Monday, February 11, 2013

Preschool Age Chore Chart

Somewhere on Pinterest I saw this chore chart idea. (I'm not sure if I pinned it. If I did, I can't find it!) I thought it would work better for our middle Bubba, who is 3.
A little history... I orinally printed the chore chart HERE for our oldest Bubba (6), and this one HERE for middle Bubba (3). I bought a little plastic shoebox sized container and dubbed it "The Chore Store" (another idea somewhere on Pinterest) and filled it with treats we don't normally let them eat... mini Cokes, Little Debbie snack cakes, cookies, etc. The boys were supposed to do their daily chores, and color in the circle if they did it. They would get $1 for each chore they did without us telling them to do it (and color the full circle), and .50 for the chores we had to remind them to do (and color 1/2 the circle). If they did all their chores in one day, or the same chore every day of the week (so dots colored in all the way across, or all the dots colored running up and down for one day) they would get to go to The Chore Store and pick out a treat. At the end of the week, we would calculate their $ earned, and once or twice a month my husband would deposit it into their savings account at the bank. (They thought going to the bank was pretty cool. There are suckers there, ya know!)
It worked for a while. At first, it was a competition, more so over who got to use the marker. Then it worked for a bit because they didn't want the other brother to get to earn the money associated with that particular chore. (You can only take out the trash once. Unless you have a ton of trash in 1 day). Then middle Bubba just got bored with it. We did what you are not supposed to do, and bribed a little, threatened a little (like, you won't get your snack if you don't...) and would just plain ask if middle Bubba wanted to "Feed the Dogs" or "Pick Up Toys," to which he would simply respond, "Um... no. I don't want to."
I pondered why it didn't work anymore. And tried to think of ideas that my husband would like as well. (He didn't particularily care for the original plan because it seemed too complicated and like there were too many chore options, when he felt we should just be focusing on getting them to master a select few.) Then I saw this little flippy chore chart idea. Middle Bubba is 3. Seemed simple enough for a 3 year old. Colors. Pictures. Cartoony. Visual cue of completion. (And reusable!) He prefers to do things himself. Perfect, this he can do. Open all of them in the morning, close them as they are done. He is also one of those kids that need immediate reward. He enjoyed going to the bank, but he has no idea what a bank is, other than a place you take your money to and never get it back. He never spends it. And it took all week, usually with several reminders, to get a full row of circles in order to go to The Chore Store on Sunday night. Therefore, no immediate reward. The kid has probably figured out... Hey, I'm taking my money to the bank and I don't get anything. Why the heck am I doing these chores?? And I neeeeevvveeeerrrr get a snack. Screw it!
So, my thought was I would make this little chart he could manage and hang it within his reach. He can close them as he does them. And if he does them all in one day, he can go to The Chore Store. (We have been trying to cut out snacks at bedtime, so hoping this will be an incentive to get him to do them every day and get back his snack.) I picked 5 simple chores: Brush Teeth, Laundry (a.k.a. Put your dirty clothes in the laundry), Clean Up (Toys), Feed Pet, and Trash. *If he checks and one of these chores has already been done by oldest Bubba (ie. Trash), then he can close it.
It's been a day and a half since I hung it up, and it took some probing, but he did his chores and was able to choose a snack from The Chore Store tonight. I am hopeful this method will be better for him.
What do you think? If you're interested in making one, here's what you'll need...

File folder
Ruler (or straight edge of book, piece of paper, etc)
Glue (I used a glue stick - no wet rumples)
Printable chore pictures - I used these (scroll down to page 7-8)
Magnetic strips (.97 at Walmart in the crafts aisle)

Print your chore chart pictures. Cut them out.
Eyeball how much space you will need for your picture + magnetic strip above it. (Should be a couple inches). Use ruler to draw a straight line across and cut folder.
Clue your pictures down. Eyeball it. Try to space them evenly. 
(Notice the extra space I had on the right end!)
Use your ruler to make the flaps. Mark a line in between each picture.
Cut the flaps.

Use the discarded file folder corner and trace onto each flap.
Cut out corners for a decorative touch.
Write encrouaging/praise words on the outside of the flaps.
(I printed & glued them on for a cleaner look.)
Add magnetic strips & hang.
Viola! You're done!


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