I’ve been toying with the idea of a chore chart for BK for a few months. She’s only three, but I have to give her credit, she’s smart and completely capable of a little responsibility. Of course, the chore chart is actually another chore for me, it’s not like I’m sending her off with a load of laundry to fold neatly and put away. Each and every day it’s an exercise in patience for myself, it’s letting go of control (that I cling to so tightly).
BK’s chore chart is a simple concept, just magnetic tiles with pictures. She moves her magnets down once the chore is complete. In hindsight, responsibility would be a better word to use, but the vinyl letters were already cut when I had that moment of clarity. The first few days we spent time talking about each tile, she would choose a few to do throughout the day. I must say, she has mastered sorting the silverware. I’ve also never seen her pick up her leggo’s so quickly. It’s neat to see her independence and responsibility grow in the process.
Here’s a look at how we made the chore chart and what we included.
What you’ll need to make your own:
- sheet metal
- tin snips (to cut the metal)
- vinyl lettering
- glass tiles
- clip art pictures of chores (you can find them around the web, I actually have the Cricut cartridge that makes the ones we used, they were just too big for what I needed)
- modge podge
- vinyl lettering
Here’s what you’ll do:
Measure the space where the chore chart will go, using your tin snips cut the sheet metal to the measurements. We put ours right inside the laundry room.
Measure and cut the trim to go around the edge of the metal. This just gives it a more finished look. You can even have Hobbly Lobby cut a frame to the exact measurements and make this step a little easier.
Use tape to hold the metal to the wall, you can use a level to make sure that your metal is straight. Attach the trim pieces using a nail gun, the trim will hold the metal in place, you’re only using the tape to hold the metal while you’re adding the trim.
Once the trim is set, fill in holes with wood putty and paint the trim.
Add vinyl lettering to personalize your chore chart and chore magnets. To make the magnets, print clip art pictures and attach them to the backs of 1X1 glass tiles (ordered from Etsy) using Modge Podge. Once the Modge Podge dries, attach a magnet using a hot glue gun. Cut a strip of vinyl to separate the chart, now your child can move the magnets down once the chores are complete.
From left to right, top to bottom, these are the magnets we chose to use:
- Lawnmower- she gets to move this down when she helps Allen cut grass
- Toybox- for putting away her toys
- Dog- for helping with Coco
- Laundry basket- she helps sort laundry, or takes laundry out of the dryer and puts it in the basket
- Bed- when she helps me make her bed, some of the chores she’s just learning how to do
- Gardening-for helping me weed the flower beds
- Dog Food Bowls- she can help feed and water the dog
- Windows- she can’t use cleaning products, but I do let her wipe off the windows, so she really feels like she is helping
- Dishes- for putting her dishes in the sink
- Books- for “reading” the books back to me at night or just when we go upstairs for dedicated learning time
- Hair- brushing her own hair
- Bathroom- for helping with bathroom chores
- Table setting- for helping set the table
- Toothbrush- for doing a great job brushing her teeth
- Bed- a great nights sleep
- Star- I let her move this down when she has a fantastic attitude
- Dusting- when she helps dust
- Pots and pan- when she has a great attitude or tries new things at dinner
- Dishwasher- she sorts the silverware
- Sweeping- she has her own broom and “helps” when I sweep
- Clothes- for getting herself dressed
We don’t do all of these things every day, some days she only moves down a few. We don’t put any pressure on the chore chart, we just get a few things accomplished each day to give her a feeling of responsibility. There isn’t a prize at the end of the day either, we go over to the chart and talk about the different things she accomplished and we talk about how proud we are of her for each magnet she moved down. She counts the magnets and moves them back up. So far, it has been a fun and rewarding addition.
What are some ways you give your child responsibilities and build independence?