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Summer Chores for Kids

Updated on June 14, 2012

Stressed Yet??????

Does your house get wrecked over the summer with the kids home? Do you feel like all you do is pick up after them?

We have found something that works for our family. I set up this summer chore chart (see below) about 5 years ago (we do a different one for the school year) and things have never been the same. It has been adjusted and added to over the years as the kids have grown. What started out as a few chores after meals and cleaning their rooms, has now developed into a full fledged chore list with everyone participating. It is amazing how a crew of more than one can keep a whole house clean for the whole summer.

We start it on the first full day after school ends. We have found that if we wait any longer, it just never happens. We keep putting it off and then no one gets on board. If they know that it starts right away (and we enforce it right away), the summer goes more smoothly. I give them weekends off, but I have found that they are more willing to help with meal time clean up because they have been doing it all week long.

These chores need to get done right after breakfast and showers. If we wait til later in the day, they just do not get done, and I lose track of everything. Plus, summer activities and friends are way more interesting than dusting the fans, surprisingly. Also, I realize that they are kids, so I do not expect perfection. I just expect them to do the best that they can. If the clothes are not folded the way I do it, that is fine. They are learning. I try to step back and let them learn from it. They learn that things get wrinkled if they are not folded, so the next time they take more care with it.

We do not just do this because we have a bigger family. We feel that doing all of these things (which we rotate yearly) helps teach them self sufficiency, responsibility, kindness, and a sense of being part of a family – something bigger than just themselves. When they go off into the world and have to clean their own toilets in their first apartment ( I will NOT be doing that for them), they really need to know how to do that. They need to know not to mix red colors with their white undies (unless pink is their new favorite color). How else do they learn that unless I spend time teaching them when they are still with me? Part of that thinking is from when I was a kid. I was the official dishwasher and floor washer when I was a kid. Those were my jobs. When I turned 10, I learned how to cook dinner – every night. I love to cook and bake now because I watched my mom and was right there by her side chopping and slicing. I am sure that at some point I would have learned how to cook, but it was easier on my first night alone in an apartment, knowing I didn’t just have to eat cereal or Pop Tarts.

They also learn responsibility from this. No one will be there to clean up after you when you grow up – in cleaning and in life. You are responsible for your own messes, so they learn that if they do not want to clean it up, then they should not mess it up. They are still not the neatest kids, but they are learning.

Kindness come sin when the older ones are helping the younger ones, and vice versa. If someone is sick, they help take over someone else’s chores, or help someone reach something high up. They learn to be nice. Sometimes they think that someone else will be nice to them back, but eventually the kindness seed takes root in their souls and grows and grows, creating a nice human being.

We are a family. No one is more important that anyone else. When we work together, things get done quicker and with less pain. If one person (namely me) had to do EVERYTHING that needed to be done around our house, NO ONE would be happy, because I would be MISERABLE, and ,we would not ever get to go out and have fun. With a crew of more than one, things can get done faster. Everyone finds their niche – things that they like and are good at. If we all work together, cleaning the house takes an hour, not 6 or 7 or 20. We are all in this together and if we work together, everyone is happy.

We also have a pet, but EVERYONE helps with that, because that is just a constant in our house. He does not just poop once, he poops a LOT and there is a lot required to take care of him.

So, adapt this as you see fit. It is what works for us. You may have other things that need to get done around the house. You may have more kids, or less. Like I said earlier, we have adapted this list over the years, but it works.



Summer Chore Chart

 
Kid #1 (Ages 13 and up)
Kid #2 (9-12 yrs)
Kid #3 (6-8 yrs)
Kid #4 (3-5 yrs)
Everyone
Monday
Unload dishwasher
Water plants
Pick up living and family room
Help with recycling
Read 30 minutes
 
Vacuum all downstairs
Clean office
Clean up laundry room
Wipe table after every meal
Practice instruments
 
Help with dishes
Help put food away after meals
Wipe table after every meal
Take out recycling
Do 2-4 math pages
 
Do Windows - front and back
Dust stair railings
Take out recycling
Clean and dust room
 
 
Help with laundry
Help with laundry
Clean and dust room
Pick up dog's toys
 
Tuesday
Dust family room
Unload dishwasher
Pick up living room
Help with recycling
Read 30 minutes
 
Clean upstairs bathroom
Clean downstairs bathroom
Clean up laundry room
Clean room
Practice instruments
 
Help put food away after meals
Wipe table after every meal
Help with dishes
Vacuum under table
Do 2-4 math pages
 
Clean up laundry room
Dust dining room
Clean office
 
 
Wednesday
Unload dishwasher
Vacuum stairs
Pick up living room
Take out recycling
Read 30 minutes
 
Vacuum all downstairs
Clean and dust room
Clean and dust room
Clean room
Practice instruments
 
Wipe table after every meal
Help with dishes
Help put food away after meals
Clean up laundry room
Do 2-4 math pages
 
Clean and dust room
Dust all upstairs blinds
Wipe down railings
 
 
Thursday
Vacuum all upstairs
Unload dishwasher
Pick up basement
Pick up basement
Read 30 minutes
 
Do windows - front and back
Pick up basement
Pick up living room
Clean room
Practice instruments
 
Help with dishes
Help put food away after meals
Wipe table after meals
Vacuum under table
Do 2-4 math pages
 
Pick up basement
Vacuum basement stairs
Dust downstairs blinds
Pick up dog's toys
 
Friday
Clean downstairs bathroom
Clean upstairs bathroom
Clean and dust room
Vacuum under table
Read 30 minutes
 
Help put food away after meals
Help with dishes
Wipe table after meals
Clean room
Practice instruments
 
Clean and dust room
Unload dishwasher
Take out recycling
Help with recycling
Write a "Quick Write" story
 
Clean up laundry room
Vacuum downstairs
Pick up living room
Pick up dog's toys
 
Every day
Help make meals
Help make meals
Set table for meals
Put your dishes away after meals
 
Can you tell which rooms get the messiest in our house? Pick what really needs a daily cleaning and put those on your list.

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