Deck of Chores

If you’re a parent with elementary age children and you’re looking for ways to encourage helping out around the house, check out the Deck of Chores.

These cards are actual playing cards, (so you can play poker with them even after your kids leave the nest) but they have the added bonus of being a fun way to create chore lists for kids. From the manufacturer’s website:

Now children can either play games for chores, parents can set out which chores need to be completed or have the entire family pick a card each for their daily chore.

What a great way to have fun with the entire family

Build confidence, responsibility and organization

You could easily create something similar in a DIY project with cardstock and your computer’s printer, specifically customized for your home’s needs. Mostly, I like the idea of making chores for children fun.

17 Comments for “Deck of Chores”

  1. posted by Leah Weiss Caruso on

    Cute! I can’t imagine it will help the kids think chores are fun, but it may help encourage them to be the team players you want them to be when it comes to house maintenance. Especially if a good game of War or Gin and a big bowl of popcorn comes after the chores ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. posted by Lose That Girl on

    Hmmmm. Maybe these cards will help my husband.

  3. posted by Almost American on

    Cute – but expensive by the time you’ve paid for shipping. On the other hand, I can see my kids accepting these better than cards I make myself just because I didn’t make them!

  4. posted by Janka on

    And how again is this *un*cluttering?

  5. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    How is this uncluttering? In my opinion, I believe that toys left in the middle of the living room floor after they’ve been played with are clutter, dirty dishes on the kitchen counter are clutter, soiled clothes strewn about a bedroom are clutter, etc. etc. etc. But, you might be someone who doesn’t see these things as being clutter. We all have different definitions.

  6. posted by Kristi of Million Dream Mom on

    For those wondering how this is UNcluttering, I guess your mileage may vary. Yes, it’s one more thing in the house; possibly one more ‘frivolous’ thing. But it’s also a dual-use item: a family game (multiple games at that – one deck of cards can net you YEARS of family game time!) and a tool for teaching your children not only the rules of your home but also ways to keep their homes from being cluttered, years down the line.

    I think it’s a great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. posted by prairiegal on

    This reminds me of something my dad did with us when we started kindergarten. It wasn’t about chores, but about organizing ourselves for school. He gave us cardstock with each item we needed for school in the morning: bag, lunch, mitts, snowpants, coat, toque, scarf… We drew pictures on the cards to go with the item. Then in the morning we would go through our stack of cards to make sure we had everything we needed before we left the house.

  8. posted by Janka on

    Oh, I do see those things as clutter. I did not mean to object to the idea of involving your kids in housework or trying to make it fun – I am sorry if that was unclear. I also *do* like the idea of making chores fun.

    Just having a colorful deck of cards won’t cut it. It is what you do with them that counts, and neither the post nor the manufacturers website actually gives any ideas for that.

    How exactly does having the chores printed on cards make having a chore list set out by parents more fun? How exactly would you play with such a set to decide who does what? We are not told. Instead we are expected to go from “playing cards is fun” to “chores + playing cards is fun” by simply vague association of the two.

    And so, this struck me as another “buy this product and your life will surely get better in a vague unspecified way” – the sort of advertising that has us accumulate most of the unnecessary and unused items we have in our homes in the first place.

  9. posted by Anita on

    So does the deck contain 52 chores, or are some repeated on more than one card? Anyone willing to take bets on which cards would get “lost” first, if such a system of chore-allocation were to be put in place? ๐Ÿ˜›

    If someone can find a way to put these to good use for their intended purpose, I applaud them. I wouldn’t use them in lieu of regular playing cards, though.

  10. posted by SandyO on

    I did this myself some years ago. I wrote down a household chore for me to do on index cards and had to pick at least one every day. It did help me focus. I should do that again.

  11. posted by Courtney on

    I wrote a little web gadget that gives us a random chore (from a text list):
    http://lists.virtualcourtney.com/chores/

    It’s fun, it’s goofy, and it also lives on our home server! The next phase of this silly project is to make it prettier.

  12. posted by Karen on

    As a mom, I have to agree with Janka. When the novelty wears off, you are left with another unitasker, and the kids are not going to be any happier doing chores.

    Anyway, why do chores have to be made “fun” for kids? They are work. It’s a different experience than playing, and that is fine. I think if the work kids do around the house is noticed, appreciated, and expected as part of family life, they are learning a much better set of values than a false expectation that everything in life is going to be FUN.

    I use recycled juice cans, decorated for each child, and chores listed on popsicle sticks, which I drop in their “job jars” each day as needed. They also have a regular set of chores they do each Saturday morning. Easy and essentially free.

  13. posted by Erika on

    Great idea, Sandy O!

  14. posted by RoaringSilence on

    Yeeahhh… I don’t think there’s a kid in this world who is more inclined to do a chore because it’s on a colorful card (or spreadsheet, or dice, or anything).

    But this may help parents set up a no-discussion routine.

  15. posted by Katie on

    Courtney, I absolutely love your random chore generator!! So simple, but such a great idea for when you really feel like you don’t know where to start but need to do SOMETHING – anything! It told me to clean my baseboards, and lo and behold they REALLY needed doing but thats the sort of thing I don’t tend to see when there are toys everywhere and the vacuuming is pretty urgent! So anyway, I cleaned them – it took hardly any time at all and the house really looks cleaner (and also tidier?!) for it.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  16. posted by Twin XL on

    Love love love this idea!! Thanks for posting.

  17. posted by Jackie Pettus on

    I think the chore cards are very cute. But if I were a smart kid who didn’t want to do my chores I’d find a way for my card get lost in the sofa cushions. A long term solution is to set an example for the kids by having a chore chart that the whole family agrees on and participates in. It helps them appreciate what’s involved in family life, and that parents are doing chores, too. (When they were little I think my kids thought I LOVED cleaning the kitty litter box every day.) I created a family chore chart at Habitudes.info that will be useful for years to come, because you can change it as they grow and family circumstances change. My husband is retired now, and I’m working full time. The kids are grown, but rotate in and out of the house in between grad school, army deployments and, in one case, losing a job. We still use the chore chart!

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