30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer

Here’s how you handle things when the kids say they’re bored and want you to help them figure out what to do. Take a bunch of popsicle sticks, and write a chore on each one, and place in the jar. Have the kids draw a chore stick from a jar when they say they’re bored.

The idea here is to encourage your kids to find their own way to keep busy. If they can’t find their own way to play, you make it less fun.

These don’t have to be big chores. All you need is enough work that kids don’t want to complain of boredom to you. Most will quickly learn to find something to do other than chores.

And of course, the chore sticks are also good when you actually need the kids to get some chores done. You can have them draw their assignments or have them compete to see who can complete the most chore stick assignments in a given amount of time. Some kids love to compete on stuff like that.

Here are some age appropriate chore ideas to get you started. The ages are approximate and the list is just ideas. You can probably think of more things your child can do at each age.:

Toddler (ages 2-3)

  • Pick up/put away toys
  • Pick up dirty clothes and put in hamper
  • Unload the dishwasher (unbreakable items, nothing sharp)
  • Dust with cloth
  • Help move clothes from washer to dryer
  • Make bed

Preschooler (ages 4-5)

  • All previous chores
  • Set/clear table
  • Wash dishes with supervision
  • Load dishwasher
  • Help sort laundry
  • Match socks
  • Sort trash vs recycling
  • Weed (after teaching what weeds are, supervision recommended)
  • Water plants
  • Feed pets

Early Elementary (ages 6-8)

  • All previous chores
  • Assist with meal prep (make salad, find ingredients, etc.)
  • Help cook
  • Vacuum
  • Help put away groceries
  • Fold laundry
  • Put away laundry after folding
  • Take out trash/recycling
  • Get mail
  • Read to younger siblings
  • Rake leaves
  • Clean up after dog or cat

Elementary (ages 9-11)

  • All previous chores
  • Make simple meals
  • Take dog for walk
  • Wash car
  • Take garbage/recycling to the curb
  • Mop floors

Middle School (ages 12-14)

  • All previous chores
  • Make full meals/meal plan
  • Clean out fridge/freezer

High School (ages 15-18 or until they leave home)

  • All previous chores
  • Any chore they haven’t learned yet but will need to do as an adult

See, Mom? I TOLD you chores would be part of the list!

Chore Sticks - Day 23 of 30 Days of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer