This how-to is super simple and super fun, too. But the best best part about this chore chart is that it works. Forget the past lists, ta-DO’s, and/or whatever else you’ve been using to compel/nag/sweetly coerce your children into doing their chores. The following method for how to make a chore chart actually works.
- No more whining (by you or the kiddos)
- No more “forgetting”
- No more starving pets (here is where thumbs matter)
- No more sleepless nights wondering how on earth your child will ever survive without you…
- This how-to will make doing chores fun, keep your kiddos focused, and be functional in whatever space you determine.
(please note: do not mistake my incredibly passionate excitement for what’s working for us chore chart -wise for an absolute guarantee. I’m sharing with you what we’ve found that WORKS. Does this make me an expert? In this particular chore chart making – and implementing – activity, it darn sure does.)
How to Make a Chore Chart – that WORKS!
1 – Find the best medium.
We have tried all sorts of things to get Mags to do her chores and it’s always come back to me nagging her to do this or do that or did ya..blah blah blah. Lists, ta-do’s, checking off things – NOTHING worked until we got a tiny bit more creative. And frankly, you’ll need the kid for this. Ask them what they think might work best for them, to encourage them to do their chores daily. Depending upon their age, they WILL be able to help you best determine what medium to make your chore chart.
We finally settled on a white dry erase board and markers for a couple of reasons.
Mags didn’t feel weighted by it (erasable markers, anyone?). We got ours from Colore′ and love how versatile they are (well, Mags likes to draw on the windows and we have lots of those, so… 😉 )
The board is visually appealing (despite my poor attempt to draw a flower here – I promise, I’ll explain that later) which compels her to check it often.
While most of Mags’ chores don’t change on a daily/weekly/weekend to week day basis, she sometimes felt overwhelmed by a list of a Monday/Tuesday/Wed… type of schedule for her chores. This way, she can glance at her chore chart, know where she’s at and go on accordingly.
2 – Visualize the list and make bullets.
There are 12 petals on that flower up there and I gotta be honest, there could be a whole lot more. On some days, there is also a whole lot less that needs doin’ by our sweet tween, too.
It’s best to visualize what will go onto the chore chart and then bullet point each item so that your child will be less inclined to become overwhelmed by any one thing. Talk about each chore with your child, beforehand, so that he or she is well aware of what is expected with each chore.
For example here: I’ve written “Dishwasher” for one petal. It’s Mags’ job to empty – she knows that. No need for further discussion. Keeping it simple will keep your child from stressing about each item individually and the chore chart as a whole.
3 – Follow through daily.
We’re at the point now where I don’t have to physically double check that she’s done all 12 items (or whatever) for the day; however, I still ask her key questions:
did you brush your teeth? (okay, I KNOW it isn’t just MY tween that is LAZY about this – what. is. the. deal? gross. #truth That’s why it’s on the chore chart.)
you have chores to do, please go check your chart…
But you must follow through. And at first, it felt so very much – SO VERY MUCH – like the old nagging. For her and for me. But as I sit here today, it doesn’t. She knows what must be done. So she does it – she follows through. And I follow through, too, by making sure but in ways that aren’t combative and irritating (for her or for me).
The follow through is so important. I’d hazard a guess that it’s why so many chore charts fail. No follow through.
Bottom line here? Mags follows through because she had a hand in choosing how her chore chart was constructed. Though she didn’t really get to pick her chores, they are reasonable – time-wise and kid-wise; no slave labor over here – and organized.
Speaking of organized…
If you’ll notice – the petals of the flower are sort of arranged by time of day. In the morning, Mags has a, b, c, … to do. Those things must be done. If she has time for anything else, she does it. If not, she’s got the afternoon. And, if she doesn’t get around to asking if there is anything G or I need help with, that’s okay, too. 9 1/2 times out of ten, though? She’s rocking petals’ 11 and 12 without even thinking about them. 😉 I left those two broad for that very reason, she gets to decide.
You may also note that there is NO CROSSING OFF with this chore chart. We are either or neither beyond that point or not to it yet. This visual chore chart is something that Mags sees every day (almost) when she first wakes up – it sits right outside her door and central to many of her main chores – and the goal with this chore chart is to get her into a routine of doing these things without having to think about them.
At least a large portion of these items on her chore chart – it’s working for us. Truly. And she loves the sad little flower.
I asked Mags what/how she wanted me to lay out her list on the board. She said she wanted a flower and in each petal, a chore. After great discussion (a minute or less) about how mummy was not the best artist in the family, she said that was fine; it was what she wanted.
So it is what she got. The sad little flower. Even Mags says it is perfectly awful but she loves it because it’s what she wanted and I made it. And if I was going to write about how to make a chore chart that works, I had to share EVERYTHING. Even the sad little flower.
Please do not mistake my lack of artistic (drawing) skills for lack of expertise in how to make chore charts. I can plan with the best of ’em and I can wing it like some of the rest of ’em. But when it came to getting the kid to do her chores, I struggled for years, trying this way and that, until I finally hit upon the 3 key reasons why nothing was working. And then created something – with the kid – that does.
We are done talking about Mags Room Challenge 2015 – at least for now! 😉 Who knows what further life lessons will crop up down the road; I’ll share as they come, always. I want to thank you all for coming along and for your support throughout. From all social media outlets (what began on Facebook) both personally and professionally, it has been amazing to know the village it is taking to raise this child is strong and good. ♥
Please take a moment to visit any of the following segments of our fabulous journey to getting and keeping Mags’ room tidy:
Mags Room Challenge 2015 – from Hoarder to Heavenly in 4 Easy Steps (our personal and shared perspective)
3 Ways to Raiser a Neater Child (guest post @ Mending the Piggy Bank)