I have tried many different types of chore charts and trackers. This chore chart is the best, by far. It’s simple to use, effective, and holds up to daily use.
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Chore charts… I have a love/hate relationship with them. You would think this is something my child would say. No, it’s me – Mom. My oldest son has reached the age, or maybe past the age a bit, of doing some chores and getting an allowance. As the first child, he tends to be the guinea pig. I just can’t seem to find the manual that came with him at birth.
He used to get rewards for good behavior. As he got older, Dad and I came to EXPECT good behavior. Now, we have entered into the new phase of “I want…”.
The beginning of that sentence is usually followed by some high priced game or toy.
Then he concludes with, “…and I’ve been good”.
Yes, it is true. He usually has been good. Hey – I’ve been good too, but that doesn’t magically get me the new designer handbag or table saw I want (Yes, I do want a table saw). I have to save for those wants. There is nothing wrong with having ‘wants’. It’s just important to me that my son learn the value of hard work, earning a dollar and saving.
Now, as I said earlier, I have tried many different chore charts that have failed:
• Printout charts that you check off
• Flip charts that you close a tab on each task when done
• Jars you fill up and it reaches a certain point you get a reward
• Chore apps
• Keeping track mentally on my own…BahHAHAaHAhah! FAIL.
Through these failures, I have learned six lessons:
1. We are visual people. My son and I need to SEE our chart. Out of sight, out of mind. The chore apps/online did not work for this reason.
2. It needs to be sturdy for daily use. The flip chart started to fall apart about two weeks in. The magnets fell off, paper flaps ripped. Just not sturdy at all.
3. We need clear guidelines. You do this, you get that. The jars filled with pebbles became kind of a grey area.
4. We visually need to see a Done. Most all of the failures shared one success. The “Done” factor. There was always a way to see that a task had been completed that day. Whether it was a check mark, closed flap, or star in the online app.
5. While most showed that a single task was completed daily. There wasn’t a way to track if all tasks had been completed each day of the week. I want to know if tasks are completed daily and every day of the week.
6. Most didn’t offer the option to change daily tasks. I don’t need the bathroom trash emptied every. single. day.
All that put together has led me to this new creation. Most importantly, I want it to be functional and work for my son. Yet, I also like something pretty that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in my home decor.
It’s working great so far. Every day I select the chores that go in his “To Do” jar. He must move the chore sticks over to the “Done” jar, when they are completed. Once, they are all Done and I have given the Parental Stamp of Approval 😉 — he can then put a star up for that day. Yay for gold stars!
If he has all gold stars for the week, then he gets his weekly allowance.
On to the DIY tutorial.
DIY Chore Chart
- Pallet board sign – I used this one from Hobby Lobby
- Spray paint (I used cream white, gold, coral, navy blue and light blue)
- Paint (I used black and white craft paint)
- Wooden stars – I bought these at Hobby Lobby
- (7) Round magnets – I bought these at Hobby Lobby
- (2) Mason jars
- (7) 5/16 in. x 1-1/2 in. Fender washers
- (2) Everbilt 1-3/4 in. to 2-3/4 in. Stainless steel clamp
- Popsicle sticks
- Staple gun
- Hot glue gun
I started by taping off the two inner board slats. I then painted the top and bottom board slats cream white.
I then painted the other pieces. The mason jar lids (cream white). My stars (gold). I wanted pretty chore sticks, so I painted the top of the Popsicle sticks (navy, blue, and coral). However, I had an afterthought on this, that you could paint a different color for each child.
I then wrote in the Chores wording. I found a pretty font in Word printed it out and then traced over the lettering with a pencil. The wood is soft enough that it gave an imprint from the pencil. I then traced over with my pencil and painted in the word with black craft paint. How much easier this would have been if I had a Silhouette machine (another ‘want’ I have).
I then used my heavy duty staple gun, and stapled in the stainless steel clamps. You want to get a really flat lie with your staple so the mason jar sits in correctly. Hammer it down a bit, if needed.
Tighten your mason jars in the clamp.
I then hot glued the magnets on to the back of the stars. Also, I hot glued seven washers to the bottom board. One washer for each day of the week.
Next, using the same tracing method as before, I wrote in the “To Do” & “Done”. I then went over the black paint with white paint. Once the paint dried, I did a quick hand sand over the words. This was solely because I wanted a weathered rustic look.
Finally, I took the painted Popsicle sticks and wrote in our chores.
Do you keep a chore chart at home? What chores do your kids do, or used to do, around the house? I’m curious to know your view on chores and allowance.