A list of age appropriate ideas for Summer chores for kids that are easy to follow and customizable for ages 4 – 12. Don’t forget to grab your free printable charts at the end of this post!
Summertime is all about relaxing, and lazy days spent sleeping in late and playing til the sun goes down. No more homework, no early school drop offs. Its a very much needed break for the entire family from the strict school day schedule.
But, without any structure at all, the days start to drag, and the kids are complaining of being bored. They start to miss a little of the busyness that came with school. (at least a little bit).
One way I find that really helps to keep my kids from saying they’re bored 20 times a day, is to have a few simple tasks they are required to do to help out around the house. Not too many to where it ruins their Summer break, but just enough to make them appreciate the free play times throughout the day!
The easiest way to get your kids to do their chores without having to remind and remind them day in and day out, is to have a chart that will remind them for you! I’ve come up with some Summer chore chart ideas that have been working great with my kids and I think your kids will enjoy too! (ok, maybe not enjoy, but you get the idea)
At the end of this post you’ll be able to download an editable chore chart that works for ages 4-12. And a list of Summer chore ideas to help you and your kids get started right away!
Why is it Important for kids to have Summer chores?
Giving your kids age appropriate chores is not only helpful to Mom and Dad, but does so much for your children!
helping out makes your kids more invested in their home
Your kids will care more about their home knowing that they help to keep it in good shape. Its not just their parents who work toward a nice place for the family to live. When you are all in it together, you all try harder to keep things in looking good.
it helps them to feel needed
Like Thomas the Train, we all like to feel “really useful”. Knowing that they are doing something that really helps mommy and daddy is a great feeling! Something as simple as being the one who sweeps the floor after dinner, can make your child feel important to the way the household runs.
doing light housework teaches useful skills they can use their entire lives
You don’t want your kids to have to learn to do the laundry and wash the dishes when they move out as adults! Teaching them slowly as they grow up at home will make them experts when they start a home of their own!
it instills a good work ethic
If you are clear about what you expect from your children with each task they do, you’re teaching them how to do a job well. Not just doing the bare minimum. That’s not going to fly when they’re working an adult job and it shouldn’t be ok with their little jobs at home.
working together teaches team work
We all work together for a common goal. That goal can be as simple as getting the chores knocked out at the same time so that we can all go play baseball together!
having summer chores adds structure to their day
Like I said before, just having a few little things that your kids are expected to do each day, even on Summer break can give them a sense of time and make the day fly by a little faster. It differentiates between play time and “not – playtime” making their free time more precious.
Can Little Kids Actually Be Helpful Around the House?
Giving the kids chores is good for them but I also like to make it work in my favor too. They can really be a help to me even from an early age!
When you think about a four year old doing chores, you might be imagining a toddler dragging a broom around or dripping dishwater all over the floor. Its really important to me to make sure I’m giving my little ones jobs that they can actually tackle and do a good job at! Finding age appropriate chores is the way to go.
“Starting them young” doesn’t need to mean starting your kids with chores they aren’t coordinated enough for yet. They’ll get to the point where they can easily manage a broom soon enough.
When they’re little, its going to be much more helpful to find jobs that they can actually excel at instead. And your child won’t get frustrated with a job that they can’t actually do well yet.
I want my kids first and foremost to be kids! I don’t need them to do my job for me. So I make sure the chores I expect them to do are things they can actually do at the age level they are at.
How To Set Up Summer Chores For Kids:
- separate the chores into categories that are easy to remember
- stick to a consistent number of chores for each day
- have “days off” like the weekends or Sundays
- have chore options that your child can choose from so that they feel a little in control of their tasks
- add in Summertime outdoor jobs
- keep each task under 10 minutes each
- have everyone working on their chores together, even mom and dad
- keep tasks age appropriate
Summer Chores Chart Ideas for kids:
I’ve found that having set categories or types of chores for my kids to do each day makes it really easy for them to remember them. These are the categories I’m using for our Summer chore chart:
1. Wake Up Chore:
This chore is done right after my kids wake up. My older kids will make their beds, brush their teeth, gather any dirty laundry in their room and get dressed. My 4 year old boys make sure their bedding is on their beds (off the floor), put their pajamas away and get dressed.
2. Cleaning Chore:
Each week we rotate 5 cleaning chores that the kids can choose from. Since there are only 5, its easy for them to remember them. And having options to choose from gives them some control over the decision making. They aren’t hard and usually take 10 minutes to knock out.
I like to have everyone working on the same space for their cleaning chore but doing different specific tasks so there’s not fighting over who gets to do what. No more “she’s not helping!!”. If someone doesn’t do their part, it doesn’t affect the other “teammates”. They can get their part done and move on.
I’ve included lists of age appropriate cleaning chore ideas in the free printable Summer chore chart at the end of this post.
3. Summertime Chore:
So for this chore, think of things that will get your kids outdoors and kind of change things up a bit for the Summer. Here are some Summer chore ideas you could put on your kids’ chart:
- picking up outdoor toys
- watering the plants
- weeding the garden
- sweeping the sidewalk
- picking up sticks
For my kids, we divided the garden up into sections that they can each be responsible for weeding and caring for. Finding ways to keep the fighting to a minimum, always!
Setting a timer for outdoor chores is a great idea since kids like to have an idea of how long things will take and they seem to move a little faster when there is a timer going!
4. Before Meal Chore:
This one is all about getting ready for meals. Setting the table with silverware, napkins, drinks…Pretty simple and quick to get done!
5. After Meal Chore:
This one is probably the one that saves me the most time. What is it about meals that makes the clean up take longer than the actual meal?? Each of the kids has a different role that’s easy for them to manage. Here are some ideas of after meal chores by age:
- 4-5 Year Old’s – clearing over the table
- 6-7 Year Old’s – wiping off the table
- 8-9 Year Old’s – sweeping the floor
- 10-12 Year Old’s – washing the dishes
6. Bedtime Chore:
Before bed, everyone works to get the main living area floor picked up. Not just the kids, everyone! We all hustle to tidy up toys, papers, books, etc. so that we can wake up to a fresh start the next day.
If there is any fighting, I like to give each child a specific area to tackle.
How Do I Get My Kids to Do summer Chores Without Nagging?
start from an early age
Starting chores when your kids are small, will make it more of a normal thing, and they won’t have the urge to fight it as much. Helping out is just “something we do!”
Toddler are so eager to be helpful, so take advantage of it before they realize its a chore to help out. “Can you take this diaper to the trash?” or “How about you put the silverware away for me?”
work right along side of them, but not for them
I definitely find that there is a lot less complaining when we are all working on the same type of chore at the same time. For example, when its time to do our outdoor chore, I’m outside working too.
I don’t have to do exactly what the kids are doing, but seeing mom is working too, really makes it a team effort instead of time for a pity party.
let your kids see you doing your chores willingly
If I complain about what I have to do to keep the house running smoothly, I can’t expect my kids not to do their chores willingly either! Its not always easy, that’s for sure, but doing my housework with a smile on my face is the best way to set a good example for my kids when it comes to helping willingly.
help them to see that they are needed to keep the home running smoothly and their help is very much essential
Kids love to know that they are “essential”. The helping out that they do really makes a difference! Don’t let their hard work go unnoticed.
praise them for a job well done
When you see that your kids are putting in the extra effort to do their jobs well, let them know! “Wow! You really did a great job today!” It goes a long way.
thank them for being helpful
It’s always nice to be thanked for the work we do. I know it means a lot to me when my husband thanks me for all I do. The kids love to hear it too!
Buying a treat when you’re out shopping to let your kids know how much you appreciate their help will let them know that their efforts are seen and not taken for granted.
use a visual chore chart with tasks that are able to check off
Having a visual checklist with a limited number of chores that your kids are required to do is super helpful! They can see that after they finish their assigned tasks, they can do whatever they want the rest of the day. (within reason, that is…)
Don’t forget to grab your free summer chore charts at the end of this post!
have time limits for each chore so they don’t seem so bad
When your kids know going into a chore that they only have to be doing it for say 10 or 15 minutes, they realize its not that bad and it won’t take FOREVER. In reality, you can get a lot done in 10 minutes!
I use this method on myself too! Check out my housecleaning method for busy moms.
be consistent and have clear consequences if chores do not get done.
Consequences can be as simple as, no dessert. Or no show for the day. I don’t really like the checkmark idea because its a lot harder to follow though with consequences a week after the offence.
Try to make the consequences, easy to stick to and preferably something you can follow through with that day.
Tips for Using Your kids Summer Chores Chart:
- laminate it so you can use it again and again. I got mine laminated at Office Depot for about $3 each.
- let your kids check off their tasks throughout the day with colorful markers. I bought this pack for my kids and they love that there are so many colors to choose from and there are eraser ends on each one. They are also magnetic so perfect for storing on the fridge!
- make it fun! Put on some music and work together
- post it in an easy to see spot in the house
- have a treat when everyone is done with their cleaning chores, like snack time or story time
Enter Your Email Address To Get Your Free Printable Chore Charts!
More Helpful posts for mamas:
If you enjoyed this post, I think you might find these other posts helpful too!
- How To Declutter Your Kids Toys
- Nighttime Routine For Moms
- How To Stay on Top of Housework With Little Kids
- How To Store And Organize Kids Clothes
- Start a Kids Capsule Wardrobe
Let me know how your family likes using these Summer chore charts and what ideas you have in the comments below! Wishing you a great Summer filled with lots of memories.