It’s so important to help our kiddos develop good habits at an early age so they are set up to win later in life. It’s all about making those daily to-dos into a part of their routine – so it’s not something they even have to think about, they just do it. Brush your teeth, make your bed, comb your hair, pick up after yourself, clean your dishes when you’re finished with them, put your things away when you’re not using them.
For some kids, those daily to-dos come easily but if yours is having a hard time following through on their habits every day, how about some motivation! Our son, Dylan, is very much into sports and plays competitively and has for several years now. Well, we figured let’s take that natural competitive nature and put it to good use with a chore chart where he’s competing with his best self!
I started scouring Pinterest for ideas on chore charts but came up short on finding something that met my 3 requirements…
- I work very full time and needed something that took about 2.5 seconds to put together. I can’t be spending all day crafting it up!
- I wanted something that allowed us to use magnets to mark things off so we weren’t dealing with messy white boards or chalk. I’m never a fan of a mess.
- It needed to allow for the chart to grow and evolve as Dylan developed and mastered his good habits. I’m not about to go spend more $$$ every time I need to update it. No thank you.
Enter my newest creation – my DIY Super Simple Chore Chart!
Only 4 items required for this bad boy:
- A Magnetic Board – I got mine at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon.
- 1 roll of Flexible Magnetic Strip with Adhesive – this is only required if you want the board to be magnetic so it can stick to your refrigerator. Other alternatives would be to frame it to be hung on the wall OR, you could get double sided adhesive strips and stick it to the inside of a long cabinet if you’d rather keep it tucked away.
- Bistro chalk markers – I also got these at Hobby Lobby. They make zero mess and can be easily wiped off with a cloth and water. They are a little expensive at $11.99 for 4. I sprung for 2 packages just because I wanted the board to be colorful and fun – and I was in a rush and didn’t want to spend the time shopping around for cheaper options.
- Magnets of course. We found these small round ball magnets at Target.
Simply cut 5 strips of the magnetic strip with adhesive, each measuring approximately one and a half inches less than the width of the board. Stick them to the back horizontally evenly spread out from the top to the bottom of the board. Flip it over and start designing your chart with your bistro chalk markers. Here’s how we structured it…
To make things simple for our first ‘go’ at the chore chart, we started by breaking up our kiddo’s day into morning, after school and before bed, giving him 4 things he needs to complete at each time of day.
– Get dressed
– Brush teeth
– Comb hair
– Make your bed
– Complete homework
– Empty lunchbox
– Get backpack ready for the next day
– Complete 1 chore
- Before Bed
– Put dirty clothes in the hamper
– Brush teeth
– Clean up any mess around the house or in the bedroom – this one kind of counts for all day: putting dishes away, hanging up the towel after a shower, etc.
So here’s how he’s rewarded. If he completes everything all day, he gets a star reward. He must get 10 star rewards in order to get a prize. So that’s 10 full days of following through on each item in order to be rewarded. And the prize changes every time he achieves it. Right now he’s working towards a sleepover at his DG and GG’s (grandparents), which was totally his idea and super sweet.
Dylan, like most kids today, is very much into playing games on his iPad. In order for him to earn his iPad after school, he must complete the 4 afternoon items on his list. This has really helped us to limit the time he spends on the iPad, because let’s be honest, if we let him, he would be on that thing 24/7. But this way, he’s in control of when he gets it – it’s not the parents being the bad guys nixing the fun.
Because he is so into games on his iPad, other prize suggestions he had was for iTunes gift cards, which I definitely see in our future. You’ll never see someone as excited to receive a gift card as this kid.
Here’s the kicker – if for some reason, which is not often, Dylan has a bad day at school and his teacher reports to us bad behavior, all his star rewards immediately go back to zero and his iPad is taken away for the day. What’s great about this is the more stars he gets, the more well-behaved he is at school.
This is what works for us – and a super simple DIY way to get a chore chart in place quickly. Hope it helps!