My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The New and Improved Interactive Picture Chore System for Littles

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am the QUEEN of chore charts. I love making charts and I thrive with charts - if I use them. That's usually where my systems tend to fail. I have spectacular plans and create masterpieces on paper, but I have realized two things:

1. That the chore chart of my dreams is not actually the one that works for all of us!
2. That a chart that I love, my kids might not.
3. Simple really IS better.

I know. That was 3.

#3 is kinda disappointing for me because I love the complexity of a good, sound chart and I love knowing how much work went into it.

Sooooo, I figured out a way to make my "simple" chore system as complicated as possible (and time consuming!) lol I spent too much time googling pics and altering them so that they represented my two children the chart is for. It was super fun :)

It all began on Pinterest (of course) with this chart from Our Journey to Africa. 

I liked it, but my kids are too young to read, so I came up with a picture version. I made a template with 2 columns and 2 rows, then made the picture cards (printed, cut, laminated, added a magnet to the back. I printed my template and stuck it to my vintage window white board.

These are their charts - not fancy, but they work great! Unfortunately, I do not currently own a color printer, so all their chore cards are in black and white, but they don't seem to mind. I do intend to redo the cards in color fairly soon. Below are the picture cards I created stole off of Google and modified...

 I intend to add a few more cards as we go. I decided to include basic things like Make Your Bed and Brush Your Teeth because my girls are 6 and 3 and need those reminders, too. It's just easier if it's all in one place. 

Ok, here is what I love about this system and how it works:

At different times of the day (morning, after lunch, before dinner, before bed), I will put up a few chore cards in the left column of each girl's chart and let them know that it's chore time. 

They RUN to the chart to see what they "get" to do (mind you, this is only day one lol - I'll let you know how it is going in a few weeks). 

They go work on their first chore (the top card) and when they have completed it, they RUN back to their chart and slide the magnetic card over to the Done column. That is the most exciting part. 

When they have done all 4 chores (that is all that I can fit in the column because of the size of the cards), I let them go play, OR if there are more chores to be done I put up a few more cards and they start again. 

Wild Princess loved it, although she did get tired after awhile emptying the recycling (big job at our house, especially if it hasn't been done in over a week or two). Little Flower got mad at one point because I only gave her one chore card and Wild Princess got two! lol

I love the simplicity. 
I love that I can walk by and see how much is done. 
I love that I can switch the chore cards back and forth between girls and I don't have to make up a new chart every time I want a different child to do the chore or it's the weekend and we need more flexibility.
I love that I can give less chores on stressful days and more on good days.
I love that they love it. 
I love that they are contributing to our family and that it is helping them to feel good about themselves, instead of having an attitude of entitlement.

So what do you think?
What chore system does your family use?