A simple chore system
Last year I spent far too much time on Pinterest looking for a chore chart that would work for us. My problem is that I am far too particular. I don’t want a chore chart that I have to regularly print out. I want to be able to switch up the jobs based on the area of the house that looked like the biggest disaster on that day. I also want it to take the least amount of work from me possible.
I bought each of the kids their own colored container (ours are actually votive candle holders) and wrote all of the jobs on clothes pins. The younger kids have drawings on their pins as well, like a toothbrush or book to help them know what to do. Each morning, they do whatever job pins are clipped to their container. When the job is done, they unclip the clip and drop it into the container. It doesn’t get much easier than that, so of course I made it more complicated!
I want the kids, specifically Eden, to learn about money. Some jobs — cleaning the bathroom, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, and dusting— can earn Eden and Judah a quarter. Clothes pins that earn money are colored at the bottom so the kids know they get paid for that chore. They can earn a quarter each weekday and get paid every Friday.
My rule is that the kids need to put one of their quarters into savings, one into giving and the rest can go in spending. A few quarters may not seem like a lot of money to us but it is to a 5- and 6-year-old. This system for earning money won’t last forever, but it has been a good introduction to the topic.
Just to throw one more thing into the mix: if a kid complains while doing one of his chores, I slide a paperclip onto the side of his container. After 5 paperclips, he or she has to pay me a quarter. So far this has been very motivating and no one has had to pay me yet.
While the chore system has a few components, it really is simple to implement and takes very little work from me — always a huge plus in my book.
For preschoolers, simply starting with the clothes pins and their regular routine items such as brushing their teeth and putting clothing in the laundry basket may be a great way to introduce the idea of responsibility.