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Friday, May 13, 2011

Creative Chore Plans for Kids

We have attempted a few different plans for chores in this house.  Mainly, 1) sticker charts with a goal reward for so-many-stickers earned, and 2) a magnet chart where we can choose chores for each person and mark them complete with a magnet.

The sticker charts lost their appeal after the first reward was given.  The magnet chart was tricky with multiple children, because they would argue over who had which chore, there wasn't much room on the magnet board to keep track for the two older kids, and the toddler always stole the magnets off.  Neither of these methods were really producing much headway and were eventually ignored by all, mom and dad included.

I followed a link yesterday to an on-line system called My Job Chart which I'm going to try instead.  My boys are now 7, 5 1/2, and 3.  They are into video games and computer time, and are pumped up about having a point system on a web site where they have their own log-in to check jobs off.  Hopefully this lasts longer than the sticker chart ; )

But being in the chore system frame of mind reminded me of all the saved bookmarks I had for crafty chore plans.  Some of these I've had my eye on since last year, totally intending to make them and put them in action in my own house...but alas, I still haven't gotten to it.  We're going to go with the on-line system for now, but the creative plans below were just too good not to share!

Clean Up Game from Infarrantly Creative
Check out how Beckie used laminated cards and bin labels to make a game for picking up toys.  A little competition might get some results!  I know my boys love a competition, but they are overwhelmed by a super messy toy room and don't even know where to start.  These cards let the kids know just what to pick up and where it goes to be put away!

Roll a Chore from She Wears Flowers
Tammy shares a great tutorial for making a cloth cube, using iron-on fabric to make different images on each side for chores that need to be done.  LOVE this idea!  Have more than 6 jobs?  Make a pair of dice!  I've used laminated picture schedules/routine reminders in the past year with my special needs child, and those PECS cards would be perfect for this.

12-sided Roll a Chore from Tethered 2 Home
Amy offers a printable template and tutorial for making a 12-sided paper die!  After some of the Mother's Day projects I did, I know I could easily make these 3D shapes.  You can print the template right onto any patterned paper or cardstock, and use scoring tools to get your folds nice and crisp for easy assembly.  Don't have scoring tools?  Check out my Paper Watering Can post for my redneck scoring method ; )

Bucket-o-Fun as seen on Carrot Sticks and Cupcakes
I remember seeing this idea in a waiting room magazine this spring and thought it was so smart!  Inexpensive, easy, and fun = a winner!  I couldn't find the original, but Diane at Carrot Sticks and Cupcakes did a post on it.  So simple - just use a sharpie to write chores onto ping pong balls, put them all in a bucket (or other container) and let the kids choose!  Better yet, Mom can choose and bounce the ball to the recipient ; )

Mailbox system from My Computer is My Canvas
This is one of the first creative chore systems that I bookmarked.  It looks so fun, and I know for a fact that kids get super excited about mail!  I still might set up a trio of mailboxes for my boys some day.  Even if they aren't used for chore cards, it would still be a neat way to give them special messages!  Colette even offers a printable bundle of job cards in her etsy shop

Felt Chore Charts from Childmade
Childmade is such a fantastic source for inspiration!  It's one of my favorite places to browse projects.  I had to show you the super cute felt chore charts that Sheri makes.  She has tutorials, plus also sells individual pieces to her felt charts in her shop on Childmade.  These are so adorable - the different layers have magnet strips on the back, and chore labels on the front.  When the chore is done, the layer gets stacked with the others.  Her Burger and Ice Cream Cone work this way....

...and she also has the sweetest little Veggie Garden, where the veggies have the chores written on the sticks and they can be "picked" from the garden.  The garden patch is made from felt covered cereal boxes!  It's personalized with a sign hanging on a picket fence at the bottom.  So creative!

Creative Chore Chart from Creative Kids Projects
I really love how simple this one is!  It looks easy to make, too.  This would be a great one for toddlers!
Flexible Chore Charts by Controlling My Chaos
This other magnet system also caught my eye.  1) because they are creatively and inexpensively made from craft sticks, 2) because this method only has one chore for each day of the week, and 3) because Jill's post really cracked me up!  Her girls are rewarded with a token that could be exchanged for cash later on.

Speaking of cash, here is something that could easily be paired with any chore chart/plan/system - money jars for your kids.  I especially love that these are sets of three, one for saving, one for spending, and one for giving!  I first saw these on Bits of Everything.  

Here is another fun version that kids can help make from Eclectic Chica.  I love how this set recycles cans!  We sure have plenty of those, and the wrapping and gluing of yarn around them looks like a great project for my boys to do this summer.  Go check out Kellie's tutorial!

There are so many more ideas out there - magnetic chore charts made with cookie sheets, pocket charts made on clipboards, tag charts that hang on key hooks, plus any number of printables that you can laminate and use dry erase markers with.  What do you do for chore plans in your house?  Have you found the secret through trial and error?  Please share!


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