Summer’s here and I don’t know about you, but it is awesome for the first couple of days and then my kids realize that they are b.o.r.e.d. They end up fighting with each other, complaining, moaning “I don’t know what to play” or expecting that every day I have something amazing (and expensive) planned for us. I’ve tried the past two years to do summer chore charts and honestly, they have worked for maybe 2 weeks and then fizzled and died and I gave up. I was determined not to let that happen this year! I tried to figure out what had failed the past two years and what would make it more successful for my children and me so I don't end up nagging day after day and eventually throwing in the towel.
First things first, I set out to simplify. I don’t want to work and clean all day and I know my kids don't either so I tried to break it down to the essentials. What must get done each day and each week. I chose 3 core things they need to do everyday that are pretty basic: 1-Make Bed & pick up room, 2-Get Ready and Brush Teeth, 3-Summer Workbook (a school-type workbook that just keeps them learning/writing/reading and doing math throughout the summer), and I added a fourth thing for my older daughter, 4-Practice Piano. Those are the basics. Simple and easy.
Second, I made a weekly schedule of one cleaning or chore-thing to do each day. I tried to make them easy to remember so some of the days use alliteration...helps with the mom brain ya know?!
Monday: It’s my laundry day so my girls need to help fold laundry and put their own clothes away.
Tuesday: Toilets! Really the whole bathroom but ‘Tuesday Toilets’ has a nice ring to it.
Wednesday: Weeding Day! We go outside and weed our flower beds and garden.
Thursday: Dusting. I give the girls swifter dusters and have them go around the house. Every other week I put a damp sock on their hands and have them wipe down the dust on the baseboards. They actually think this is fun! Another secret to dusting is to hide pennies or coins where they need to dust. If they get all the spots then the dusting gets done and they get some money for their piggy banks. My mom used to do this with me when I was little and I loved it!
Friday: Floors :) We vacuum and mop.
What is really nice is that everything is usually done within 30 minutes. No one gets overloaded and it doesn't cause burnout. Summer is time to play and we should feel a little freer so I’m sure my house could be cleaner and there is a ton more chores we could do, but this feels like a good balance for us.
So, there you have it. I waited to post this because I first needed to test it and see if it actually worked or if I became the nagging queen again and just got frustrated and bagged the whole thing. Luckily I can say it’s been successful this summer and I'm not going to lie when I say it makes me feel like a super mom (haha, I'll take what I can get!) We’ve sustained it for more than a month without constant fighting and nagging and our house feels like it stays clean(ish), sane, and happy.
Click here to view or print the chore chart we made and use. It’s nothing fancy - I made it in Pages myself and I bought some small magnets so the girls can move the magnets from the “To Do” column to the “Done” column when they’ve finished. They like that it is interactive, simple and visual.
What are your summer chore chart hacks and successes? I'm all ears!