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Chore Cards | a DIY

chore cards DIY

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?

chore card DIY

1. Supplies
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
  • pen
  • card stock or photo safe paper
  • magnets (optional for our new system)
  • photos

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?

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Amanda

    I love this idea. My 3 yo is very strong willed and I have a hard time getting him to help with toys. other things like feeding the dogs and laundry, no problem. I love the idea of the magnets but, in an effort not to spend money on anything for this, I think i\\\’ll use my velcro squares! :) Since i\\\’m not a SAHM, spends most of his time at pre-school so this will greatly help with the weekend routine! :)

    Thank you!!!

  • jeana

    Wow! I love this. This will great to use with all of the boys, but especially our oldest with autism who learns and loves pictures. Can’t wait to get this started!

    I also wanted to thank you for linking up to my post the other day! I appreciate it so much!

  • Carey

    : ) I posted our variation on this method about 2 weeks ago on my own blog! It is working FABULOUS! We use the magnets too, because the table method with our 1 year old just wouldn\’t work.

    I can\’t thank you enough. He\’s learning household responsibility AND money management. It\’s awesome.

  • Amie Hansen

    Love this idea for my 3 year old….. thanks for this!!!

  • Marci@OvercomingBusy

    We implemented the chore card system after you first posted it. I just put the cards on the kitchen island of the chores my 4 year old had that day. When he was done with each chore, we put the card in the basket. The only problem was that most of his chores were upstairs and away from the kitchen. We forgot about the cards and I didn’t have enough cards for my 8, too. So, we went with check off charts on their bedroom doors that they can check off each night. For my 4 year old, seeing that something didn’t get checked off one day was enough motivation to get it done the next.

  • Brett Alexandra

    ooo! I don’t have kids yet but I can just make these soley for my husband:)

  • Ashley

    Could you shrink the size of your photo files? I like your content, but am having a hard time with your photos loading in my Reader. Thanks! :)

  • Tiffany

    Oh My Goodness Ang….I love this idea. How fun. I can’t hardly wait get it started (in a few years)…hahaha.

    LOVE IT!

  • Meghan Rickard

    Super cute Ang!!

  • Angie

    Thea I’m excited, have fun with it!

    Thanks Emily :)

  • Emily

    Very cute idea!! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  • thea

    Wonderful post! Love these ideas…this is my DIY for TODAY!!! I am super excited, and I love the links!