I wanted to make a simple job chart for use with my kids. I wanted it to be flexible and easy to manage. I also wanted it to be a very clear picture for my kids showing what was to be done and what was accomplished. And I wanted it to be cheap!
I ran to Hobby Lobby, hoping to find some sort of inspiration. As I meandered through the metals section, I found metal pieces with individual letters. They were on sale for $3 each. Perfect. I even picked up an inspirational quote for a header. I then purchased some little wood circles, magnets, and scrapbook paper. Now I was all set! (And I was only out $20 for charts for four kids!)
I made a list of chores I thought would be doable by a 7-, 5-, and 3-year old. I printed these on scrapbook paper and punched them out with a circle puncher. I modge podged them onto the wooden circles and hot glued magnets to the backs.
I displayed the letters, one for each kiddo. I explained to my boys that they would have chores to be done, and those would be displayed on the left side.
After they finished each chore, they were to move it to the right. Easy peasy.
When we first started using this, we started with the three basic, everyday chores for us: brush teeth, make bed, and get dressed. We used these basic “chores” for a few weeks, until they had the system down-pat. Nowadays they get these chores each day, along with one other chore*. Some of these chores I have had to introduce to them. Sometimes I have had to help my three-year-old do something that takes five minutes when it would have taken me two. But the responsibility and ownership I see in my kids is the real benefit.
Each night, like a little elf, I move their daily chores (brush teeth, make bed, and get dressed) to the left sides of their charts. I then remove their “extra chore” and replace it with a new one. When they wake up, they are actually excited to see what is on their chart. It’s like the Chore Fairy has visited!
It really is nice to share in the responsibility and all pitch in together! Now if only the Chore Fairy would make me a list…
*I wanted to include some examples of our “other chores” that are doable by wee ones. Some of these are never (or are rarely) given to our three-year-old little man. We have found these chores to work well: empty (small) garbages, unload dishwasher, empty hampers, sweep bathrooms, wipe down bathroom sinks, wash mirrors, wash glass doors, sweep front porch, sweep back porch, vacuum dining room, vacuum living room, sweep kitchen, water plants, dust bedroom, pick up bedroom, pick up basement, and get toys out of van. There are many more I can think of after having started with these. Of course, every home (and momma) would adapt and add as necessary! Let me know if you think of any other great ones we could all use!