The Chore Chart That Is Actually Working For Us!

A special thank you to The Buttercup House for gifting our family a set of chore magnets.

We have gone through many a season of chore charts. Honestly, I feel like I’ve tried them all.

The only thing I haven’t tried is a traditional allowance for completing chores. I’m very much in the camp of chores being a family responsibility; something we do because we have the privilege of living in a beautiful home with things we love. It’s our job to take care of them. I don’t get paid to do the dishes and, well, the kids are not going to be paid to unload the dishwasher :)

Before you’re all, “What about teaching them money sense?!?” Well, they started a small business this summer making greeting cards and earned plenty to practice their money skills from that entrepreneurial gig! Money is for extra work. Chores are just part of life.

Now, back to our newly implemented chore chart! I’m so excited to share because it is actually working for us!

I knew we needed something super visual. Like, in your face, always reminding them (and me) what needed to come next. In the past we’ve had paper-based systems and they just got lost or shuffled or ignored. So, when I stumbled across The Buttercup House and their chore magnets, I knew I was onto something that just might work.

I purchased four cookie sheets from Dollar Tree (did you know they ship for a flat rate?) and fixed them to a wall in between the stairs and the kitchen … the highest traffic area in our home! How did I get cookie sheets onto the wall? Friends, if you don’t yet use and adore command strips, buy a pack and get stickin’! They’re the best for projects like this!

To personalize them I used a mix of brightly colored letter magnets and with some skinny washi tape, I divided the cookie sheet in half. On the left I placed each of their chore magnets. When they complete a chore, they move the magnet to the right side. So, ideally, at the end of the day, all the magnets are on the right … because it’s RIGHT to do your chores each day :)

In case you’re curious who does what around here, this is what we’re currently aiming for …

Jemma, almost 9, and Max, who just turned 7, manage the bulk of chores and have specific ones they “train” the little boys on. This is what they both do:

  • Schoolwork – We have a print out near their desks that keep them on track with these to dos
  • Exercise – We log our PE activities for school so daily exercise is something I like them to manage. Depending on the weather they get to pick from riding bikes/scooters, some kind of game, Cosmic Kids Yoga, stretching, running with me, or Max’s ultra fancy ninja DVD :)
  • Play Outside – Gotta get that fresh air! If it’s pouring rain even a puzzle on the back porch counts!
  • Loving and Kind – Like a random act of kindness, each day they need to seek someone out and do something extra kind
  • Read – We do gobs of reading for school, but this is their individual reading reminder
  • Pick Up Toys – Usually we rotate between the playroom and their individual rooms
  • Put Clothes Away – Daily dirties to the hamper and lots more on laundry day (I stink at keeping up on laundry so this tends to be done in bulk … I need to set a better example!)
  • Clean Inside of Car – Because ya’ll know how out of control that can get! I actually wrote a post all about how I taught Jemma and Max to “detail” the van! It should be live on soon!

Jemma also has a vacuum schedule where she rotates Roomba around and uses the stick vacuum for certain areas.

As needed she gathers trash and when the recycling gets full, she takes it out. Every day she has those magnets though as a reminder to check them. If they’re not full, she can just move her magnet over confirming that she’s on it.

Finally, she helps me water plants inside and out. I’ve killed plenty by plain ol’ forgetfulness so having this on her radar is making our plants very happy!

Max mans the dishwasher! A daily, sometimes twice daily chore! He and Jemma used to do this together but I graduated her to vacuuming and trash/recycling so now it’s 100% Max’s responsibility. He is currently training Reid so that someday he can graduate too :)

Max also has breakfast, lunch, and dinner magnets. He is my one who struggles with mealtime complaining and these magnets represent him eating happily and well at each meal. They’ve been so motivating!

The little boys don’t truly need chore charts yet; they aren’t solely responsible for anything. BUT, they are great helpers and having a chart of their own is such good practice for them! They love doing what the big kids do and see the chore magnets as a fun game. Woohoo! Reid happily helps Max unload the dishwasher and likes to inform me that he will not do the “Exercise” magnet because it has a bike on it and he only likes his PlasmaCar, lol! I assured him that the bike was just a representation of moving his body … he didn’t buy it.

Eli’s personal favorites are “Read” and “Playing Outside”. “Boooooooks!” and “Shoooooooes!” are two of his favorite words :)

My favorite though? The “Ask Mom” magnet. It’s the magical wild card! If you don’t have this gem of a chore on your kiddo’s daily agenda you’re missing out! I’m so thankful that The Buttercup House made me a custom magnet to represent the most important chore of all! Some days “Ask Mom” means organizing the mud room shoes, other days it’s folding socks from the laundry. Some days it’s writing a letter to a family member or friend, others it’s scrubbing the kitchen table and chairs with a Norwex rag. “Ask Mom” is the best.

Do you have a chore chart that works well for your family?

If not, jump on the magnet train! We’re a month in and it’s working out so well! We’ve crossed that 21 days to a habit milestone so I’m hopeful this is the system is here to stay.

You can find all of The Buttercup House’s chore magnets here. You’ll also find fun picture ones like ocean creatures, princesses, and transportation in the shop – such great gifts! I adore all the advent options too! Perfect for the coming holidays!

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