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Chores Made Fun for Little Ones…

We have two 3 year-olds, a 1st grader and a 2nd grader. I homeschool–so finding time to get it all done around the house is near to impossible…without HELP. I need my little ones to be aware when they pull things out–that they need to put them up…and really there is no better way to bring them awareness to this until they have responsibilities like chores. They quickly learn it’s so much easier to pick up the playroom when they put up things after they play with them. YET with ages still so young, we’re still working at this AND we have to make it fun.

We’ve tried “chore charts” where you put smiley removable stickers on each item after you have completed the task. We’ve done chores for seasons with no rewards–simply doing them because it’s good to obey your mommy and daddy. I came up with this fun little idea on one of my many visits to Hobby Lobby. It’s super easy, and I don’t have to remind each child what they need to do that day. I simply put the clothes pin on the “to do” side of their wooden tag—and walk away. It’s their job to see what they need to do that day, and it’s their job to move the clothes pin task to the “all done” side. They don’t have to come tell me they’ve completed it–and I don’t have to ask them. At the end of the day–I can look to see what is “all done” and go check to be sure it was done well. If it was done well, I simply place a “ticket” in their jar for each task completed and well done—and move the clothes pins for the next day back to “to do”…

You don’t need a chalkboard to do this at home. I already had one, and just wanted to make the peg board I bought at Hobby Lobby reachable for the kids so they could do this without my help. You could put your peg board at their height level on the wall–I just loved the idea of being able to move this in different parts of the house if our school room ended up not being the best place for it.

The chalkboard is from IKEA for just $10. The peg board is maybe $7 at Hobby Lobby–but you can get this any where…and at Hobby Lobby with their 40% coupon online. I spray painted both black (they were unfinished).

For the wooden tags–I bought a unfinished wooden door hanger for $0.99 each for each child. I painted each white–and with a black paint pen I wrote their name in the center–and “to do” on the left side–and “all done” on the right side…

(Sorry these pics are a bit out of focus! Momma needs a new set of glasses I’m afraid!)

I made age-appropriate tasks for each child. I also made 2 wooden tags for “tickets”–but only because my wooden peg had 6 begs and I was trying to balance it out:). You can choose not to “reward” your child with “tickets”, but mine think it’s fun.

The cute little ticket dispenser is available at Hobby Lobby on the birthday party aisle in the circus theme section.

You can make your tickets worth whatever you want. So many tickets can be traded in for different things OR you could make them worth money–and then at the end of the week or month trade them in. We are doing this–and at the end of each month teaching them how to “save/give/spend” with what they’ve earned.

I give my kids more chores each day than I think they would normally want–simply because some times they want to do more to earn more. In the real world, there’s always opportunity to do what we need to do–and then room to do more if we want to go the extra mile. For younger children–say 3 year olds–you may want to reward weekly until they are old enough to really have patience to wait an entire month for their reward whatever it may be. We are just making chores more fun–because we try to make a lot of things fun…because fun is just more fun:).

ALSO–I got little jars with lids that clasp to hold their tickets. 4 jars fit perfectly in the chalk/eraser holder on our little chalkboard. I painted each child’s name on each jar.

NOW–keep in MIND that we are NOT perfect (we are actually far from it!)…and this is just a fun way to TRY to do chores;). I know some families are quite strict about this. We aren’t. If you do them–then you get tickets to exchange for money at the end of the month…with some money management taught alongside. If I don’t do something like this–then to be honest, I forget to ask them to do chores and I just feel overwhelmed to do it myself–and to be honest…much of what they do at their ages (like dusting or vacuuming) I might still have to do again. BUT then again–let’s be really honest…do I really dust??? Maybe once a month. SO–I figure with this system we are teaching good work ethic and how to contribute even if it isn’t perfect! At least it’s fun for them, and seeing them try definitely reminds me that I should try too;). LOL! My house is FAR from spotless…I so wish I was more like my older sister and could pull that off–but I always say my other ministry is a “livable messy house” making other moms who stop by feel better that it’s far from clean or perfect:) Who knows how long this will last or work–but it’s fun for now so worth the go!

Hope you have an amazing week!


P.S. Just have to hollar a shout out THANK YOU to my most precious adoption momma friend Catherine Besk. I checked my mailbox today and was so ministered to by the sweetest gift. I tell ya what–the friends I’ve made via my blog, adoption, our agency, etc the last few years are just AMAZING. This journey has brought some of the dearest friends who truly stand beside you no matter what. I feel so blessed…so thankful…and truly felt the Lord loving on me today through another friend! Thank you Catherine. SO thankful how as moms we go there for and with each other. The comments I’ve received the last few weeks on my blog from moms who totally understand where this momma is…have truly ministered to my heart. THANK YOU. Love you all to pieces. You all are some of my sweetest blessings.

Ashley - September 18, 2012 - 12:56 pm

That’s a really cute idea! I don’t think there is anything wrong with rewarding children for working hard..I could see it as a problem if they don’t listen to you, and have discipline problems, but that’s another can of worms! My little one is 2 1/2 and I’ve been wondering of a fun way to help encourage her with chores. Although I think she really does a lot for her age! She helps me load the dryer, pour in the soap for the washing machine, is learning how to fold clothes, cleans the part of the counter she can reach, helps make beds. No she isn’t perfect at it, but it is very sweet to see her try and help me! I think I may start a reward system for her, and see how it goes. I also think it helps them learn to give to others, and tithe! She loves giving to the offering plate at church so I’m sure it would mean a lot to her to put her own money in there!

tiffany - September 20, 2012 - 12:06 am

I was just going to send you an email the other day to see if you had a way of handling chores….funny…like you read my mind. We have struggled perpetually with chores at the Moody house…tried different ways and the bottom line is that I always run out of energy to keep up with it. This is really cute…and seems pretty easy…think we might give something similar a go. You are one smart and creative mama!

Rachel Goode @ Heirs with Christ - September 21, 2012 - 12:03 am

Totally unrelated to this adorable post…

I linked to you on my blog today (link below). You’re under #4 of 12 Reasons Christians Should Blog, as, (you’ll get a kick out of this,) “the trendy mom in Atlanta willing to do the not-so-cool through homeschooling, simply because she thinks God called her to.” 🙂

We’re doing part-time homeschool for 4k, and you’re part of the encouragement causing us to consider kindergarden.