The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Get Your Chore On | Recycled.

This article was originally published on April 30, 2009.


Do your children help out at home? Do you have a chore chart for them, use chore cards, or perhaps you do all of the hard work? As much as I don’t mind my weekly tasks, I’d like my kids to grow up with a good work ethic, realizing just how wonderful and respected they are as a part of our family and the community.

No age is too young to start instilling this idea. In fact, our four year old doesn’t read, yet there are other creative ways to remind him of his tasks. We chose to go the chore chard route, and instead of some average image from the computer – we made his chore cards custom to his tasks. So easy to do, and the kids really get a kick out of this. First we determined what was appropriate for his age, and what things he could physically do. We came up with six daily chores that our little guy was already doing, just not as steadily as he should have been.


Each day he does the following: brushes his teeth, makes his bed, helps to hang up and put away clothing, waters his vegetable plants, picks up the toys and puts the silverware away from a clean dishwasher. All very easy things for him, yet he feels so accomplished when he is able to move that card off of the table.

Speaking of which, that is just how we do it. I created these little cards for him in photo shop and printed them at 4×6. You could do the same if you are able, or simply take pictures of their “chores” and mount to an index card! We spread them all spread out on the table each morning, so he is visually reminded of the tasks that lay ahead of him. As he finishes one up, he is able to move it to the “all done!” basket. If his basket is full at the end of each day he receives a sticker (seven stickers at the end of each week results in two crisp dollar bills). What an exciting time for him (and us)! How he chooses to spend his hard earned cash is completely his call, but it teaches the value of money and hard work.

How do you implement chores and daily tasks with your own children, or how do you plan to? I’d love to get your feedback!

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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  • darlene

    Love the idea that it is customized! what a great idea!

  • Chadder

    I too, have been using chore charts. My kids (7 & 3, girls) liked them to be printed from, and hung in their rooms. They would get stars marked in the chart for chores done, but negative marks for things like tantrums etc., and a coin for total stars minus the negative marks, each day. At the end of the week, they would get a trip to the park only if BOTH have all their stars in place (negative not taken to account here).

  • Nicole

    Amazing idea! And what a great excuse to take cute pictures of things around the house :)

  • Corinne Fudge

    Ooooh, Cars! Fav film in our house!

  • Tanna @ Complete Organizing Solutions

    I loved this idea the first time you shared it and still do! I still have yet to make my own cards. I seem to just have the younger kids doing chores along side of me. If I am in the laundry room doing laundry I give them their basket to take to their room. For my daughter who is 3, I give her the hanging clothes because we have a low shelf in her closet that she can reach. When I dust and vacuum, they get dust cloths. I have a list my oldest son is to follow for his room and bathroom chores. I really need to do one for the younger two! I keep playing with ideas just haven’t committed to anything yet.

  • Angie

    Heidi thanks for the link what a great idea you have there!

    Lisa the buckets are actually a fabulous find from Bed, Bath, & Beyond a few years ago. It was about this time of year (maybe earlier) post-summer and they were on sale for $1.49 each! We stocked up and I think I got maybe 7 or 8. They were sold as drink coolers for summer BBQs but we thought they were perfect for holding toys :)

  • Lisa

    Beautiful! Where are the red toy buckets from? These are great ideas. I’ve made chore charts before, but it never occurred to me to use actual photographs. Awesome!

  • heidi @ wonder woman wannabe

    We’ve been using a felt picture chore chart with our four year old and it works like a CHARM!

  • Angie

    Great question Nikki – we actually started doing this about 3 months after he turned four. Let us know if you try it out and how it works! :)

  • Nikki

    I really love this idea! I was wondering, though, how old your little guy is?? My kids are 1, 2 and 4 and I know the 4-yr-old would probably do well with this system, but how early did you start?