How I love and dislike having my kids do chores! I love when chores get done happily and quickly and how it helps me around the house, helps me feel like I’m teaching my kids to work, and actually helps my kids feel good about themselves, if all goes smoothly.
And then I dislike having my kids do chores. I dislike the struggle, and I don’t like enforcing them when when no one feels motivated and reminding them until I am blue in the face to get them done, and I don’t like the time investment it takes me sometimes to make sure they do them right.
HOWEVER, I will stick with it, because it’s good for all of us. They will eventually be able to do a bit better job on some of them, and I really don’t mind helping them learn beside me as I show them how to do it properly. That’s time well spent if we keep it positive! That’s the trick, isn’t it? To stay positive and help them along and help them be cheerful while they do their tasks.
What you’ll need:
-magnetic sheets (found in 8”x12” sheets at home depot by the gutter materials)
-one inch circle labels and printer (I used THESE labels)
-mod podge and brush
-magnets. You’ll see here the magnet strip, but I changed to the button magnets because they had a stronger hold. You can get the same ones HERE.
-wooden circles from Hobby Lobby (you’ll get about 30 large circles per package, for about $2.99 a package—use a coupon to get an even better deal!). *I think if I had known, I would order some better quality ones off of Etsy!
-spray paint if desired
-frames (these are from Target, on sale for $3.29)
-print-offs of charts. You can print off the generic ones I made HERE, HERE, and HERE. They are all slightly different so you can use what you like. If wanting the same font, I used Lobster Two font. I did not design the wood grain background, that was from Design House Digital but it seems the links aren’t working below.
I don’t have a whole lot of pictures for the steps since it’s pretty self-explanatory. I painted my wood chips and put my labels with the printed chores on them, then mod podged over the tops. I made sure the paint was very dry before doing this.
I cut my metal sheets with scissors and just about killed my hands, but I survived, ha ha! I mod podged the charts onto the boards, making sure to let it dry between coats, and framed them.
To hang them, I bought some of the nail-less hanging sticky tabs, which I made sure to follow the instructions to a T, so they wouldn’t fall and break!
And now, each night before bed, I choose which chores I will have them do. I rotate some of them and find it will be helpful to keep a paper for my reference which days and which child should do certain chores. But they actually have done pretty well with these and LOVE to move them to the DONE section. In fact, they choose which one they’ll be doing next and put it on the line, so it’s almost done.
A few words on my materials and methods to take note of:
-I left my second batch of chore magnets unpainted and liked them better. Basically I chose a yellow so close in color that you can hardly tell the difference on the boards! So skip this step unless you want a fun color behind the labels.
-I used THESE Avery circle removable labels. I mod podged over the tops so the labels were no longer removable and cute little kid fingerprints wouldn’t ruin them, either.
-I created my chore charts as 8×10 in picmonkey and used a background from Design House Digital which is no longer in business it appears when I checked just now in 6/2014. The background on my charts was from there. I sent my charts to be printed at Costco, making sure to not allow autocorrect for color!
-when I bought the wooden circles a couple years ago, they were $2.33 and the circles were thicker than the package I bought recently. We have had one chore magnet break in half, which is a bummer but the kids are more careful with them now.
-I mod-podged the backs of the magnets because they were leaving black marks on the chore charts. I also mod-podged over the tops of the charts as mentioned, after watching THIS YouTube video for good tips. And it worked! No bubbles.
-I do have a problem with the magnets sticking to the boards sometimes, which is frustrating and I’m sure it’s what caused the wood to break on one of the chores. Especially if they haven’t been moved for a while. I didn’t mod podge the backs of the magnets until after I noticed the black markings, but they stuck before that as well. I’m not sure what you can do to stop that apart from skipping the mod podge step, but I was too worried about fingerprints ruining the charts. I wonder if brushing the surface lightly with baby powder or something would help??? I made sure to dry thoroughly before coats, and made sure to dry overnight before using the boards with the magnets. If anyone has tips for how to stop the magnets from sticking so strongly because of the decoupage, I’d love to hear it! UPDATE: I sprayed mine with clear spray paint and it solved the problem beautifully.
-This, like all other chore systems I do, will likely get old. I plan to counter that by offering different reward systems rather than changing the whole chore system. So weekly I’m thinking each chore will earn something different, like a jelly-bean, or a nickel, for example.
-I’ve made all sorts of chore magnets, and they actually like to have such a variety. And I can choose the ones that need to be done!
-Obviously Poppy doesn’t read yet, but she just chooses a chore, runs to us and asks us what it is, then runs and puts it back. The rule is they STAY on the boards so they don’t get lost! You could use pictures instead of words, which I have done in the past, but decided I wanted this to last a while so I’d use words. And really, what picture would I come up with for scooping the dog poo? Just kidding.
-And finally, but definitely the most important, I found my inspiration for these charts on pinterest, HERE!