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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chore Chart

For a couple years now, Steve & I have been tossing around ideas for our children when it comes to chores.  We've read tons of articles and talked to other Parents with older children, I think we've heard it all. When it comes down to it though, we've learned that all children and all families are different. So this is what works for our family.

We believe that our children should do chores as members of this family to help out around the house. We also believe that they should get an allowance to start teaching them the importance & value of money & saving. Where we felt conflicted; we didn't want them to do chores only for money and we also didn't want to just give them an allowance every week, we want them to feel proud of what they've accomplished & think about what they are spending their allowance on and by just giving it to them neither of those things would happen.

We tried saying "this is your chore you need to do it every day." We found that without an incentive they didn't want to do it, and not only that but let's face it we don't have the energy and shouldn't have to keep reminding them 10 times a day to do their chores and then what happens in the end, mom ends up doing the said chore anyway.

So I came up with a Chore Chart!

That is visual enough for my 2 year old to understand but exciting enough for the 6 year old to use it. This chart holds them responsible for doing their own chores & will allow them to see results.

How I made it: 
I went onto Amazon and browsed their selection of Pocket Calendars, and chose the behavior chart, the link is below.

Then while I was waiting for that to ship I came up with age appropriate chores for each kid. Then I just went onto Word & found Clip Art matching each chore. I also Color Coded everything per day to make it a little easier to keep track.  After I made all the names, days of the week, individual chore cards, & tickets, I cut them out, laminated them and cut them again. The chore cards are about the size of a business card.

Here is a list of the chores we have, which will change as they get older.
Each kid has- morning & evening routine, clean bed room, clean play room, and putting clothes away.
6 Year old- in addition to chores mentioned above sweep 1 room, empty dishwasher, feed the cat.
4 year old- in addition to chores mentioned above, dust 1 room, tidy front door (shoes, jackets, etc.)
2 year old- just has the 4 basic chores mentioned above, but obviously needs more guidance when doing some things, like putting clothes away, all the kids' dressers are labeled, pictures & words; with what goes in which drawer, shirts, pants, etc. so I'll make piles of like items for the 2 year old & he'll put them in the correct drawer. Just an example of how each chore is age appropriate and the expectations are different for each depending on their age.

As a side note. We have a seperate picture chart that shows our morning & evening routine, this has really helped our middle child stay on track. So for now we have included the morning & evening routine as part of their chores, until the routine is established.

How it works:
 Each day as a child does their chore they will flip it over & put it behind the other chore cards. At the end of the day or week we count up how many chores they have done & they get a ticket.

For the tickets, I just used clip art on Word & printed them off in different colors corresponding to the days of the week colors.

At the end of the week they can spend their tickets and shop at the "Mom and Dad Store" save their tickets to get a bigger item from the "M&D store" or trade their tickets in for money. 1 ticket= .10 cents.

For the M&D Store I just used a basket and went out & bought things that the kids enjoy doing. Play doh, art supplies, sticks of gum, match box cars, dino figures, coloring books, reading books, bonne bell chapsticks, jewels, stickers, action figures(on the cheaper side). Then I used garage sale stickers and just priced everything. If something cost me $1.00 then it is 10 tickets, I open any packages of multiple things like a pack of 2 headbands, 1 would cost 5 tickets. A pack of 5 lizards from the $1.00 store would be 2 tickets for each lizard; and so on.  I just keep a nice stock of things, and when I see things when I'm out and about I'll get them to add to the M&D store.

We've been using this chart for almost a month now, and every Saturday the children are super excited to see how many tickets they've earned & what they can buy. My oldest has saved her Christmas money & traded 2 weeks of chore tickets to buy a La La Loopsy. The 4 year old did just enough of his chores to trade in his tickets for a green lantern action figure, it took him 3 weeks & a few encouraging words but he finally did it and is so proud of that action figure you'd think it was gold!

Hopefully that made sense, if not feel free to ask questions!


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