Do you unsuccessfully ask your kids to complete their chores?
Do your pleads fall on deaf ears?
Well, listen up, because I’ve got the solution for you.
(and as always, it’s unique and out of the box!)
This isn’t just your average chore list!
It’s a glammed-up, super fun way to get your kids to actually do the work, but ‘not really’ feel like they’re doing it
*rubs hands together in the delight of a well-thought-out scheme*
And what’s more.. They will ask to do more!
it’s a proven fact! Ok, it’s anecdotal ..
*hides face in shame*
“How will this happen?” you may ask.
(OK, maybe not so simple but really cool when all is done.)
Below is a run-down of the preparation involved (and truth be told, I both prepared AND wrote this piece during a break from practicing medicine, so..).
It will be worth your effort (again, see disclaimer above!)
Chore Buckets 101
I made personalized buckets for each of my boys. You can purchase ones similar to mine by simply clicking on this link from amazon, or these colorful ones if you want to add a splash of color on your end.
Make sure each one has your child’s name on it so that he or she feels special. Do this by either writing straight on the bucket, if there’s space as mine had, or simply add a sticker/label.
These labels will not only work but will make a silver bucket look like mine, as the labels are chalk.
Take wooden sticks (you can get some here), or tongue depressors from your local doctor’s office after they swab you for strep throat, and say ahhh.. (no, wait, wrong place – we’re not at the office right now!)
*places palm on forehead*
Label each stick with specific chore.
aside: I suggest you make a list separately first, then write each chore on a stick. One chore per stick, per child.
Each child should have their own age-appropriate chores.
For example, my 12 year old can do the laundry and the dishes. My 6-year old may have a harder time with these same chores, but can help with setting the table, or clearing it.
Below is an example of one of these buckets, with the chores my child has to perform for the day. Notice there’s only 5 of them, which is a nice number. Too many can overwhelm.
For a quick guide on what an age-appropriate chore is, check out this chart.
If you don’t want to use washi tape, don’t. You can alternately color the ends in.
One end will indicate that the chore needs to be completed, the other that the chore is done. Whichever end sticks up out of the bucket is the one that holds true at the moment.
So in the morning, when the kids get up, the sticks are up on the side indicating chores need completion (unless there’s a weekly chore and it’s been done). By the end of the evening, when you do your check-in, all sticks should be up on their completed ends.
There are some chores which only one of the children can do in a day. For example, setting the table, or washing the dishes. In the case of these ‘rotating chores‘, I make a stick with the chore written out in a different color.
I usually divide these ‘rotating chore‘ sticks between the children, and keep them there, in one bucket, for a week. At the week’s end, each stick rotates into a different bucket. Hence the term, ‘rotating chores.’
Above is a bucket with the regular chores, written in purple, and one rotating chore, in turquoise.
Awards of Task Completion
At the end of each week, the kids get their allowance. You can decide on the amount on your own, based on your child’s age, where you live, and what the child does with that money. The children must complete their chores to get allowance, otherwise there’s no point to doing so. It’s all based on positive reinforcement, a methods of education that works well.
Extra chores are ones that your children choose to do. Why would my child do extra work?
Because they get stuff for it, that’s why!
Whereas the regular chores have to be done each week, there is an EXRTAS bucket, which holds additional chore sticks that the kids may choose to complete. They don’t have to. An extra chore, once completed, earns a corresponding chore stick placed in the bucket of the child who completed it (let your child put it in himself- they love this!). This means extra earnings, like in the real world, when we work overtime and make more money.
Here are mine:
You can either choose to give minutes of electronic time- in my own household, these are redeemed on the weekend, or extra allowance money. They each earn different amounts, depending how hard they are.
For example, dusting the bedroom is an extra in our house. So is sweeping the garage and cleaning the car (using buckets and rags- doesn’t have to be spotless, just a rough clean, and this earns more than would dusting the bedroom). The sticks are labeled with both the chore and the award amount. In my own home, I have an older son who prefers money, while the little ones would rather get electronic time, so I write them both on the stick.
At the end of the week, your kids will be glad they did their chores when they see what peeks out from their buckets.. and even thrilled to have done their extras!