Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chore Chart Reveal

Work is good for everyone--- children included!

I have been pondering chores for about a year now. (Does that say something about how mundane my thoughts can be? ha ha!) We had a chore chart that just doesn't work for us (and hasn't for about 3 years). The girls definitely have chores and expectations, but there is so much more I'd like to teach them. Summer is upon us and I'd like to make sure they glean the blessings for working, not just playing. Also, Gwen will begin piano lessons in the fall, I want to have my kids earn some money through both assigned chores and volunteering for tasks, and I'd like to get both girls contributing in the kitchen more consistently. Right now it is kind of a "who wants to earn a penny" kind of a thing. Which implies that work is optional. Since I don't believe that is the case, I have been looking for a chore chart update.
You've likely seen these popular cookie sheet chore charts on Pinterest. Here's a great tutorial on how to make one if that floats your boat.
What I LOVE:
  • super, super CUTE
  • visual component for non-readers
  • "to do" and "done" idea is tangible and fun for the littlest chore-doers in the family
  • it is modular, so easily customizeable for each child AND each season AND even each day if there is something specific you want to assign a child. 
  • I love the "extra" chores sticking to the top of the cookie sheet, so not required for that day, but still there if someone wants to earn a little something extra. Would also work to store the seasonal pieces there. 
What I'd like to change:
  • not enough room for all the chores that need doin (does that make me sound like a task master?).  4 morning chores, 4 afternoon/dinner chores, 4 evening chores at the minimum. Then what about extras like helping in the garden, making dessert or preparing lessons for family night, etc? There just isn't room. 
  • I fear that those cute little magnets would attract toddlers (and even preschoolers!) and would disappear under couches and beds or would be confiscated for use in the doll house, etc etc and we'd forever be replacing them or tracking them down--- and never knowing if something got done or not. 
  • I would have to do a DAILY accounting of chore completion. Let me be clear: I check that chores are completed daily already. But with this system, I'd also have to financially compensate daily and reset the chore chart every night so it is ready for the next day. 

I reconsidered my desires after seeing this succinct but personalized job chart at Family Ever After

What I love:
  • weekly accounting instead of daily
  • still has images for visual component, rather than just words
  • images ON the paper, so no lost chore pieces
  • personalized to each child
What I'd like to change:
  • just isn't as cute. Very utilitarian and efficient, but I miss the 'design' element.
  • laminate and use dry erase rather than print out new sheet every week
  • I don't want to specify the monetary compensation for each check mark--- right now only a penny, but that could change to a nickel or a dime if we decide to do so.
  • I would miss the flexibility of having "extra" chores I can throw in intentionally (like for a seasonal garden or canning project) or that the kids could request if they are itching to earn extra cash. 
So. After much pondering, quite a bit of experimentation in Microsoft Word, Exell, and Powerpoint, and a little bit of instructional tutelage from my savvy husband, I came up with the perfect chore chart for our family.

What I love:
  • it is cute, but functional
  • no little pieces, but still retains the design tiles
  • grouping of chores so that we pay less money (boy I'm starting to sound like a miser, eh?) 
  • bottom row of "extra" chores. I can circle them if I am assigning that chore, but the kids could also volunteer to do a chore and earn the extra for it. Extras have all kinds of fun things like 'prepare a dessert,' 'water the plants,' and 'fold washrags'. 
  • print out 1 per year per child, laminate, and dry erase
  • weekly accounting rather than daily (accounting, payment, and proper distribution of income into saving/spending/tithing done at Family Home Evening)
  • everything is saved in Powerpoint, so I can easily duplicate charts and adjust for each child as his/her abilities progress
  • I prepared tiles for 'big' chores like mowing the lawn, babysitting, cleaning toilets, etc that won't be used for years to come but can be added to future chore charts. 
 Caroline's preschool-age chores
Gwen's gradeschooler chores (aren't Susan Fitch's illustrations so cute? That sweet piano...:)
 I have them trading off dinner chores so I'll be able to focus on my helper in the kitchen.
There's a behavior component and a lovely row of extra chores!

Here's how it all came together:
I downloaded these free printable tiles from Susan Fitch Designs-- I love her cute illustrative style!-- and she has a bunch more chores than those pictured above. But there were many tasks I wanted on my chart that she didn't have.
So I used free clipart I found online and simple Microsoft Word to build similarly shaped tiles of my own to accompany Susan's work.
Susan's tiles were ready to insert in the spreadsheet, but my homemade ones had to be 'grouped' so that when I moved the rectangle the picture and the text came with it. Kind of a pain in the rumpus if you know what I mean. But the work was worth it. Now ALL the chore tiles that I might EVER need to use are on the first page of my powerpoint. Our current chore charts are page 2 and 3. Easily edited for next year's needs, but still cute! I am so pleased with how things turned out!

Just for funzies, I made a copy of our pages but deleted the names, so if you would like a copy for your child, you can download the PDF, print out page 1 or 2 (1 for preschool age, 2 for gradeschooler), add your child's name and wualah! Sorry it isn't personalized to you... but if you want to select your own chores, feel free to follow the process I described above!

Hope you enjoy and that your little ones learn the value of working towards rewards!


  1. super cute! love it! hope it works for you!

  2. Work! Work! Work! Crack that whip, Hon'!