In my house, getting my oldest to do her chores can be a full-time job. The little one still isn’t old enough to have any real, set chores and is still in that really wants to help stage. The oldest one, the six-year-old, has the whining, melting, “but I don’t like that” down to a tee. Chores can be an absolute frustration here. We tried so many methods of getting her to do her chores. When she was little, she had a chart with happy faces or sad faces. If she had enough happy faces, at the end of the week she got to choose a prize. That worked for about a month. Then we just gave up on a chart for awhile and I went back to the constant reminder method.
That obviously didn’t work and no one liked it so I began the hunt for a chore chart that works, actually works. After some web surfing and Pinterest-ing, I put together a method that works pretty well. Here is how I did it.
Choose their chores
The first step is to write down their chores by morning, afternoon, evening, and weekly. If you kids don’t have afternoon chores, just leave that step out. Since we homeschool, we split the chores up that way. If you don’t already have a set list of chores, think about what you want them to learn, what you need help with, and decide what is age appropriate.
Decide on pay
Are you going to do an allowance? If so, decide on how that is going to work. We don’t do an allowance. The chore chart is mostly the things that she needs to do because she is part of the family. If she does all of her chores with very little reminders and a good attitude, then there is a section of extra chores she can do for 10 cents each. That is just our method. I’ll be honest. At the time of writing this, she still hasn’t been able to earn any money. Attitude is big issue around here. Better with the chore chart, but not gone.
Gather your supplies
I used a magnetic whiteboard but the original idea was a cheap baking sheet. You’ll also need a printer, peel and stick magnets, a way to laminate (if possible), and a way to hang your chore chart. I used 3M Command strips. I love those things! The strips and the hooks for so many different things. If you don’t like those, you could hot glue a ribbon to the back of your board and hang it from a hook or tack.
Make your cards
I made mine not too big so I could fit everything on the board. I found clip art online that matched what the chore was and also typed the chore below the picture. Once everything is printed, run through a laminator if you can. If not, print on card stock. Laminating is the best option but not everyone is an office supply geek like me and owns one. 😉 Once everything is printed and laminated, cut out, and apply a magnet to the back of each card.
Assemble your chart
When making the chore cards, I also made labels for morning, afternoon, evening, weekly, extra, to do and done. Those were also laminated and cut out. I did not put a magnet on the back of these as they won’t move around. Instead, I folded up tape for the back and put on the whiteboard in the right locations. I then put the chores cards under the proper locations. I then applied the Command strips to the back and put it in a location that was convenient for both my daughter and me.
Put it in action
Once your chore chart is assembled and hung up, talk to your child about the expectations. For me, every morning when I send her down to get dressed, I tell her it’s also time to do her chores. It is then her responsibility to move things to the “done” section of the word as they are done. We still struggle with her remembering to do her chores, especially if she has been gone to a grandparent’s house for a few days. Mostly, this has been a much better method than and previous methods we have tried. She likes to move the chores over to the “done” section. I think she enjoys seeing that she has been responsible on her own. It makes her feel more grown up.
It has taken some time to develop a chore chart that actually will work but I’m happy with the results. Hopefully, it will work for you as well. I’m sure it will get adjusted over time as her chores change and she grows but for now, it works pretty well.