I firmly believe in kids pitching in around the house, even little ones. Emma Kate has been helping out consistently since she was a toddler, and her responsibilities have grown over the years. This post is about chores for kids. She is now 6, and we have broken things down into two categories around here:
Things she HAS to do (does not get money for)
Things she can choose to do to make money
Like I said, EK is 6, and doesn’t “need” money for things, but she does like to earn it. Instead of giving her a flat allowance weekly, we let her earn money by doing chores around the house, if she chooses to, which she usually does. Let’s start with what she has to do.
These things are non negotiables like keep her room clean, get herself ready in the morning and at night, not leave her stuff all over the house (shoes go in mudroom, clothes in laundry, plate in the sink, take the dog out etc.) She does NOT get paid for these things. She gets to live in my house for free, so those are things we consider as “her keep” and also teaching her good habits and not being lazy or slovenly. (Obviously I would never charge a child rent anyway, but it’s just one of those life lessons we chose for her to learn early. Mom and dad work hard so you can help, too).
Then there are chores that she can do to earn extra money. So far these have been things like:
-Put away certain dished
-Wipe down counters/tables
We randomly come up with things as well depending on what we have going on or time of year. Sometimes she rakes, takes out the trash, wash cars, and helps mom or dad with chores we are doing.
Do we give her a set amount for these chores? At this point, no. Girlfriend can’t count money, so depending on the chore and length of time, I may give her a couple dimes or a quarter, it really just depends. She is typically happy with whatever she gets and runs to put it in her piggy bank. I assume as she starts to learn more about money we will start giving her set amounts for certain chores.
Also, I don’t pay her if the work is not done well. No participation awards for doing chores! If she halfway washes windows, she can go back and finish/do it right if she would like her money. Of course, I take into consideration her age and abelites, and she gets a lot of extra praise for helping out.
On top of chores and getting money, we have a “cheerio jar.” This is something we started in the spring when we decided to get a puppy. We put down a deposit in the spring, she was born at the end of June, and we got her at the end of August. We wanted it to be a surprise, so we decided to use it as an opportunity for her to “earn” the puppy. So I found a big clear measuring cup (I think its like 6 cups maybe?) and grabbed the closest cheap thing I could find to use as tokens–Cheerios, and told her when she behaved, did extra chores, etc. I would give her cheerios, and when it was full…we would get a puppy.
It worked SO well that we did it again, but this time with a Disney trip (fill the jar and we will go to Disney World.) Now we are back from Disney and she wants to know what she is working towards next, ha!
So that’s basically how we roll around here when it comes to chores for kids. If she wants money, she can earn it, and she also has set things she has to do to remain a living creature under this roof, ha! She has yet to say anything about what her friends do if anything, so I’m not really sure if this is common practice, but it works for us as of right now!
We have this Disney chore chart as well, and have used it on and off over the past year. It’s all magnets so you can change out the responsibilities weekly. Sometimes we will have her do the chart and every day that she does all the things required, she gets extra cheerios for her jar.
We have also thought about coming up with a list on a dry erase board and letting her mark things off as she does them. I hope you enjoyed my chores for kids post! Happy cleaning!