job chart for kids.

Summertime around my house means a lot of things: BBQ, pool time, swimming lessons, naps, a relaxed summer schedule, and jobsYes, jobs.  My kids think I’m the meanest mom on the block for making them do jobs in the summer {mo-h-mmmm!} but there’s no avoiding it, jobs have to get done before playtime happens at my house.

homemade job chart

I’ve tried {and failed} at finding the right job chart for my kids, and obviously jobs and kids change constantly so it’s not a perfect practice, but this job chart is working like a charm this summer.  Holla! This clipboard is a variation of the job chart my mom had for us growing up, 8 kids rotating through a house full of jobs once a week, but I  changed it up a bit.

clipboard job chart for kids

I grabbed an old clipboard {.50 cents from a thrift store} and attached a lined 8 1/2″  x 11″ paper.  In the far left column I put initials for days of the week, Sunday through Saturday.  Along the top columns I wrote the jobs that need to be done: dishes, unload {dishwasher} sweep kitchen floor, etc.  Each kid is assigned specific jobs that need to be done every day, and some shared jobs to be done on the weekends.

clipboard job chart

The job chart hangs from a hook in the laundry room so it can be picked up and carried around by each kid while the specific tasks are crossed off the list.

I’m happy to say, of all the job charts I’ve ever tried, this one is working the best.  The kids know first thing in the morning before anything else is done, jobs have to be checked off the list.   When they come to me asking about playing outside, calling friends, or riding bikes, the first thing out of my mouth will be “Have you done all your jobs on the job chart?”.  I haven’t offered any kind of allowance or treats to enforce the job chart, but I’m willing to bet it would work even better if I did.

I’m settling for promises of snow cones & a visit to the pool at least once a week for kids who follow-up on completing jobs, and honestly?  I haven’t left a kid home with the cat and a toilet scrub brush yet.

What do you do to keep your kids on task?  Bribery, allowance, threats?  I’d love to hear what works for you.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Betty Crocker :

    I love the idea of charts…yet I’m the only one in this house who ever follows them!

    My kids are four and six, so reading them is totally out….and I’d be very scared to see what would happen if my 4-year-old boy decided to pull out the spray bottle on his own.

    Wait. I already know what happens.

    I’d love to know how to get, ahem, less enthused husbands on board.

    • Allison :

      I think taking a photo of the job and putting it on a checklist would be awesome for little kids.

      Husbands? Not so sure.

  2. mskaz :

    Wait up? Your kids do floors every day? That is so completely awesome and I’d like to officially invite your kids to come stay with me for the summer.

    I gotta get me a chart!

    • Allison :

      They don’t do them every day, they’re little slackers. But it’s getting done at least once a week which is better than what I’ve been doing, so I’ll take it!