A peek inside this post: Are you looking for the best chore chart system? As a mom of four, I’ve tried many, but this diy magnetic chore chart (which I’ll teach you how to create) has worked best. I needed a chore system for large families, and the great thing about this one is, it’s great for any family size! We’ll also talk about age appropriate chores and answer the question, “Should kids have an allowance?”, and if so, “How much allowance for chores is appropriate?”. Get ready for this game-changing chore system for kids!
Oh, if I could tell you how many variations of chore charts we’ve tried over the years, and how much time and money I’ve wasted creating systems that were doomed to fail because it put most of the responsibility on me to remember or record, and not on the kids.
This new system has worked wonderfully for a few years, is completely easy to set up and maintain, and puts the responsibility on my boys, instead of me.
Are you ready to see how to make this thing? It’s so easy!
DIY Magnetic Chore Chart
First, I ordered two simple cookie sheets.
When they arrived, I used a liquid chalk marker to write “To Do” on one and “Done” on the other, and used washi tape to underline the headings.
Some folks could probably go all out and really fancify this thing, but I wanted to make sure we’d actually stick to this system before investing too much time and money into it. Plus, I kind of like its simplicity.
Next, I ordered Scribble brand magnets that could be easily written on. I definitely recommend them. They are durable and a thin sharpie goes over them flawlessly.
I ordered magnets in four colors, one for each boy, and I will talk more about the color-coding system later on.
How This Chore System for Large Families Works
When the magnets arrived, I wrote a daily task on each one with a fine-point sharpie. (Mistakes can easily be wiped off with nail polish remover and a cotton ball).
The magnets came in packs of 20, so I split them up into a set of ten morning tasks, and a set of ten afternoon/evening tasks. I then stuck the magnets onto the cookie sheet, the morning tasks on the top row and the afternoon/evening tasks on the bottom row, in order for each of my fellas.
I LOVE that all of them could use the same set of cookie sheets, so I didn’t have to create four different chore charts and figure out where to put them all. The two cookie sheets fit great on my Simple Family Command Center Wall!
This is a great chore chart for big families! Or small families! That’s one of the wonderful things about it. It’s easily adaptable for families of various sizes and age groups, and you can write tasks/chores to suit your needs. (We’ll go over some age appropriate chores below!)
My Favorite Benefit From Our Chore Chart
If I had to remind each of my boys about every single task…that would be 80 daily reminders that I’d be throwing at them!
Who has the mental energy for that? That is crazy-making!
Now there are 20 daily tasks for each of the children to take care of, and all I have to say is, “Check your magnets.”
Our Chore Chart & Color Coding System
As I mentioned, each boy has their own colored magnets. That color is also their assigned color for almost everything.
When I write their events on the big family calendar, I use a wet-erase marker in their color. Their bath towels are in their color (then I know who left theirs laying on the floor), their toothbrushes are in their color, and their shower loofahs are in their color. You get the jist.
Boy #1 is red, #2 is green, #3 is blue, and #4 is yellow/orange.
Every morning, they know to get up and “do their magnets.” I placed the magnets in order of our schedule. This system is great, because instead of me helping them to transition through each new task, they can plainly see what comes next.
For example, they wake up and know that they need to get dressed and make their beds before coming down for breakfast. When they come downstairs after doing those things, they move those two magnets over to the “Done” side and get their breakfast.
Next on the list is “Meal Clean-Up,” so they know they need to clean up their breakfast mess and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
And so on, and so on.
When they get home from school, they will then have to work on their bottom row of tasks, like Homework, Packing up for Tomorrow, etc.
Should Kids Have an Allowance?
Many parents wonder if they should pay their kids to do chores, or if it’s just part of being a family and each member should contribute. In our family, we’ve done it both ways.
I do think instilling good work ethic into your kids is important, as well as teaching them the value of a dollar. With payment comes learning about budgets, savings, etc. These are wonderful things for kids to learn!
However, I also understand that sometimes our own budgets as parents are already strapped, and it’s important still to teach kids that they won’t always get rewarded for completing basic tasks. One day that will just be called “adulting” and no one is cheering you on for brushing your teeth and doing your own laundry.
If you’re not able to compensate your kids for their chores at this time, you could still work out some sort of reward system. Maybe their hard work can earn them extra screen time, a special dessert, or a fun outing with Mom or Dad.
We are in a season where we can afford to give our kids an allowance. Do what fits your family’s needs, but I will share what’s working for us right now.
How Much Allowance for Chores: What’s Working For Us
How much allowance for chores obviously depends on your family’s budget. But here is what’s working for us:
Each daily task or chore on their magnets is worth five cents, so if they completed all 20 magnets, they would earn a dollar for that day.
If they don’t move the magnet over, they don’t get credit for it, simple as that. The point of this chore chart is to take the responsibility off of me and put it back onto my kids, so I’m not reminding them to follow through.
Also, if they move a magnet over without actually doing that task (for instance, if they moved over “Tidy Bedroom” but I still find dirty laundry and toys on their floor), then they get one warning, where they just have to put that one magnet back and not get credit for that chore that day. If he is a repeat offender, he gets a zero for the whole day. You don’t get rewarded for not doing the job around here.
At the end of each night, I record how many magnets each of my boys finished, and move the completed magnets back over to the “To Do” side for a fresh start the next day. Sometimes I delegate this job.
Pay days are every other Friday (the same day Handsome Hubby gets paid). We figure out how much they’ve earned in their two week pay period.
The boys are required to Give 10% (we combine their donations and find a reputable cause once or twice a year), Save 25% (in their savings accounts), and then are left to Spend the other 65% however they choose.
They’re learning some good lessons about saving up for a long time for something they really want, versus spending willy-nilly, like the time #3 convinced #4 to purchase his turn on the iPad for $8. Sigh….
>> Teach kids how to manage their finances with this simple Budget Spreadsheet!
Anyway, that’s our system and we’re sticking to it!
Age Appropriate Chores
Now that you know the best chore chart system (AKA: DIY magnetic chore chart), let’s go over some age-appropriate chores for every age!
Age Appropriate Chores for Toddlers
Oh, those toddlers are wild creatures, aren’t they? Still, they can help around the house. The key is to remember that much of this will need to be parent-led, but it’s important to instill good habits at a young age.
- help put toys away
- help make their bed
- dust… sort of. Give them a feather duster and watch as they live their best life.
- put dirty clothes in the hamper
- help with younger siblings (toddlers are wonderful diaper-fetchers!)
- practice sweeping with a small broom and dust pan
- help rinse dishes with Mom or Dad
Age Appropriate Chores for Preschoolers
Welcome to the “I can do it myself” stage! Preschoolers are so determined to accomplish things independently, and love to celebrate when they do!
Preschoolers can do all the things toddlers can do, and:
- refill toilet paper and put fresh towels in the bathroom (this was a game changer in our house!)
- empty small wastebaskets
- check the mail
- put away silverware/utensils from the dishwasher
- water plants
- help feed the pets
- match socks
- copy a table setting
- clear the table and wipe it down
Age Appropriate Chores for 5-6 Year Olds
This is such a big age for youngsters! They’re starting school, learning to be more autonomous, and are ready for some responsibility.
5 and 6 year olds can do everything toddlers and preschoolers can do, and:
- help make/pack lunch
- help put away groceries
- help wash or dry dishes
- fold/put away towels
- start the dishwasher
- vacuum with supervision
- help organize the pantry (my youngest has been THE BOMB at this from a very young age!)
Age Appropriate Chores for 7-9 Year Olds
This stage is fun because you don’t have to watch them quite as closely, although some of the novelty of chores has probably worn off by now.
Still, 7-9 year olds can do everything listed above, and:
- wash, dry, and put away dishes/empty the dishwasher
- carry in groceries
- clean bedroom
- wipe bathroom surfaces and scrub the toilet
- wipe counters and appliances
- rake leaves
- help with washing, drying, folding, putting away laundry, and hanging up clothes!
- help clean out the car
- wash windows
- sweep the porch
- organizational tasks you keep meaning to get to– putting pictures into photo albums, organizing board games, sorting out your junk drawer, etc.
Age Appropriate Chores for 10-12 Year Olds
So tweens may not be as stoked about doing chores, but they love having some spending money or earning other rewards!
10-12 year olds can do everything we’ve already mentioned, and:
- take out the trash
- do laundry (with a handy cheat sheet that stays in the laundry room!)
- wash and change sheets/bedding
- clean the shower
- prepare simple meals
- shred papers
- care for pets– walking the dog, etc.
- clean and organize dresser drawers and closets
- pump gas
- be fully responsible for garbage day, making sure the bins go out to the streets
Age Appropriate Chores for 13-15 Year Olds
This stage is great for proving to your young teens that you trust them by giving them some more mature tasks. Even if they’re not thrilled with the actual chores they have to do, this is an important age for asserting their independence, and what better way than to start taking on more responsibility and learning real life skills!
13-15 year olds can and should be doing the things we’ve already listed, and:
- mow grass and other yard work/shoveling snow
- clean out the fridge
- learn how to manage personal finances
- dust ceiling fans
- clean the garage
- wash the car
Age Appropriate Chores for 16+
These kids are probably going to want to explore their newfound freedom with their driver’s license. I remember offering to go ANYWHERE for my mom when I first got mine.
Instead of your teens driving around aimlessly, give them a few things to do, like:
- running errands
- meal planning and grocery shopping
- pick up and drop off younger siblings
- get a part time job
- basic car maintenance
These chores aren’t meant to be overwhelming. If you add a little responsibility at each stage, you can feel like you’ve really helped your kids become functioning members of society when it’s time to let them loose in the real world. They’ll be grateful you taught them how to do things!
Do You Agree This is The BEST Chore Chart System?
It’s pretty great, right? But, maybe you have some ideas where it can be improved! Please let us know in the comments – we always love to learn from you!
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Best Tips for Packing School Lunches that Make it Less Annoying – Packing lunches is SUCH a chore! In that case, delegate it to one of your little darlings. Read this post for more great tips!
Motivation for Cleaning House When You Just Can’t Even – This new Chore Chart might keep your kiddos motivated, but how will you stay motivated? Cleaning can be a drag, so check out these 6 tips to find your motivation. Yes, even when you just can’t even!
Top 5 Christian Parenting Tips & Ideas – Instilling good work ethic is one of our tips for raising kids the right way. Check out this post for a few more ideas on intentional parenting.