Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chore Time!

"Do your chores." "Have you finished your chores?" "Did you check the chore board?"
How many times have I asked these questions in nearly 27 years of parenting? With 8 children, I really am not up to doing the math at the moment.

One of the most common questions I get from young moms deal with chores. I am not going to address just which chores children should be doing at different ages (that just might be another post!). But I would like to show you the system we've used for almost 20 years.

The story behind our chore board and how it works:

I asked Handy-Dandy-Hubbie to pound nails into a board in 4 rows (one row per child), leaving space on the left for names.  He used a couple of scrap pieces from our cedar siding. He had it ready in under a half hour.


Next I painted the names of each child along the left edge. I then took my list of jobs/chores/habits I needed to be attended to each day and made a picture card for each. The little cards used for organizing embroidery floss were the perfect thing - just the right size and a little hole making it ready for hanging.

For Habits such as make your bed and brush your teeth  I made 4 copies, one for each child. For regular chores like meal prep, meal clean up, wash table, etc. we used a rotating system, so I made one card per chore and then rotated them monthly. 

At the beginning of each month chores from child #1 are passed down to child #2, #2 was passed to #3, #3 was passed to #4 and #4 were passed to #1. These little cards are so much easier than writing out lists or printing off new lists or keeping track of everyone's lists. At times, I have had each child turn their card over when the had finished that particular chore.

To create the cards, originally, I drew a little picture freehand to represent the chore. I still have a few for posterity's sake, but with so much clipart and images available I searched and found cute little pictures to update and give a new spin on things for our younger children.

A tip for Moms of Many --  as the older 4 kids grew up and out of our little system, I had Luke make wooden tags on which I painted the next 4 children's names. He drilled a couple of holes in each tag and added a couple of nails so I could hang them. Sentimental Mom that I am, I just couldn't paint over the top of my the 'original four'. Seeing their names makes me smile, takes me on a walk down memory lane. Fun!

This little system has been a wonderful tool over the years. It works beautifully, but just like any system, it works best when Mom stays on top of things and follow through and check up on progress. And that, dear friends, is a topic for yet another post!

 I'm linking this post up at Works For Me Wednesdays

And you have until 8:00 (central time) tonight to vote over at the New Years Organizing Revolution  challenge -  I'm entry #9, Apron Strings & other things. Have you checked out my newly organized spaces yet? or the amazing posts by the other participants?


  1. That is a brilliant system! We print out a chart every week for our daughter but this looks way more fun and easy to see exactly what has or hasn't been done. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you :0) It is easy to set up and easy to maintain. I'm happy to share!


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