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Free Printable Chore Chart Templates that Work

Updated on November 3, 2012

Simplify Chores for Kids with a Custom Chore Reminder Chart

Each of my kids has two chore charts - one for when they wake up in the morning, and one for getting ready for bed at night. You can print these chore charts and customize the chores and pictures in Microsoft Word before printing. I'll also show you how to make these simple chore charts into more permanent solutions that can easily be changed.

Chore Charts that Don't Work (at least for me) - Reward Systems Don't Work For Me Either

Magnetic Chore Chart by Melissa and Doug
Magnetic Chore Chart by Melissa and Doug

I've been trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) the last five years to encourage my children to do their chores with various charts (that I purchased) and reward systems. Recently, I decided to scrap everything that WASN'T working (which was almost everything).

No more rewards. No more complicated systems. And certainly no more bartering or rule bending.

Instead, everyone is expected to do their basic chores without reward. It's a privilege to live in our house, and with privilege comes responsibility. Everyone has to do their part to make our home a great place to live.

Custom Pictures of Chores

The One Thing I Didn't Scrap - Because Pictures are Worth 1000 Words

The only thing from my previous complicated chore systems that I did not scrap is pictures. Pictures are worth 1000 words. Pictures explain better than I can tell, and in an instant. Not to mention, pictures work on pre-readers (making chore charts possible for 1, 2, 3 and 4 year olds too)! So I use pictures to SHOW my kids what is expected.

You can use drawings or clipart or stock photos to show your kids put clothes in the laundry basket, or put dishes in the sink. However, custom pictures are better (even if they aren't professional quality). No one's kitchen sink looks exactly like your kitchen, and you probably keep your laundry basket in a different spot than the rest of us too.

My Easy Custom Chore Chart - Print, Fold on Solid Horizontal Line, Cut Along Vertical Dotted Lines

Cut on red dotted lines, and fold on black dotted line/
Cut on red dotted lines, and fold on black dotted line/

This simple chore chart consists of 5 chores (with a picture and text below describing what it is). Each chore can be marked "done" by closing the flap up and holding it closed with a sticker or magnet. The chore chart is very visual. It's easy to tell where each child is in their routine (especially if you have several kids). It's also simple for the child to remember what is left to do, so you don't have to prod as much.

To not complicate things it's important that you not require too many chores of your children. You could require more than 5 chores (maybe 6 or 7), but 5 is a nice number that you can also use your fingers to represent. Plus 5 fits nicely in my 8 1/2 x 11 printable chore chart templates.

Customize the pictures in these MS Word templates by clicking 'format' 'shape fill' and 'picture.'

Printable Chore Charts Templates - Free Customizable Family Chore Chart Templates

These templates were originally created in Microsoft Word (so you can easily change them. However, I'm also including PDF versions should you not have Microsoft Word.

You can easily print these from home, and then reprint if you need to modify the chores. However, if you keep scrolling, I'll show you how to create a more permanent solution (that you can also modify as time goes on).

Daily Bathroom Cleaning Chart - Teach Kids to Help Clean the Bathroom after Each Shower or Bath

Teach Kids to Clean the Bathroom
Teach Kids to Clean the Bathroom

Just print this chart, laminate it, and then cut on dotted lines, and fold on horizontal line. Then you can hang it up.

This template is completely customizable, if you want to add your own photos or switch one of the five responsibilities. I realize that problem spots for my kids (like putting the toothpaste cap back on) may not be an issue for you. You also might have children that are ready for more bathroom cleaning responsibilities than mine (like cleaning the toilet. and spraying the tiles and the mirror) so feel free to switch out the five bathroom cleaning tasks with whatever works for your family.

I haven't done it yet - but I'm considering making a weekly bathroom cleaning chore chart and pinning it to the inside of the cabinet door under the bathroom sink with cleaning supplies to be done by one of the kids once a week. The new chart would be based on this bathroom cleaning check list.

More DIY Chore Chart Ideas - These Printable Responsibility Charts Were Inspired By...

If you don't find what you're looking for here, you might try some of these fabulous chore chart ideas. They are all simple, and elegant.

Customizing Chores for Each Child - Different Chores, Different Pictures, Different Words

My six year old's chore chart she made on her own (using the same simple chore template we always use).
My six year old's chore chart she made on her own (using the same simple chore template we always use).

As I said earlier, everyone in my house gets two sets of 5 chores that are expected (one set for morning wake up, and another set for getting ready for bed). Each child has a different set of chores, and I periodically change the chores in each depending on what each child is working on developmentally, and needs reminding to do.

I sometimes use typed words and pictures that I've taken on the chore charts. Other times, i allow my children to illustrate their chores. I think both are beneficial.

Make this chore chart a permanent solution with a plastic folder and self adhesive label holders.

Permanet Customizable Chore Chart Solution

Here are instructions to make the printable chore chart templates above into a more permanent solution.

Plastic Folders, No Prongs - Perfect for a Customizable Chore/Responsibility Chart

Custom Chore Chart Folder
Custom Chore Chart Folder

I purchased some plastic presentation folders from Walmart for this project, with the intention of cutting them up and turning them into customizable chore charts that would last. You can buy these online, but they are at least 4 times as high in price to purchase individually. However, if you have a lot of kids and need to purchase a set of 12 or 25, you can get a good deal online.

Just make sure that whatever Plastic folder you purchase to make a custom chore chart, that it does not have prongs. We will need the professional crease to make our custom chore charts.

Adhesive Business Card Holders for Chore Chart - Great No Glare Business Card Pockets for Responsibility Chart

Business Card Pockets for Chore Chart
Business Card Pockets for Chore Chart

How to Make Instructions - How to Make this Chore Chart Permanent

Customizable Chore Chart
Customizable Chore Chart

Using the plastic folder, business card holders, some magnetic strips, a pair of scissors, a pencil and a ruler you can make this chore chart a permanent solution in hour house. Not only will it be permanent, but it will also be customizable and changeable so that the chores can change as your child grows.

Step 1. Cut off pockets on plastic folder.

Step 2. Measure 5 and 1/2 inches to the right of the crease on the folder and draw a line with a pencil so that you know where to cut.

Step 3. Measure 4 and 1/2 inches to the left of the crease on the folder and draw a line with a pencil so that you know where to cut.

Step 4. Cut on lines.

Step 5. On the 4 and 1/2 side draw 4 lines exactly 2 2/5 inches apart from the bottom of the panel all the way to the crease in the folder.

Step 5. Cut on the lines you just drew all the way to the crease. This should leave you with 5 tabs.

Step 6. Apply one 2 inch magnetic strip to the bottom of each tab (magnetic strips can be smaller if you like; however, I like them to be a bit heavier so that they weigh down the panels when opened).

Step 7. Pair each magnet with a partner that is not attached yet. Then fold the loose flaps over so you know where to apply the magnets on the other side.

Step 8. Apply 10 plastic adhesive business card holders to the chore chart (one on each of the tabs, and then one between the magnet on the paired panel and the crease). You may have to trim off a little of the business card holders, mine were about 2 millimeters too wide to fit.

Step 9. Fill the business card holders with pictures of the chores your child will be responsible for on the top, and the words that explain the chore below.

Step 10. Hang with thumbtacks in a place where your child will see it.

Magnetic Chore Chart - Love this Magnetic Responsibility Chart

I actually still like this magnetic chore chart from Melissa and Doug. I purchased it several years ago, but had to modify it to work for four kids (instead of just one). It got to be a hassle having to take magnets off every day, though. It was also difficult to make it pertain to each child (we have a wide age range - 15, 12, 6 and 2).

How do you manage chores in your home? - Do you have a chore chart or another great idea to encourage diligence?

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    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 4 years ago from Vermont

      We used basic chart and lists to teach our girls time management. They both still use lists and my youngest grandchild (4) makes lists for everything. She was so funny to warch as she planned her parents anniversary celebation ...

    • profile image

      GilangBiantara 5 years ago

      very funny i love it

    • MomsFunToys profile image

      MomsFunToys 5 years ago

      What a great lens!! I love this and will have to give this a try w/ my kids. Thanks for posting this!

    • shauna1934 profile image

      shauna1934 5 years ago

      @ComfortsOfHome: Thanks so much for the comment! I'm still refining the chart to use with me and Dad too! We're starting to post them all over the house for various things. Guests might wonder about us - but I'd rather have a functioning house with visible family chore and responsibility reminders everywhere, than not! :)

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 5 years ago

      Your chore chart is brilliant. So good of you to share! I think you're wise to dispense with the complex reward systems and whatnot, and take the approach that chores are just a part of life, pulling together to do the necessary. Good stuff!

    • profile image

      yogendrachavda 5 years ago

      Thanks for this creative lens..

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      very nice selections!