to do chores

In an earlier post, I mentioned how we use low placed plastic sleeves to help with memorization for all ages of our kids. See that post here. Well, I use a similar concept when it comes to chores. I use the low placed plastic sleeves and place a photo or words (depending on age) of the chores they need to do every day just to live in this house and eat my food 🙂


Daily chores

It includes simple daily things, from the age of a 1 year old up to a 7 year old that they need to do. Each child has their own low placed (1-3 feet from the floor), chore chart.

Kids daily responsibilities

Don’t forget to include encouraging reminders, such as Hug my Family… I randomly change happy encouraging messages, by writing them on the plastic sleeves with Dry Erase marker. The rest of the daily chores are printed with ink / computer and stay put. Now, here’s the One Easy Tip:

chore chart with allowance

I randomly add on bonus chores, which the kids can get paid for. They are ONLY eligible for bonus chores if they have done ALL their daily chores that week without me nagging them. I have heard many people, and I am in that same boat, that they will never pay their kids to do chores. That’s fine, I completely agree, I do not either. But I DO give them opportunities to develop these essential skills:

1) Communication

2) Value of Hard Work

3) Savings, Tithing, Giving

4) The belief that it is OK to like and want something, and save up for it by working hard.

5) Determination and Fortitude

How does my one tip for doing chores gain all this? Easily! When they do their own chores, without me asking, they learn the value of positive Communication, Hard Work, Determination and Fortitude, and then they are eligible for earning their own money when I randomly, and by surprise, offer bonus jobs. 

Here is what I saw when I starting doing this:

1) My kids knew what was expected of them every day and could track their own chores. The goals were age appropriate and they had increased self esteem as a result.

2) Our house ran smoother and stayed cleaner.

3) Everyone felt a part of the family, and part of the success.

4) We were hugging more often, smiling more often, and I was far less stressed.

5) They learned the value of money, the value of hard work, and the value of communication.

6) They stopped asking me to buy them “things” every time we went out. Especially for my older daughter, the value of money sank in. She made comments such as, “Wait Mom, let’s not get this tonight, and save our money and then on Saturday we can do a special meal with Dad.” Before she had the opportunity to earn money for herself, she just could not grasp, no matter how many times I would explain, the concrete value of money, and how to be a wise steward of it. Now she can.

So, Get those job sheets down low, where the kids can see them. Add a routine of occasional paid jobs. Make the goals realistic and obtainable. Always add encouragement goals every week also. Enjoy a much less stressed, and much cleaner home 🙂 Below, are some sample chore charts by age, and the supplies to make your own!

 Daily Chore Ideas for 1-3 Year Old: (for this age I use photographs)

 Smiley Face = Wake Up Happy (One of my best chore goals I started with this age. It really helps. I teach them if they wake up grumpy or still tired, they can lay down until ready to wake up with a happy heart)

Make My Bed

Put My Books on Bookshelf

Let Mom Brush my Teeth

Let Mom Help Dress Me

Put Toys in Basket

Sweep Under my Highchair (give them their own hand broom and pan, keep it in the same spot every day)

Hug My Mom, Dad, Sister


Daily Chore Ideas for a 4-6 Year Old (I use PICTURES and WORDS)

Wake Up Happy

Make My Bed

Get Dressed

Take Out Braids / Spray my Hair (see Biracial Hair Care if you need information)

Brush My Teeth

Fill Up My Water Bottle

Do My Daily Work (we have a free Printable Daily Home Preschool Routine)

Wipe the Table 

Put Away Living Room Toys

Mop the Kitchen after Dinner (she uses a tiny mop I got and does an awesome job!)

Cuddle My Mom Every Day

Read a Book to Dad Every Day


Daily Chore Ideas for a Primary School Child (I use words)

Wake Up Happy

Practice Bible Verse

Get Dressed

Brush My Teeth

Make My Lunch

Fill Up My Water Bottle

Hug All My Sisters: They Love and Miss You while you are at school!

Play Outside After School (bring in all toys)

Sweep the Outside Stairs

Do all Homework

Set the Table

Vacuum the Living Room

Sweep the Kitchen

Take out the Garbage with Dad

Tell Dad about my Day

Talk about my Bible verse with Dad


Whew! That seems like a lot but really, they do even MORE than that every day!! And all that list above is from their Routine Chores! Now that they have those mastered, I throw in Bonus ways to earn a Quarter here and there. 

Random Money Earning Opportunities:

Scrub out the Laundry Baskets

Wash the Trash Cans

Sweep and Spray the Driveway

Scrub the Baseboards

Anything else that needs to get done on a random schedule. They only can do money earning chores if they have done their routine chores every day this week.  I do money opportunities at random intervals, NOT every week, so they always know that routine chores must be done regardless. This method has absolutely worked for our family.  I hope it helps your family to get the Routine Chores done, teaches them to manage their own money, not just receive an allowance, and learn the value of hard work. It has become a lot more FUN! Actually, when Chores are Age Appropriate, and based on Developmental Milestones, they ARE FUN! 

Want More Ideas for a Joyful Home with Kids? Check out this post with a free printable: How to Still have Quiet Time Every Day!

Want to Make or Buy Your Own Chore Chart? Get started right here!  

The plastic sleeves if you make your own (affiliate link):


Some already made charts (affiliate link):


 Happy Household Chores to you!

Looking for more ways to get kids involved around the house? Check out this Montessori inspired post ~ Joy


Author Joy Brownlee. Written and Photography copyrights
to Joy Brownlee @ for the photos bearing Joy's watermark.

One thought on “How to Get Kids to Do Chores: One Easy Tip

  1. your posts are always so timely! i was just telling my husband we need to make a checklist for my stepson (12) who has a hard time remembering all of these things.. make bed, fill water bottle, make lunch, etc. etc. it’s a struggle every day and it doesn’t have to be! love the wake up happy and hug my family items. 🙂

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