Friday, January 11, 2013

Toddler Chores and "Chore Sticks"

I've finally came to a conclusion on the chores subject with my kids. I was unsure at first about issuing chores to them, and worried that they were too young to do much. I debated with myself over this for a while but then I decided that they didn't have to do much, but they should have to do something. I've even decided on getting them each a piggy bank so they can have an "allowance". With an allowance I'll be better able to teach them about money and how to use it properly. Here's what I've come up with so far for a list of chores that they can split up.

  • picking up their own toys
  • collecting dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper
  • dusting with socks on their hands to make it fun  (though this may require spot check)
  • window washing (mom had me doing this early, it's fun even though it needs spot checking!)
  • collecting dirt dishes and putting them in the sink
  • throwing away trash
  • "spot" vacuuming... they're trying to learn this one and doing pretty well
  • washing or dusting base boards (just the right height for this!)
  • wiping down the lower cabinets
  • help add to the compost pile
  • weed
  • water plants (they love doing this)
  • "making" their own beds
  • emptying the small trash bins (like bathroom)
  • unloading some of the groceries
  • sorting laundry (dark and light)
  • fold small laundry items, like washcloths
  • "mopping"
  • feeding snickers
  • rinse the unbreakable dishes
I think that's really enough for the three of them, they're just not big enough for much else yet. The trick to getting them do these things is praising them and not adding too much on them at once. I'm going to come up with a more detailed schedule for this and of course divide the chores up appropriately. Livvy can't do every thing the other two can and Bubba tends to be better at one thing where as Tobi is better at another. Some may think that this list is too extensive considering Tobi is 4 Bubba is 3 and Livvy is 20 months, but believe me, between the three of them they've already learned to do and are fully capable of completing every thing on that list. This is just a way to get it organized.

I really like the idea of chore sticks. Basically you get a bunch of popsicle sticks and keep them in a little container like a vase or mason jar and on each stick is a chore. To keep them seperated I'm going to dip each of the sticks in four different colors. Each of my little ones will be assigned a color and there won't be any issue getting it done! The fourth color will be a chore that any of them can accomplish. The chore sticks will look something like this:

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I'll do what I can to keep everyone updated on how well this works for us! I'm still not sure how we're going to start our learning about money. Basically we've got a few of the coins and dollars memorized and we know that we need money to buy stuff. Tobi is grasping some small basic addition and subtraction but that's it. We will press onward though, I only teach my children at their pace. Each child learn differently.

I'm a huge believer in having structure for children, and I'm striving to get us into a good healthy schedule. Rules are important. I'm not huge on rules at all, but they are important. I've seen people my age that were never made to follow rules or never taught how the world works and it never turns out well for them. I don't want that to happen to my kids- trust me, it's kinda scary. If any one else has any ideas of what other chores could be added, feel free to add a comment!

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