Nearly a year ago I shared about the Chore Cards System that we were using with our then four-year-old. Many of you felt my enthusiasm for the cards, others of you shared some fabulous links to what method works best for you. I wanted to re-visit this idea today, and give you our new and improved system – as well as a bit of a DIY.
A few changes we’ve made & why.
- Magnets. Last year we had a four-year-old and a baby. This year, a five-year-old and a toddler. Therefore our process of spreading the cards on the table each morning and putting them in the all done basket just doesn’t happen without little brother attempting to tear to shreds our beloved cards. Now we have a bowl on the counter each morning as as he completes the tasks, he sticks the magnetic card on the fridge. Seeing what he has accomplished instead of all he has yet to do is a great motivator.
- Changing of the chores. As he gets older we have re-arranged his chores. He still makes his bed, brushes his teeth, and picks up toys – now though he is able to help walk our dog Rocky, assist me with laundry, and take the trash out. This will evolve as the year progresses and we see what he is capable of.
- Letter recognition. Our son is in preschool and is learning the alphabet along with more early reading skills. Last year I had printed the words on the cards., and later ended up cutting the words off (don’t ask my why I did this). This year I decided to hand write the words associated with the chore, so that he can work on his letter recognition and later reading the word.
Care to DIY?
We had all of the supplies here at home (except for the printed images). You will want to have:
- paper cutter or scissors
- adhesive or photo-safe tape
- card stock or photo safe paper
- magnets (optional for our new system)
2. The images
Our Danny was so proud of himself, as I allowed him to take the photographs of our selected chores. The printed images are the only thing we paid for, as all the supplies were here at home already. I created smaller sizes in photoshop by placing two images on a 4×6 template, then ordering three 4×6 photos so our cards are smaller (about 2×3) with slight borders.
3. Cutting the paper
I went with a 4×4 square so that I would have space below to write the chore name. It only took a sheet of 12×12 paper with some left over for swapping out chores later on.
4. Magnets & adhering
We didn’t use this method before, but it has worked well with the littlest one around. A magnet on each corner suffices just fine. Then simply adhere the image to the front.
5. The bowl
This bowl sits on our counter near the refrigerator. He is able to reach it and pull them out as needed throughout the day.
6. The proud boy
He was so excited about his new project and excitedly went about doing his chores.
A few more thoughts.
- I love Jeana’s color-coding system for keeping up with her three boys. This is definitely something we plan to implement with our chore cards once little brother is old enough to partake.
- Looking for an online chore chart that is interactive? Chidzilla is a great recourse.
- Laura’s clipboard charts are fabulous for older children, she offers a free printable as well!
- Pioneer Woman offers a list of books that changed the way she looked at instilling values in our children.
- Tsh also has a free download which she uses for her preschooler, great recourse as well.
What has worked best for your family? How do you handle the family chores?