It's time to start chore charts!
It just hit me recently that my oldest will be starting kindergarten next fall and that my baby is already three! And with the sadness of them growing so fast also comes the excitement and thrill that they’re actually old enough now to do a lot of things for themselves and to help around the house. I have complained out of frustration about having to pick up after them over and over! But I’ve realized that they are definitely old enough to do simple chores around the house to help. Heck, they’ve been ready for quite some time, I just hadn’t realized it.
I do not profess to be an expert on child behavior and I’m not a big fan of cleaning (see cleaning vs. organizing), but chore charts seem to be a natural progression for someone who loves to be organized!
Being a list person, chore charts make perfect sense to me. Any way to list out what needs to be done and when, and whether or not it was done is good, in my opinion. Here are some advantages of using chore charts with children:
Basics of a Chore Chart
The basics of a chore chart is to list or show the various chores expected by the children, and the days of the week they’re expected to be accomplished. For younger children unable to read yet, pictures of chores are perfect.
Activities and Responsibilities
Following are some activities you can put on your charts. They go from simple to more difficult. You can easily find things a 2 or 3 yo. can do (or help with). You will need to evaluate what needs to be done in your home as well as the skill level of your children.
Again, this is just a small list. I’m sure you can come up with a huge list of things that need to be done and find ways the rest of the family can help.
Other activities you might want to put on a chart, especially for little ones, would be things like brushing their teeth, saying please/thank you, etc. These aren’t really chores, but they give the little ones a reminder for something important that needs to be done, and a little reward inspires them to make it habit. Then you can replace it with something else once it’s mastered.
Every family will need to determine what works best for them. Some choose to give a cash value to every sticker earned at the end of the week. Let’s say that there are three chores to be done every day of the week. The child can earn up to 21 stickers at say, five cents per sticker brings them to $1.05 per week. Now, that may not seem like much, but my kids love getting money and they love actually putting it into their piggy banks. Another option may be to give out some sort of tokens at the end of the week, and the child can turn them in for a special adventure with Mom and Dad, or a special toy they want to save up for. You know your kids and your family values better than anyone, so only you can decide what to do.
Make or Buy Charts
If you browse around the internet, you can find a million versions of chore charts that some very genius people put together for their own kids, that you can download for free. You can also find several types of charts available for purchase from some very crafty manufacturers!
Being who I am, I enjoy making charts for the kids and I’m in no shortage of stickers. (I also make a personal monthly calendar for my kids with pictures to let them know when certain activities are going to take place.) Making a chart is easy with any kind of spreadsheet software or even some paper and markers or crayons! See the resources section at the bottom of this page for some free printable chore chart options.
That being said… I did look around at some pretty nifty chore charts that can be bought. Some are simple laminated sheets that I could have made myself, but some are quite a bit more fancy and colorful, such as the Melissa and Doug wooden chart with magnets. It gets great reviews but it’s a little more pricey than paper and ink. And I’d have to buy two of them, one for each kid. Definitely something I’m still considering though. Conclusion
So, whether you decide to be crafty and make your own chart, or download someone else’s, or spend a few extra dollars for a really cool one, the main object is to do what works to get your children to start learning responsibility by doing simple chores around the home. This is one great step in teaching your children to be more organized, and it will help them into the future.
Free Printable Behavior Charts Free printable behavior, chore, potty charts and more with lots of helpful parenting tips and information!
DLTK Cards Customizable printable chore charts.