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Thursday, July 19, 2012

56 UHeart Organizing: Children's Chore Charts

Today is a big day!  Our very first installment of UHeart Organizing!  Please give Courtney a warm welcome as she stops by from A Thoughtful Place to share her creative method for keeping her kids excited with some of their household tasks.



Hello, I Heart Organizing readers! I am thrilled to be hanging out here today sharing something that is working wonders in our household. Back to school is just around the corner and I needed to do something to eliminate the broken record syndrome. Does any of this sound familiar, “Did you make your bed? Have you brushed your teeth? Has the fish been fed? Can you set the table, please!” I hear myself over and over and I know how redundant the routine is sounding. My oldest will be entering first grade and the mornings are about to start much earlier. I decided we not only needed a chore chart, but a system that would include the daily routine as well. With most of the supplies already on hand, this is what I came up with:



I thought long and hard about how I wanted to do this. I knew that pockets would be the best for my little ones so I made it my mission to find library pockets. Do you all remember those? Luckily, a darling scrapbooking store that is right in my town pulled through with a package containing 12 {exactly what I needed}. They can also be found on Amazon here if you are on the search. The only other purchase I made was the Martha Stewart chalkboard labels {Staples}. I must admit though, that the homemade version of these are just as effective if not better. I also hit up my local paint store for some paint chips. 


The idea behind this was to make it a very visual chart so that anyone in the family could quickly look at it and know if the jobs had been completed. To accomplish this, I used a red and green card method {red for stop, and green for go}. Each pocket would host two cards. If the task still needs to be done, there will be a red card showing. When the task is completed, our kiddos switch their card to green {placing the red card behind}. It’s super quick and simple and they children LOVE switching their cards. I think it gives them a sense of accomplishment much like when we cross something off from our list. Visually, they are motivated to see all green cards. I chose paint chips that were a little bit more of a muted green and red {just more appealing to me and for the hallway that it is hanging in}.



The fabric was leftover from when I recently lined my built-in bookcase. It was purchased at Hobby Lobby. Luckily, I had a 16 x 20 frame that was no longer being used so I took off the back and placed the fabric right behind the glass.

Once your fabric is behind the glass and you have closed up the backing, trim the access fabric so it will hang nicely on the wall.




Once my fabric was in place, I trimmed the library pockets and paint chips to make them shorter {I wanted to be able to fit all 12 pockets on my frame}.


The beauty of these is that they just peel and stick. In under a minute I had my 12 pockets and red/green card system read to go.


What is pretty cool about the library card pocket set I found is that they came with calendar cards {12 of them}.  So here is how it all works!  Each night when we are doing the bedtime routine, we check the chore chart with the kiddos {which takes three seconds since it is very visual} and give them a check mark if they completed their tasks.  And it's really not an option... they need to do their tasks!  We talk about how they are more like their household and personal responsibilities.  At the end of each week, if they have all of their check marks, they will receive their full allowance.  You can see more on how I do that here.


I decided to use chalkboard labels so that I can easily update, erase or change their chores as necessary.  I bought a package of large labels and just cut each one in half and cut the corners.



Using a chalkboard maker I wrote down their personal responsibilities and chores. For my son who is not reading yet, I used little picture cues to help.



You know what they say. Location!  Location!  Location!  The same rule applies for a chore chart! It is hanging in our upstairs hallway directly outside of their bedrooms and bathroom. This makes it easy for them to go straight to it after most tasks. The fish is also in their bathroom so we made it very easy for them!



This has been a huge hit with the kids.  They love doing a task and changing their card to green.  At the end of the night when they have received their check mark from us, they both reset their cards to red for the next morning.





And for all of you super sleuths who only spy one "brush teeth" pocket, we do actually brush our teeth twice in this house, however, this one applies to the morning. Remember, I am trying to speed up our morning routine and the broken record system prior to school starting. So the make bed, feed fish, and brush teeth all happen before school!




I can’t tell you how nice it is to pour coffee in the morning and here my son bound down the stairs saying, “I did more chores, mommy!”  Ahhhh.  Let’s hope this trend continues.  And as they grow, I can remove the personal responsibilities from the chart and add more chores to help around the home. What about you all?  Do you have an effective system in place.   It’s always nice to share and learn what works in different homes. 



"Do you believe in love at first sight? I sure do because when I first stumbled upon I Heart Organizing I immediately fell in love with Jen's mad organizational skills. I think we all long for a calm, organized, well styled life. I am the author of A Thoughtful Place blog where I dish on all things related to decorating, organizing, entertaining, and of course DIY-ing! To be quite honest, working on making my house a home is my happy place. It fulfills my need to be creative and I love sharing ideas {both big and small} with my readers. Along with my blog, I am a contributing writer to House of Fifty and have recently started my own decorating firm, Casey Grace Design, LLC,  with my talented sister.  I call Orange County, California home where I live with amazing husband and two children. At the end of a busy day, I love to enjoy an ice cold beer on the front porch with my hubby while we watch our children ride their bikes or run around. Life is sweet and I am thrilled to be a part of the IHeart Organizing Team."


56 comments:

  1. Fabulous idea Courtney! And it looks ridiculously cute too!!! =)

    I suddenly have an urge to make an adult version... I mean... I do chores too! <3 haha love it!

    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  2. That's a really simple and effective system. We are still trying to find one that fits in our home with 2.5 and 5 yr old girls.

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  3. Keeping on top of this is not easy, love what Courtney has done! Janell

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  4. First and foremost, I love your blog, I heart it truly! I look forward to your posts all week long. But, I don't know if I am the only one (I hope I am) but in the last few months I've had such a hard time viewing your blog. It is so slow I can barely make it through your entire post for the day, it literaly takes 20+ minutes just to scroll down. I hope it's just the 4 computers I use and hopefully no one else is having this problem. I don't know what it is, it was fine and then just about 3-4 months ago I can barely get through a whole post because it takes so long. Any tips? I have access to both a 3.0M T1 access at work and then at home a 24M Uverse, so I don't think it's a speed issue on my end. I miss being able to see your whole posts in a matter of minutes, I am going through I Heart Organizing withdrawl!

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    1. Hi Janie!

      Firefox seems to be the best browser to use with the site. I am aware of the awful lags {so sorry about those!} and am doing what I can to trouble shoot them. Hoping to have it resolved soon. Thank you for your patience.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. I use Chrome & I don't have any issues. Maybe try that?

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    3. I've been having the same problems! :( I also get too excited to see the post, and try to scroll down before it has finished opening the page, and it ends up freezing up my computer. I'll have to try firefox and see if that works better!! Thanks! :)

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    4. I use chrome too, and everything seems fine!

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    5. As long as it's anything but Internet Explorer, it should be fine.

      If it has to be Internet Explorer for whatever reason, be sure to upgrade it to the latest version (if you don't know how, Google around a little). Saves everyone a LOT of headaches that way :)

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  5. I agree with @ peas and crayons. "lead by example" comes to mind- I think seeing mommy doing her own chores and having her cards switched is another good way to encourage/stimulate the kiddos to do their jobs. AND it helps me stay accountable too! Love this idea!!

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  6. Love this idea!!!! I have just ordered the pocket cards too!

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  7. Really slick! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. This looks great! I also love the use of the library pockets.

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  9. Super cute Courtney. And yes, it is great for them to take responsibility early on.

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  10. Great project, C! I love the library pockets, and I love that it's so visual!!

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  11. Brilliant! I will be creating something similar very soon!

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  12. Love this, and it's gorgeous too! I can say that my 9-year-old and I are both much happier since we instituted a chore chart. She has four morning tasks and four evening tasks, so instead of nagging about every single thing, I just have to say, "did you do your morning (or evening) chores?" Plus, we had fun and bonded over designing and putting the chart together. SHE was the one who suggested making a few blank tabs in case she had more chores to do someday. It has been a real win/win!

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  13. I LOVE this idea!!! I will definitely be making a chore chart like this soon!

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  14. Brilliant! I am going to do this! I hate sounding like a broken record and I know this will help. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  15. Really great idea! I've been thinking that I need to create a chore chart (for months!), so I need to get on that, and this might be perfect. The only thing is, I'd also like to include "extra jobs" that my son can earn extra money for, and I don't know if the red/green system will work for that. I love seeing the different ideas that people come up with.

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  16. Teacher Supply Stores sell library pockets very very cheaply and they usually come in lots of colors/patterns/sizes. LOVE this chore chart idea! (I am an ex-teacher, current stay-at-home mom who loves this website! :)

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  17. Welcome Courtney! This is a great idea and love how you cleverly used library cards! I'm looking forward to checking out your blog! I'm a SoCal blogger too!

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

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  18. Love it! A system that the kids should actually enjoy using x

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  19. We have a star chart system in my house. The girls have 8 responsibilities that they have to accomplish each week and for every 2 that they accomplish, they get one star. They can get stars taken away if they do something bad during the week (ex - talking back/attitude = 1 star gone even if they complete all their tasks). Right next to the chart is a rewards chart. There is rewards for 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, etc stars all the way to 200. The prizes get bigger as they achieve more stars. If one gets more stars than the other, they have to wait until BOTH have the same amount of stars to get the prize (this was to *try* to make them work with each other to get more stars, but it didn't work as well as I'd hoped). It works for our household for the most part. It's just hard when we only see the kids on the weekends (they live with their mom during the week).

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  20. Love this! Thanks for sharing!

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  21. Courtney, such a great idea. I am storing up all your ideas for my little one, since he's not far behind Grady. :) p.s. I can't wait for your sale to start!!

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  22. I LOVE YOU!

    This is going to help with mornings this school year! My step daughter will be going into 5th grade and before she has done the before school program and couldn't really do much in the am. NOW that we are stopping that she can do more and this is PERFECT! She loves charts as much as I do (I finally rubbed off on her lol) and the switching of the cards will be perfect.

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  23. this is great! they also sell those library pockets at the teacher store. i think you can get about 25 for under $5.00. :)

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  24. This is a really great system. Our kids seem to loose interest in any system I've tried after a couple weeks and then we are back to the same old nagging. I've pretty much given up.

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  25. Looks like I'm gonna try this! I'm so tired of asking every time, three times over, this will help!

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  26. You should start doing youtube videos!!!!!! Why havent you already? It would be so awesome to see your projects step by step through video!! :)

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  27. Oooh I do like this pocket idea! I love smooth, calm mornings!
    Inside both my kiddies rooms are contacted checklists that have both pictures and words to accommodate the reader and non-reader in the family. There's a morning and afternoon checklist. Then at their newly appointed bag station near the kitchen, there's a joint checklist (ie get brekky stuff ready, brush teeth etc) as well as one for what should be in their school bags, again with a picture and words. Under their names is their weekly show and tell guides as well as what day/what uniform and when their library and show and tell day is. My youngest has just started school this week so I've been spending time pointing at the pictures to make sure she knows what I am trying to communicate. We have a marble system, for every job done unprompted they earn a marble. Once they've earnt so many marbles they can choose a small something. We've made it to the end of week one and it appears we're off to a good start! :D

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  28. Such a cute idea Courtney - I love that you used easy to find and affordable supplies that look so fab too!! Brilliant!! xx

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  29. I love this chore chart. I have seen so many chore chart variations and none of them got me excited, until this one. This is definitely one that I plan on making and utilizing for my son.

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  30. This is such a great idea! Wish I had thought of it when mine were younger! Now that our girls are pre-teens, we have moved to a chore card system. Here's the link to that in case people are wondering what to do for older kids: http://doandredo.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/organizing-kids-chores/

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  31. Thank you for all the sweet comments about the chart. We all have to stick together! And how great to be hearing these other ideas. Here's to ending the broken record syndrome!

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  32. I. Love. This. Idea.
    I have three sons spread over 9 years and I've really struggled to find a solution for chores. This might really do it! And I've been thinking its time for allowances but wasn't sure how it should work. THANK YOU!!

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  33. This is absolutely fantastic!!!!! We've just been discussing how to start a system for chores and allowance. This is perfect for our family- thanks!!!

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  34. I really love this idea!! And not only for kids...I love the fact that you fit the allowance to the chores each of them finish! Thanks for the idea!!
    xx

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  35. Its good strategy to list out all daily task at one place by this the slipped tasks also so overall good tip.
    carpet cleaning

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  36. I just love this! My daughter is almost old enough to start helping. Right now she pretend helps - which is still great. But I'm so excited about this, I always hated our chore lists growing up. They just felt depressing and horrible. This feels happy and helpful!

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  37. It wasn't fully explained, so maybe I'm completely off on this, but did you steal the paint chips? Or were they ones that were outdated and were being thrown away by the paint company?

    I'm always a little disturbed/curious when people make crafts out of paint chips because I have always seen them as something you take one of more of to help you decide if you like a paint color so you can come back and buy paint, not as free craft supplies.

    Those comments aside, it's a great idea that I may use with my children. Thanks for the source of the pockets.

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    1. Katie, I have always felt the same way. I think it's good practice to always ask when it comes to something like this. My wonderful paint guy knows us by now and I asked if I could used these for such a project. Depending on the store, perhaps they will even sell them to you. Good point to bring up.

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  38. Courtney, my friend, you have done it again - wanna come make one of these for my kiddos? ;) You have the perfect spot for this chart too!

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  39. That looks amazing. And I'm considering making it for even my 11 year old, who still can't remember what needs done...
    I'm not sure though when you'll be able to take off the personal responsibility one...mine STILL need reminded to brush their teeth and make their beds...and they're in double digits.

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  40. I've been needing to make a chore chart for my kids, 6 and 4, and this one finally got me motivated to do it! I just finished it and I couldn't be happier. I think they're going to be so excited to get to move the cards themselves. I'm hoping it will help us be more consistent because, I admit, I'm horrible at reminding them to do their chores!

    I made a few minor variations. I didn't want to wait to order the pockets, so I just made my own using some pretty scrapbook paper I had on hand. I made 6 pockets for each kiddo and used the same paper to make the first letter of their names to put beside their pockets. I'm just smitten with it!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  41. Oh, Jessie! That is fantastic. Thanks so much for taking the time to share how you adapted it to work for you and your kiddos. Still going strong over here so hopefully you will find the same success.

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  42. That is SO precious, Courtney!! You nailed it. I am pinning now for several years down the road when I need this system too! : )

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  44. I am going to make this for three children -- either cutting the paint chips down so three fit in one pocket, or using popsicle sticks painted green on one side, red on the other. I like the idea of the paint chips better though - maybe gluing popsicle sticks to the back for reinforcement (mine are all boys!). Thank you for posting this -- love that we can make a "classy" chart using leftover fabric from our home decorating projects!

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  45. I have been looking for a chore chart for my son. I love this idea thank you for sharing!

    The Purdy Postings
    www.thepurdypostings.blogspot.com

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  46. Such a neat and simple idea! Since I do not have kids yet, I would love to try this for little chores for me and my roommates! Where did you buy the fabric?

    -Lisa
    would love for you to follow!

    www.showeredwithdesign.blogspot.com

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  47. My kids are running amuck and I'd like to make your o-so-fab chart. I'm looking for the EXACT same pockets and Days of the week cards you used here. Can you provide the brand/name or the store you purchased from? I'm exhausted looking for them!
    Thank you.

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  48. Our chore chart is for a 3 year old, so less is more ;) After some modifying, this is what we settled on...
    http://busyandthebeans.blogspot.com/2013/01/chore-chartmodified.html

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Tracy
    busyandthebeans.blogspot.com

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  49. Mary Jane from Monifieth, ScotlandAugust 26, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    My children aged 11 and 8 are more interested in playing with their friends (what kids aren't?!) than helping in the house. Simple things like brushing their teeth, sorting their beds in the morning or putting toys away before bed are way, way down on their list of priorities.

    So, today I decided to make a chore chart. They were involved from the start, helping me choose the fabric colour, the colour of their individual name cards and even the colour of the pen used to write their names!

    The chart was a huge success, with the 10 minute tidy-up before bedtime being a big hit and very exciting! We set an alarm giving us 10 minutes to get as much as possible done and we all moved much quicker than we usually would at bedtime. Red cards changed to green, then on to brushing teeth for the 2nd time today (we have 2 red cards for teeth brushing, 1 for morning and 1 for bedtime). Green cards for brushing teeth. 2 happy, excited children jumped into bed, looking forward to tomorrow's red cards being replaced with green cards.

    Looks like I'm on to a winner. Each week when we have 7 days with a full house of green cards we will have a treat. It can range from a family movie night, to a bike ride at the weekend, to a walk in the park...something we all agree on and can enjoy together. Hopefully home life will be that little bit more organised from now on.

    Thanks for posting this one Jen!

    xx

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