Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support 

Sensory Processing Disorder Chores, Rewards & Charts For Kids

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Sensory Processing Disorder Chores, Rewards & Charts For Kids

Jeanette Loftus 

boy with sensory processing disorder Sensory Processing Disorder Chores, Rewards & Charts For Kids
Topics that come up often from parents are rewards, chores, responsibilities and charts. There's so much information out there that it become overwhelming. Chores and expectations can be different depending on many different factors. The child's age, physical ability, maturity and their interests.

You can supervise and have an idea for what is too much for your child based on their abilities. Some children cannot do chores that others their age can and that's okay too.

I know that getting our children to do chores can be extremely challenging. I am all too familiar with the meltdowns, yelling and chaos that comes along with reminding our kids that they need to do their chores.

It can be very frustrating as a parent reminding them as much as we have too because they forgot, got distracted, they were overwhelmed or had a hard time following your directions.

Chores are so important as our children grow. They learn a lot from chores. It teaches them life skills, self discipline, independence, they will learn that they need to contribute and work hard too. A family works together, pitches in and each person has to do their part.

Chores and responsibilities will help a child feel like an important part of a family. Children want to feel needed. Chores will help them build self esteem. Try to choose chores that they will be able to complete successfully. Your child may need a lot of reminders, going over each step several times and require more supervision than other children.

When they are successful, praise them as much as possible. (it will make them want to do it again) If chores are smaller tasks that don't take as much time they won't lose interest as quickly and will stay on task and feel more accomplished. The next time they're asked to do something they wont be as reluctant to do it for you.
Setting timers or agree on a time together that the chore should be completed by can also motivate them to want to do it. Make it a game, make it fun for them.

For myself, I have ADHD/SPD. I can get messy and unorganized at times but when we focus on short tasks we tend to give great detail to what we are doing. When you ask a child with ADHD/SPD to clean there room, without instructions, steps, time limits or expectations and it is really messy they get upset, have a meltdown, don't want to do it, scream, throw things around and get overwhelmed because for them that massive, huge mountain seems impossible to climb.
What I have always done was one step at a time and eventually it will be done. Not just for my kids but myself too. If it doesn't all get done today, that's okay because eventually it will with smaller goals and expectations.

Day 1 "Let's see how fast you can pick up your dirty clothes in your room and I will time you. You don't have to do anything else today, just pick up your dirty clothes."
Day 2 "Today, let's see if you can beat your time for how fast you picked up your dirty clothes and we will see how fast you pick up your toys this time."

Day 3 "You know what? You picked up your clothes so quickly, then you picked up your toys even quicker yesterday. I wonder if you could make your bed and put your books away in the same time or quicker today."

When they have completed these tasks give them praise.
"You did that so well today"
"You are really good at picking up your things"
"I am so happy that you picked up your dirty clothes"

Toddlers enjoy sticker charts as they are a visual to their success. They usually love doing chores and being helpful. When you let them assist you in your daily chores, you are creating a healthy and positive path to their independence and willingness to help others as well.

Preschool and kinder age children also enjoy chores and being helpful. At these ages they don't need to be as supervised and once you take some time to show them how to do different chores they will become more independent. Some parents at this age introduce allowance to their children. It is an incentive for them to want to earn money to purchase items they would like to have. A valuable life skill.

When children begin going to school they usually aren't as motivated to do chores as they used to be. The excitement of helping will diminish as the years move forward. Keeping track of responsibilities and using a chart will guild them to be more self-sufficient.

Preteens appreciate knowing what chores are expected and a set routine. Giving them unexpectant chores can usually make them less motivated and unwilling. Sit down and make an agreement on chores and expectations for a smooth transition. Then they will also understand the negative consequences should they not be completed and positive reinforcement when they are completed.

Teens. This is when it can become more difficult but at this age they should be more capable of doing almost any chore in your home. Teenagers tend to get overwhelmed as they have their own schedules and activities and find it unmanageable at times to juggle everything. Build expected chores around their schedules so it is a positive experience for everyone. Always do what works for you, your child's schedule and your family.

Some children need to learn how to do chores step by step and others will catch on quickly from watching you do it. Social stories can also help children learn step by step and be a visual reminder when they begin their chore if it's hung up for them to see.

Many parents use apps for chore points, charts, collecting pom poms or coins in jars, allowance, chore cards or other ideas that work for their family. These are just some ideas to try. Do what works best for you and your family.

20 Tips to make doing chores easier for you and you child

1. Have reasonable expectations.
2. Keep it simple and basic so they don't become overwhelmed.
3. Give them step by step instructions.
4. Use lists.
5. Chores should take less than five-ten minutes.
6. Make it fun, turn it into a game.
7. Don't call them chores, make up a new name, ask them what they would like to call them or ask "could you help me do this?"
8. Give three options. Ask them which two they choose to do.
9. Offer breaks in between each chore. 10 minute chore then 15 minutes to play.
10. Choose chores that keep them active such as taking out the garbage, sweeping or vacuuming.
11. Let them choose which days they get to do which chores. They are more willing to help if they feel they have some control.
12. Use chore charts and stickers.
13. Try asking them to pick up 5 things and come back for a high five.
14. Rewards do not always have to be items but time and experiences. Earn alone time for mother/daughter days or a Dad/son movie night.
15. Use positive reinforcement as much as possible. Instead of criticizing when you didn't like something, try to find ways to praise what they did do good.
16. Be consistent. If you make your expectations clear today and tomorrow but don't follow through the next day it can be confusing for them.
17. Focus on one chore before asking them to do other chores. When one chore is completed than you ask for another chore to be done if that is your expectation.
18. When using chores as punishment, your child will see them as a negative experience. Make chores as positive as you can because they will feel better about doing them and be more willing to complete them.
19. When they are asking you for something but chores are not completed yet, try using the when/then method. When you do this, then you can do that.
20. Be clear about rewards and what needs to be accomplished to receive a reward. Have them repeat it back to you so that you know they were listening and understood.

What chores are age appropriate for children?

Chores for ages 2-3 years 

1. Helping a parent water house plants or garden
2. Washing their hands
3. Dusting baseboards with socks on their hands
4. Stirring batter in bowl
5. Put books on a shelf
6. Help clean up spills with a parent
7. Assist a parent with feeding family pets
8. Get dressed with parental help
9. Picking up their toys
10. Brush their teeth and put their brush away
11. Take their dirty to the laundry area

Chores for ages 4-5 years 

1. Making their own bed
2. Sorting laundry by color, darks and lights
3. Putting their shoes and coat away
4. Fold dish towels and dish cloths
5. Washing plastic dishes
6. Hanging clothes on hooks
7. Bringing in their things in from the car to the house
8. Helping with preparing family meals
9. Help parents carry in the lighter groceries
10. Assist parents setting the family table
11. Clearing the table when meals are finished
12. Dusting the home with a cloth
13. Use handheld vacuum
14. Carry smaller boxed or canned foods from grocery bags to cupboards
15. Clean their room with some help
16. Match their socks after clothes are washed
17. Hang up towels in the bathroom

Chores for ages 6-7 years 

1. Making their own bed every day
2. Brushing their teeth
3. Combing/brushing their hair
4. Choose their own clothing and get dressed
5. Helping with preparing family meals
6. Taking care of family pets with supervision such as exercise and food/water
7. Vacuuming different rooms in the house
8. Cleaning and tidying up their own room
9. Dusting different rooms in the house
10. Folding smaller easier laundry with some help
11. Putting away dishes in the dishwasher
12. Putting their laundry in their drawers or closets
13. Mopping floors with some help
14. Empty trash or sorting/taking out recycling

Chores for ages 8-11 years 

1. Waking up using an alarm clock
2. Keeping their bedroom clean and tidy
3. Raking leaves and helping with yard work
4. Washing the dishes
5. Putting laundry away
6. Taking care of their own personal hygiene
7. Preparing some easier meals on their own
8. Learning to use the washer/dryer
9. Being responsible for their own belongings
10. Washing the family car with some help
11. Taking out the trash for curbside pick up
12. Cleaning the bathroom with some help
13. Being responsible for their homework

Chores for ages 12-13 years 

1. Changing the bag or emptying the canister for the vacuum
2. Setting their own alarm clock
3. Baby sitting with help and guidance
4. Maintain personal items, such as recharging cell phones
5. Mowing the lawn with help
6. Prepare some meals for the family
7. Cleaning mirrors throughout the house
8. Take care of their own personal hygiene
9. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and doing dishes
10. Changing light bulbs throughout the house
11. Changing their own bed sheets
12. Taking care of their own belongings and homework
13. Keep their own rooms clean and tidy

Chores for ages 14-15 years 

1. Buying groceries with assistance
2. Responsible for their library card and taking back books on time
3. Sorting and taking out recycles
4. Serving some family meals
5. Baby sitting
6. Preparing family meals
7. Keeping their own bedroom tidy/clean
8. Being responsible for all their own personal chores
9. Doing yard work when it is needed such as snow removal, raking leaves etc.
10. Washing windows with some help
11. Making a grocery list with assistance
12. Doing house chores without prompting

Chores for ages 16-18 years 

1. Preparing family meals
2. Purchasing their own clothes
3. Maintaining any car they drive oil changes/tire pressure
4. Paying for gas for their own car
5. Doing yard work when it is needed
6. Responsible to earn their own spending money
7. Deep cleaning of the house
8. Do housework as needed
9. Serving family meals
10. Making grocery lists and picking up groceries
11. Cleaning household appliances or defrosting the freezer
12. Keeping their room clean/tidy
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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!