Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Children's Chore Helper

Thanks once again to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for hosting Works For Me Wednesday. Check out her great tip for putting together a babysitter information sheet (a woman after my own heart - she laminated hers!).

My tip this week is adapted from Bonnie’s Household Organizer, by Bonnie McCullough, my favorite author for homemaking and family organization.

This is a simple and fun way to teach children what they need to do to get ready for the day.

Instead of using charts (which tend to get lost or forgotten at our house!), we taught our preschoolers to use their fingers!

There is one “job” per finger. We like to use the word “job,” as it sounds more important and less tedious than “chore.”

The child holds out her hand and puts down a finger as the job is completed. If there are any fingers left, she immediately knows there must be a job left before the rest of the day can begin.

The morning “jobs” for a preschooler around here are:

Face (wash face and hands)
Teeth (brush teeth)
Hair (brush hair)
Bed (make bed)
Dressed (get dressed)

In the beginning, I made two charts, one for the morning and one for the evening and posted them at eye level for the kids. Mine are just 4x6 index cards mounted on colored cardstock. You will want to laminate them because they will be touched by sticky fingers many times a day!

After a while they did’t need to look at the chart and could just use their fingers to remember what to do.

Here’s the morning one.

The evening chart (on black cardstock with a pic of a moon) has been lost over the years, but has these five “jobs”:

Toys (pick up toys)
Story and Pray

Notes: 1. It’s easiest for little ones if you use just one word to help remember the job. When the child is small, the word “bed” might just mean pull up the covers with Mommy. As the child gets older, the word “bed” also means clean the bedroom.

2. As the kids got older we combined the Teeth and Hair to leave one finger for “Morning Chore” such as feeding the dog, which we rotate weekly.

This is a fun and easy way to help your little one take responsibility (Work Before Play). It has made mornings go so much more smoothly around here for years!

Even my 2 1/2 yr old can hold out her pudgy little hand for her "DOBTH" (jobs)!

Preschool Activities, Chores for Children, Parenting


Nettie said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I have abandoned charts and started writing routines on cards. I like this even better! Thank you, Thank you!

Theresa said...

Great idea...I have not been a big fan of charts myself and been wondering what I will use. I think this is the ONE! Thanks for sharing!

the lizness said...

I do like this a lot. very kid friendly

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up!!! :)

Queen of Carrots said...

Ooh, I like it. I think DD will be ready to start with this soon. Thanks for the idea!

Kris said...

Does this work with husbands too? Ha, ha. I love reading about the family since we don't get to catch up much in person. Have a great day!

Code Yellow Mom said...

This is WONDERFUL!!! We're making hand charts TO-DAY. Thanks for this fabulous tip!

Carol said...

We've always had, "Do three things" before bed - brush your teeth, go potty, say your prayers.

I'm going to up this to five: pick up all that mess you spent the day making and turn off all the electronic devices you left on. LOL!

Great idea! Love that cute hand.

Antique Mommy said...

Hi from over at Shalees! If you organize a D/FW Bloggers Brunch I'll be there. I'm in the mid-cities. Oh, and one other thing. I'm nearing the bi-focal stage. Any chance you could increase the font size on your blog??? Please??

Faith said...

What a cute/great idea!! I hope I can remember this for little man. Bigger font would be great for me too! Old eyes ya know!

Anonymous said...

VERY CUTE! I need to try something like this!

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Cute idea! It will come in handy this summer, when it's SO easy to get out of the routines built up during the school year.

Lammy said...

cute list! I'll have to try that with my "forgetfuls"
Great idea.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Thanks for the tip about the font. I don't know how my default was set to the "tiny!" Hope this is better!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the idea!! I'm going to try that with my 2 1/2 year old. :)

Sandra said...

LOVE this idea, I have a 3 year old and 7 year old and this would be perfect for them :) My WFMW is posted too :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I love this idea. How I wish I had a small child to practice it on. In the meantime, I'm going to use it on myself!

Gina Conroy said...

Great idea! I'm always looking for fun ways to help my kids remember their jobs.

Full Contact, Savior-centric Livin said...

This is SO cool! I wish I'd heard about it 20 years ago! But all is not lost. I still have one pre-schooler! The other five might find it a little too cute, especially since four of them are boys!

Millie said...

That... is an adorable idea. My 4-year-old's favorite thing to draw is his little hand. What a great way to help him get excited about jobs!

Gabriela said...

Great idea. Thanks for sharing. We are going to try it.

Erickson Family said...

I'm also a fan of this idea and will have to try it. I've had the hardest time with job charts for my kids. (Never get them done) This seems much easier.

Anonymous said...

Those are REALLY cute! I have just recently made a list of things my little girl has to do and laminated it. If I saw this first I would've done something and laminated it instead. I'll keep it in the recesses of my mind. (Love the idea of the clothespins and ruler for a chore list.)

courtcourt said...

Another great idea! Thank you for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, and oh my word it is such a breath of fresh air! I love it! I can' t wait to read every little thing you've written!

Now let me tell you what a fantastic idea that little hand is. I have a boy that will be 3 in 3 months, and this is just perfect. I can't wait to get one made so he can use it.

Perfect. Thanks for sharing!

-Lauren in NC

Anonymous said...

BOY! This is a great idea! I have the following ages: 6, 5, 3, 1.5 and one coming! I'm going to apply this "5" principle to meal clean up, AM routine, PM routine. They'll love it! Where can I get them laminated???? I'll have to look around my little town.

By the way, I am new to your blog and am loving it. I am excited to learn from a mom of 5 who has been there! I'm almost there myself. And we are both MK's. But we didn't have a maid (read that in another post).

under cover said...

I used this for my kids many years ago and it worked fabulously! Where did you get the picture of the little hand? It looks exactly like the one we made. Crazy!