Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chores for Toddlers (part one) - chore chart

Last Sunday, my husband shared the idea that maybe we should make Riley a chore chart.  There is one thing you need to know about my husband... he is always right when it comes to these things.  He has a gift of knowing solutions to problems, and the problem we are having is organization and follow-through on tasks (even essential ones).  I blame it on me being sporadically sick - some days I feel great, and other days can't do anything - which means some days things get done, and other days we sit on the couch and watch PBS for hours on end.
So anyway, we are trying to establish some semblance of routine in our house, and a chore chart seemed a great way to get the little guy on board.  So last Monday I made this beauty:

Note that most of his "chores" are not really chores at all.  Things like "brush teeth", "bath" and "scripture/prayer" should happen automatically, right?  Sadly, not at our house.  Really the only one that we are awesome at is getting to church on Sunday (Never on time, of course. Even though the church is across the street.)

I thought about making this into a PDF for you to print out and use, but then I saw two problems with it - 1.) you would probably not have your kids doing the same chores, so it would be pointless. and 2.) I just got the pictures off google and have no rights to distribute any of them. 
So I am sure you can design your own.  I printed it and then put it in a sheet protector so he can color the pictures with a washable marker and then I can wipe it off and start all over the next week.

I was a little nervous that he wouldn't get the concept, and I admit it took a couple days, but now he understands we get to color one picture after we do whatever it says.  He actually really likes it, and usually gets excited about finding another thing we can do to color.  Sadly, my two year old is keeping me on track, not the other way around.

So, how did we do this week? Not too bad.  Ashamed to say that we only read scriptures with him once (another post on that later), and we really slacked off on Saturday, but otherwise it was great and it helped keep us on track and responsible for several days that week, better than we've done in months!

Now, I know there are going to be people who are thinking "You make your two year old do chores? What a mean parent!"  so I have to respond - yes. But like I said, I don't think that brushing your teeth and taking a bath are really 'chores', every human should do them.  Also, he starts vacuuming and washing dishes and watering plants on his own, several times a day, without me even mentioning it.  He just likes doing those things, so they are pretty much freebies for him.  Does he do a great job? No. Actually it usually makes a bigger mess, but I am not going to discourage him from helping and contributing to our family team.  I think this is a great way to get him used to having responsibilities while he's little.  And finally - "School"?  No, I do not send my two year old to school.  His 'school' is playing learning games or going to an activity at the library. I will be doing a post on this later on.

So tell me, has a chore chart worked for you? What kinds of chores have you had your kids do as toddlers and preschoolers?

Other posts in the Chores for Toddlers series:
Part 2 - Vacuuming and Mirrors

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