Monday, April 16, 2012

Chores.

I thought about my kids' chores for a year before implementing them and we've been doing the system for almost a year with great success.  I and the kids have a daily chore chart-we love it (my kids are 3 and 4 now)!!  If you're looking to start family chores or looking for some fun ideas here's a step by step guide:


1.  Decide Daily Jobs.  

My kids:
clean their rooms
tidy the toy room
and do a mom's choice chore every day.

To remind them I:
googled pictures of the chores
printed them out
and put tape to kind of laminate them.
We then taped them inside a lower (so the kids can reach) kitchen cupboard on the left side (leaving room to change out the monthly calendar).

 


 


 We wondered what the kids (3 and 2 at the time) could possibly do for the extra chore...maybe weed?  But I have found that the kids can do so so much.  I now just look at what needs to be done.  Some ideas for chores for small kids:
weed
vacuum
sort, do, or put away laundry
wipe down blinds, couches, tables, etc.
unload the dishwasher
clean the bathrooms (they really can clean the bathrooms!)
 empty garbage





 


My daily chores (mine are different every day):
Mon-vacuum and mop all the floors
Tues-kitchen
Wed-bathroom
Thurs-bedroom
 Fri-laundry
Sat-tidy all




 I googled vintage pictures...this, like the kids', is taped above my monthly calendars to a kitchen cupboard.
 





2.  Print monthly calendar.  Click on the April below to go to the website I use to print out my calendars.  You can tell from the old pics, I used to have plain calendars until I found these cute ones.





3.  Decorate monthly calendar.  We go to the dollar store to get a ton of seasonal stickers for cheap.  The kids love doing this-it sets a fun tone for the month's jobs.

 
 

4.  Do chores.  After finishing their daily chores, the kids put a sticker (again from the Dollar Store) on their calendar day and get a coin to put in their piggy banks.  Annie painted and decorated and painted her piggy bank and I painted a monster truck bank for Apollo.
 


 5.  Spending Money.  After the kids have been collecting their money for awhile, we put their coins in a ziplock (after giving some money to our church that goes to helping people) and go to the dollar or thrift stores (or a normal store if their is something they want).  They learn they can spend their money on little things or save for a big toy.

 6.  Monthly Reward.  The kids weren't always excited about doing their chores every day or didn't always want to finish them in the morning.  We started giving them a monthly reward if they do their jobs every single day.  This month we decided as a family to go to Pump it Up (like a big bounce house with slides and activities) as a family if they do their jobs every day in April.  I googled and printed off a picture of a bounce house and put it by their calendars as a reminder.  They are so so excited.  This monthly reward is what makes the whole system go so smoothly.


The "why" behind it all.  I'm very thoughtful about motherhood (maybe it's the physics/chemistry teacher background).  I thought a lot about how I would implement chores in my house.  I knew this would set the tone for how the kids view money, working, and chores. So here are the reasons I set up the chores like I did:
-Rewards.  Some people reward their kids with tv, computer time, etc.  What ever we reward our kids with is what they look at as important or we make it desirable.  I really didn't want to reward my kids with candy, tv, computer time, etc.  I want them to desire an active lifestyle and things like family time. 
-Money.  I love that I can be at a store and the kids will be asking for things and they really have to think twice before they spend their money on it.  They take ownership.  They can be shortsighted (which is sometimes fine for the little ones) or they can save longer for something they really want.  They are also learning about money and counting.
-Calendar.  I tell them as they put their stickers on what the day and date is.  They are learning their numbers.  Sometimes we'll put extra stickers on special days (birthdays and holidays). 
-Some people reward their kids for every little job their kids do.  I chose to have a set list of jobs so it would stay consistent.  I didn't want to have to give them a coin or give them something every time they did a job because I knew I wouldn't have the time to follow through.  They get asked throughout the day to do extra jobs and are not rewarded.  They are part of a family and as part of a team, they need to do extra outside of their jobsto help out just because.
-Celebrate.  The kids take pride in doing their jobs and are thrilled when they finish.  We do high fives and celebrate.  Everything about this system is a celebration.
-Keeping it clean.  The kids' rooms and toy room are clean every day (it's the entrance to our home).
-No hassle.  We are an on the go family.   With a lot of things that fizzle out after the thrill of starting it, this system is super easy to carry out.



















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