I used to feel guilty because my kids don’t have a lot of daily chores. Then I started making chore lists for the kids on Saturdays like my mom used to do.
Saturday chore lists are magical. Grace and Noah have fully embraced them, and I have learned (once again) that I need to find systems that work for me rather than copying what others do.
Of course there are things that need to be done more often than once a week. Making Saturday chore lists for my kids does not mean that they aren’t helpful throughout the week, but the Saturdays we make an extra effort to get some things done.
The key to success with my Saturday chore lists is that I sprinkle in several outside the box tasks, just like my mom did for me. Along with the biggies, like cleaning bedrooms, I throw in super easy chores that take no time at all. These are motivating, because the kids feel like they are making progress on the list without much effort.
I also include tasks that help the kids show love to others. These are just for fun, but they also help build relationships. The other week I asked the kids to say “I love you” to 5 people. They said it to the 4 other members of the family, but then had to find one more person. It inspired phone calls to the grandmas, which was a big hit for everyone.
Lastly, I throw in at least one task that gets their body moving. Again, this is a fun way to break up the regular cleaning tasks, and they get a kick out of it.
Outside the Box Chore List Ideas
Super Easy Chores:
- get the mail
- make bed
- get dressed
- brush teeth
- set table
- clear table
- put away silverware from dishwasher
- sweep porch
Show Love to Others:
- draw a picture
- say I love you
- give a hug
- give a kiss
- give a back rub
- read to a younger sibling
- call a grandparent
- write a letter
- sing a song
- tell a joke
- write the neighbors a sidewalk chalk message
Move Your Body:
- run around the house
- jumping jacks
- swing as high as you can
- ride bike around the block
- run up and down the stairs
- shoot hoops
- dance to a fun song
- hula hoop
- jump rope
- play with a balloon (keep it off the ground)
Click here to download free printables! Included are blank chore lists in black & white and 3 other colors. Plus, there is a list of all of the “show love” and “move your body” ideas as a helpful reminder for your chore list inspiration.
2 More Outside the Box Chore List Ideas
Along with my mom sprinkling in fun chores, she used two other chore list ideas that I remember fondly.
1. Let Kids Pick – Sometimes my mom would mix things up by letting me pick my chores. She would provide several options, and then tell me how many I needed to pick.
2. Timed Lists – Apparently, my mom grew tiresome of me dragging out my chores for the entire day. To help me realize how much time I was wasting, she would write down how much time each chore should take to complete it. (water plants – 3 mins, empty dishwasher – 5 mins, clean bathroom – 12 mins)
What are your unique chore list ideas?