Free Printable Chore Charts That Teach Responsibility
Charts and Rewards Build Confidence
Chore charts can be used to help any child learn responsibility. They can also be beneficial to kids who struggle with developmental delays such as autism. Using charts for daily scheduling can help organize the entire family!
While most of these free printable chore charts are designed for neurotypical children, I have also tried to find pictures of chore charts specifically for kids with autism and other developmental disorders.
Free Printable Chore Charts for Kids!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chore Charts are Great for Kids of All Ages!
When a toddler or preschooler starts doing chores early on, they develop a better sense of "this is just what we do." But if you wait until they are older to establish structure, then you may face more challenges. Don't let your kids develop the idea that you do the chores, not them! Consistency is key. Remain consistent and well-organized, and chores will be more than just a task that is thrust upon your kids; it will be a part of everyday life.
Obviously, you have to be sure to give a toddler or preschooler age-appropriate chores, such as picking up toys, sorting laundry by color, or wiping up messes (without chemicals); while older children may be able to safely complete more adult chores.
Regardless of the age of the child, it is important that you reward them for their efforts. Rewards do not need to be big or expensive; they can even be you spending extra time doing an activity with your child that they love! Just make sure to be consistent with your rewards.
Kids with autism or ADHD benefit greatly from the use of chore charts. Kids with autism (and many with ADHD) are visual thinkers and the chore chart supplies them with visual cues for your verbal directions and may help them organize their thoughts better. Free printable clipart is available in many places, so you can create your own pictures to affix to the chart for greater visual support.
For kids with special needs, you can find a few other creative uses for free printable chore charts such as creating a therapy schedule, medications, or even daily routines!
Charts Help Kids Who Struggle With Learning Differences
Kids with autism and other developmental challenges really thrive on structure. Many feel more secure and communicate better when they have visual cues. Whether you use them for daily reminders or actually use them for chores, chore charts can provide kids with some much-needed stability and structure.
Instead of writing the jobs in the boxes, simply take a few photos or print out some clipart and use velcro dots to affix them as you would with the PECS (The Picture Exchange Communication System)! If you need help figuring out how to get your kids to do chores, or if you need ideas on how to modify daily tasks for children with special needs, please read my other articles. Don't forget to come back for your free printable chore chart!
Free Job Charts for Kids!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Good Ideas on How to Reward Your Child
Unfortunately, the following options are not free but are useful for creating structure and consistency for your child.
Everyday household objects can be used to create a reward system. Do you have games in the closet that no one uses anymore like checkers, Connect Four, or poker chips that could be used as reward tokens? If so, these tokens are a great way to motivate your kids!
When using a reward buck system or poker chip system you should decide on the big prize before introducing the system to your child. Be sure to explain the system in a way that they can understand. For example, in my system, we use reward bucks. My son earns them for doing various chores and can get bonus bucks for getting perfect scores on tests at school. In our system, when he was 3 years old, I displayed a brand new toy on top of the fridge with a post-it note that had the "price" on it. When he had enough reward bucks he got the prize. Now that he is older, he gets $10 instead!
Although our system is one reward buck for one dollar, we have made it more affordable by grouping the chores together. For example, when he cleans his room, he must clean the whole floor, not just pick up his toys off the floor. That means he must wipe down the shelves, vacuum, and take his laundry downstairs to get that dollar. We encourage him to keep his room clean all the time by giving him a reward buck for every three days that his room stays clean.
Free Printable TicketsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Visual Cues Help Most Children
Chore charts help provide structure and routine, but some kids need more than that! A text-based chore chart is great for some kids, but young kids and kids with autism may do better with image-based chore charts.
Kids with autism are visual thinkers, so a simple clipart image (or better yet a photo that you take from around your own home) can really help them understand what is truly expected of them. At most schools, visual support is used to aid the teaching of autistic students throughout the day. Many therapists use visual supports, too. Most autistic children are familiar with visual cues.