Children learn about life and themselves when they have to do chores. Assigning your kids chores helps them understand that living in a family involves work and family members need to share that work, notes Tim Jahn, a Human Development Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. Chores also help children learn self-reliance and a sense of responsibility. When your kids perform their chores responsibly, you should show appreciation for their efforts. A chore and reward board makes keeping track of their responsibilities fun.
Lay the board in a landscape position with the longest sides on the top and bottom. Measure approximately 3 inches from the left boarder with a ruler and draw a straight line from top to bottom with a dry erase marker. Measure approximately 4 inches from the right boarder and make a line with a dry erase marker from top to bottom. This is where you will put your reward picture.
Split the center section, approximately 10 inches wide, into 7 equal columns. Write the names of each day of the week at the top of each column. Cover each of the marker lines with a strip of decorative tape. Cut the tape to the correct width if necessary.
Write the list of chores in the first column. Draw lines to separate the chores if needed.
Cut a cookie jar shape out of colored paper. Glue the paper cookie jar on the right-hand side of the board in the space for the reward picture.
Print out the pictures of cookies from the Internet or make cookies and print photos. Choose a different kind of cookie for each child. For example, Samantha might have pink sugar cookies while Eric has chocolate chip.
Laminate the pictures to make them sturdier and last longer. Glue each cookie to a magnet with the hot glue gun.
Have your children place their magnets on the board -- enough magnets to cover all the listed chores for every day of the week. For example, if Samantha is responsible for doing dishes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but Eric is responsible for them the rest of the week, then Samantha should place her sugar cookie magnets in the line to the right of the word “dishes” under Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while Eric should place his chocolate chip magnets on the same line under the other days of the week. Have the kids do this for each of the chores on the list.
As each child completes a chore, he should move a magnet from the chart to the cookie jar, creating a full jar of treats. When the cookie jar is full, the entire family should get a reward -- something fun such as a family movie night, or an afternoon in an arcade.
Items you will need
- Magnetic dry erase board, 11 by 17 inches
- Dry erase markers
- Decorative tape, 1/4-inch wide
- Colored paper
- Pictures of cookies, approximately 1 inch in diameter
- Blank magnets, 1/2-inch squares.
- Instead of a cookie jar, consider a tree with red, green and yellow apples or a vase with blossoms on magnets.
- Make sure that you assign age-appropriate chores for each child.
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