A Clever Way to Get Kids to Do Chores

get kids to do chores

I found a clever way to get my kids to do their chores! And an added benefit is that it helps me give fewer commands to them. Less of this kind of talk: Take out the garbage! The dishwasher needs to be unloaded. Put your books away, please.

Since my children are getting a little older — 11 and 12 — I want them to get in the habit of seeing what needs to be done and doing it. (Don’t you just love the sound of that?!) That’s where the “chore scan” comes in.

When my children get home from school, instead of pointing out their messes, I say, “Chore scan.” That’s their cue to look over their chore chart and figure out if anything needs to be taken care of. So when my son looks at the list and sees “Garbage,” he can then check to see if the kitchen trash can is full or if it’s the day to wheel the cans to the curb. My daughter sees “Fold clothes” on her chore chart so she heads to the dryer to see if there are clothes that need folding.

Eventually, I hope they’ll be able to scan without even looking at their chore charts. One can hope, right? Do you have a secret to getting your kids to help out without you nagging them?

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In The Comments

What's your tip for getting your kids to do their chores?


  • Jennifer Pabst

    Thank you for these great looking charts! I have been struggling with “directing” chores for years. Constantly trying to micromanage the house, business and school was proving to be less than successful! I came up with a new plan that has been working very well. Each week one of my six children is the “house manager”. They assign the weeks chores to each of their siblings then check the chore when they are claimed to be completed. The house manager then let’s me know that all chores are completed and we look at them together. If any of the chores are not finished; the house manager is responsible to complete that chore since they ok’d it. On top of that each kiddo has a specific day that they complete their laundry all the way through to putting it away. We homeschool with the exception of the two oldest who are in high school. This works for us and it gives each child the opportunity to learn how to manage others. My kids ages range from 2-17. Things don’t always go smoothly but in the long run I hope this helps each child learn to be responsible for their surroundings, take pride in their work, give them a great work ethic, and learn how to delegate as well as take direction from others. just a note…My 5 year old daughter is the best house manager to date! She is kind and very thorough!!

    • Great ideas, Jennifer! I love the idea of a house manager because kids rise to the occasion when someone gives them that kind of responsibility. 🙂 Nancy