I’ve had the task of creating a chore chart for Liam on my “to do” list for quite some time. A few weeks ago I finally just sat down and prioritized making one. It wasn’t nearly as daunting as I expected, and the best part about this particular chart is it also functions as a schedule and reward system.
To begin, Liam and I brainstormed all his daily activities on scrap paper. We included scheduled activities such as preschool, music class, soccer practice and swimming lessons along with his favorite free time requests: outside play, Wii, television time, free play and reading time. I was sure to include his daily chores such as setting the table and watering our garden. I even included some general sporadic activities such as family outing and mom’s choice. Once we brainstormed all our possible activities and chores, we headed to the computer.
I typed everything in an easy-to-read font, centered the text, enlarged the font and increased the line spacing. This can be completed quite easily in Word or many other programs. In addition to our activities, I typed the days of the week to top the chart appropriately.
The activities and days were printed on white cardstock, and then we took them to our local office supply store to be laminated. At under $2 a sheet, I thought the pricing was worth the durability lamination would provide. Next, we cut the activities into strips.
On the back of each strip I added two small pieces of magnet tape.
Once the chores and activities were complete, all we had to do was talk Superdad into installing the magnet board. We used the red IKEA Spontan magetic board. Liam and I helped Superdad measure the placement, screw drywall anchors into the wall, install the screws and finally, cap off the evidence. It took under 5 minutes.
I love that this magnet board features a small curl at the bottom to hold the extra activity strips. As part of our nightly routine we prepare the board for the following day’s activities.
Overall this board has brought more order to our day and has given Liam the motivation to take charge of his chores. When he sees the posted schedule for his day, he’s all too happy to follow along. It’s been a few weeks, and it’s still working… perhaps I shouldn’t jinx myself?
A couple notes:
The most useful aspect of this board is that it’s so flexible. As we’re going about our day, I can switch the cards around to accommodate unexpected events and strategically schedule “pick up toys” (and other less popular activities) before his favorite activities such as Wii time and snack.
I also like that this same board serves as a reward system. We can put fun magnets next to his chores as they are completed; even the activities that aren’t chores per se, can get fun magnet rewards if Liam cooperates. For example, we made an activity card for grocery shopping. Although shopping is not Liam’s chore, he is expected to come with me as I select food for our family. If he obeys and follows our family rules while shopping, he will get a fun magnet next to that activity.
I’ve had several friends ask if this was too complicated. My answer: no. Most of the activities stay up all the time. We simply switch out lessons, weekly chores and non-daily activities each night before bed.