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How to Make a Weekly Chart for Kids

by Erica Loop

Weekly charts can motivate your child to follow your rules and behave in an appropriate way, according to the pediatric professionals at the Ask Dr. Sears website. For example, if your little one refuses to clean up her toys after she is done playing, make a weekly "clean-up chart" to reinforce what you expect her to do. This playful, interactive activity will help your child to better understand what you want her to do -- such as pick up her toys -- and reward her for her hard work. Making a weekly chart for kids is a fairly straightforward process that you can adapt to your creative and artistic abilities.

Start your chart with an 11- to 14-inch or larger piece of thick poster board paper. Avoid dark colors, as your child will have difficulty seeing the weekly grid. Let her choose a color from a few different options. For example, give her the choices of pink, light blue, yellow or white. Position the paper horizontally to prepare to make a weekly grid.

Draw a weekly grid. Keep your chart simple and easy for your child to understand. You will need one chart for each week of the month. Using the ruler, draw one horizontal line roughly 2 inches down from the top. Write the month and dates for the week in the center of this block. Draw another horizontal line another 2 inches down from the first one. Divide this line into seven sections, with one for each day of the week. Add the weekday names at the top of each section. Divide the rest of the paper with horizontal lines, making sections for different expected behaviors or chores such as picking up toys, eating meals or not interrupting mom while she is talking on the phone.

Hang the chart in a place that is easy for your child to see. Tape the chart to the lower part of the family room wall -- making sure that you don't destroy or pull off any of the paint or wallpaper -- or tack it up to a bulletin board.

Decide on a special reward to add to the chart. Encourage positive behaviors by adding stickers, stars or drawings that your child wants to see. For example, if she is the biggest Dora the Explorer fan out there, add stickers that feature the character. Place one sticker in the grid space for the behavior and day when your child exhibits the expected action.

Items you will need
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Stickers

Tips

  • You can choose to add positive and negative entries onto your weekly chart. The experts at the Ask Dr. Sears website note that using two types of stickers, such as happy and sad faces, can help kids to work towards a goal. . If your child gets more happy than sad stickers, she may earn a prize or other reward for her actions.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics, on HealthyChildren.org, notes that parents should offer rewards as soon after the positive behavior occurs as possible. Instead of waiting until the end of each day, give your child a sticker on the chart immediately after seeing the behavior.

Warning

  • Don't hand out stickers for partial or incomplete behaviors. If your child only picks up half of her toys, she doesn't get a sticker for clean-up time.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images