Today, I’m sharing a way to make household chores easier for school-aged kids with an easy to follow plan that works. Plus, I’m offering an instant download: a free printable list of chore ideas for kids. Thanks so much to Libman for sponsoring this post.
When my kids were very young, I remember feeling overwhelmed by housework. I didn’t want to rush past the days of their toddlerhood, but I looked forward to the days when they would be capable of helping out.
Now that my kids are a little older, I will admit that some aspects of running our home are easier. My kids are now able to do a great many things I could have only dreamed of when they were tiny. And although I knew that when they grew older they would be able to help, I didn’t consider that they might not be available to help.
Running from appointments to classes, meetings to sporting events, work to seminars, parties to celebrations, chore time looks very different now than it did when they were little. Instead of my hubby and me being the only ones in the family with busy schedules, now all of us have to-do lists and places to be.
So how in the world do we keep up with things at this busy stage of life?
I know it sounds cliche, but working together works. Many times kids don’t think things are fair, especially when it comes to chores. Unfortunately, they often miss the message that one of our primary goals as parents is to teach them how to do things so they will eventually be able to do them themselves.
When kids see their parent or sibling working alongside them, they learn that responsibility in caring for a home belongs to everyone who lives there.
I used to set a timer 45 minutes before lunch every day when my two eldest kids were in elementary school. I had a chart on the fridge with daily chores that took them each about 15-25 minutes to complete. While they were working, I also worked or helped one of the younger kids with their tasks. Chore time before lunch was a great motivator because everyone knew they couldn’t have lunch until they finished. Even my easily distracted children were motivated by their cravings.
Now that they are older and our schedules are so tight, I have shifted the plan. I don’t insist on a set chore time or specific schedule for my middle and high schoolers, I simply ask them to help around the house in different ways.
I found this great chalkboard with four “clipboards” at Hobby Lobby and it’s perfect for jotting notes or chores for each of my kids. When I have things I want them to do, I write it on their clipboard.
If I can find a time when all or most of them are available, I ask them all to check their chalkboard for the chores they need to do. I still find that working together helps to motivate us all and seems more fair to the kids.
I also hung this “busy family” chalkboard that I bought at Kohl’s so the kids know the general schedule of activities, appointments, and meals for the week. I keep a great deal more info for myself in my planner, but this works to inform the family of their activities.
Have the Right Tools
Having cleaning tools that are easy for kids to use is another way to motivate kids to get their chores done.
You may know that we took the carpet off of our stairs and have been refinishing the wood floors (reveal post coming soon!), but with that change came a cleaning challenge: keeping dog hair off the wood steps.
Vacuuming steps was never my favorite pastime and now that we have gone to hardwood, I was in search of an easy way to keep them clean. Libman sent me some products to try out, and I love the Freedom Dust Mop(affiliate). It’s simple for my kids (or me) to quickly dust mop the steps and literally takes minutes. The attached scraper makes it simple to clean the hair off of the microfiber dusting pad before throwing it in the laundry.
They also sent me a dustpan and brush that is perfect for little kids to sweep off the steps or sweep up crumbs on the kitchen floor.
I have not seen Microfiber Sponge Cloths like these before and I am so impressed with them! I think their intended purpose is for kitchen use, but I am using them all around the house, including on the steps. It’s simple for kids to wipe down the stairs with a damp microfiber sponge cloth once the dirt has been dust mopped. They are very soft and thick and just perfect for dusting or wiping all kinds of surfaces.
But I have to say, the Freedom Spray Wet Mop is my most favorite of all the products. I have been experimenting with natural cleaning recipes, but the wet mops I had required a purchased chemical cleaner, so I was having to use a separate spray bottle.
I love that I can mix up my favorite natural cleaning solution and just pour it in! It’s simple for kids to use as well, and with the ability to add a natural cleaner – it’s safe.
I just toss the cleaning pad in the laundry once the floor has been mopped and put on a new pad so it’s ready for the next mopping.
First, Libman is giving away a set of the same cleaning supplies you saw featured in this post to one of you (details below)!
Second, I am giving away a free printable chore idea chart to help you with teaching your kids household responsibility.
Click on the image below to open the PDF download.
You will need a PDF reader to open the file. If it doesn’t open automatically, please visit Adobe Reader here. Free printables are copyrighted and are for personal use only. They should not be reproduced in any way without prior written consent.
Free Printable List of Chore Ideas for Kids
Thanks to Libman for sending me the products featured in this post. If you would like to more about Libman and their products, please be sure to check them out at Libman.com, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Libman and I was given products to review. I only offer my honest opinion and share products with my readers that I use in my own home. I was not influenced to write a positive review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy here.