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Children, Motherhood

The Secret to Kids with Tidy Rooms

My children are typical in the sense that they are pretty much like little explosions of disaster and terror throughout my house daily. My 3 year old, in particular, is SUCH a messy eater. I have half a mind to bring her back down to sippy cups because she spills her drink at least once a day and my dog thinks that she is some kind of awesome snack dispenser.

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Other than putting their dirty dishes in the sink when they’re done with with them or helping to wipe up their own spills, kitchen cleaning is typically parent territory. Their bedrooms, however, are complete and utter kid cleaning territory. And my kids were previously A NIGHTMAREย when it came to clean up time at the end of the night. I dreaded it, they dreaded it, and half the time I gave up before it was even adequately clean.ย Somewhere in between feeling like an utter failure as a parent and thinking of an alibi for how the kids’ rooms caught on fire, I decided that there had to be a better way.

So let me tell you about the Chore Chart that is rocking mine and my kids world.

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Seriously, this if this seems like the most simple solution ever… it’s because it is. I don’t know how I went my entire mom life without it. The one that we have is from Melissa and Doug (who make super cute wooden toys) but any one would work I’m sure. We had actually gotten it for Jace for Christmas like… 2 Christmases ago. So one night in all of my please-pick-up-the-freaking-legos desperation I busted our now dusty chore chart and explained the rules.

How it Works:

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They would each start with 3 chores (age appropriate, Jace’s are more difficult) and each night if they completed their chores THEYย (this is important) would get to pick the star magnet and place it on their chart. It seriously thrills them. I cannot express the pride they feel as they watch their hard work fill up their chart.

Jace’s chores include:
Cleaning his room (Hallelujah!)

Taking care of his pet. He lets Oakley out in the morning and feeds him.

Getting dressed. This was more relevant in the morning before school than it is during the summer, but it does keep him from wearing jammies all day. ;P

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Zoey’s chores include:
Cleaning her room.

Brushing her teeth. She used to give me a hard time about this, so it made the list.

Getting ready for bed. Getting her through shower time, jammie time, and staying in bed was always such a fight ย that I decided rewarding her for making it easier on me was in both of our best interest. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Seriously you guys, it has been such a hit it is life changing. I literally don’t have to even ask them to clean ย their rooms, they just do it! Or if I do ask them, there is no fighting. It’s become a game to them. Their rooms have zero toys on the floor by bedtime 90% of the time. And I don’t pick up a thing. And it sure does make vacuuming a breeze.

I Don’t Expect Perfection Though

At the end of the day, Zoey is still only 3 years old. Some nights, she is just too tired and bratty in the evening for me to realistically expect miracles in regards to her bedroom. On these nights, we skip it, and it’s okay. It doesn’t seem to disrupt the flow or effectiveness of the overall program. She actually gets upset that she’s missing the opportunity to “get her sticker” that night. After which I gently explain that she can try again tomorrow.

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The Reward

When they get most of their stickers for the week they get a reward on the weekend. Once, we saw Finding Dory. Another time we brought Zoey to Claires to pick out play jewelry, or I brought new chalk home from Target. They really don’t even seem to care about how fancy the reward is, they are just over the moon when I acknowledge their accomplishments.

It has taught them responsibility in the best way, by making them proud of what they do for themselves. I think we will add a new chore to our chart soon, since these past couple months have gone so well. If you have trouble getting your kids to clean up, you should totally try this!

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  • linda spiker

    Such a great idea!

  • linda spiker

    Such a great idea!

  • This is the cutest chore chart ever!

  • This is the cutest chore chart ever!

    • Thanks Molly, I know it’s not fashion but thanks for reading! I love your blog!

  • I love this chore chart! I am thinking about creating a very simple one for my 3 yr old!

  • I love this chore chart! I am thinking about creating a very simple one for my 3 yr old!

  • Such a great idea. We have the same chore chart collecting dust somewhere. Now, I need to dig it out and give it a try too!

  • Such a great idea. We have the same chore chart collecting dust somewhere. Now, I need to dig it out and give it a try too!

    • Yes! We had it for years before we put it to good use. I was wasting potential for sure!

  • What a cute chore chart! I’ve always been a believer that kids can handle these kinds of tasks, we just have to lower our standards and let them do it!

    • haha. Thanks! I’m mostly just thrilled that I don;t have to step on legos in the dark anymore.

  • What a cute chore chart! I’ve always been a believer that kids can handle these kinds of tasks, we just have to lower our standards and let them do it!

    • haha. Thanks! I’m mostly just thrilled that I don;t have to step on legos in the dark anymore.

  • Demelza Shaw

    I love this. Thanks heaps for sharing. What a cool chart

  • Demelza Shaw

    I love this. Thanks heaps for sharing. What a cool chart

  • Thanks for sharing! Bookmarking for later once my little one arrives and grows up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! And Congratulations then?! Hope things are going well for you so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing! Bookmarking for later once my little one arrives and grows up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you! And Congratulations then?! Hope things are going well for you so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I don’t have children yet but this is a great post to share with my bff. She needs to read this ? great post

  • I don’t have children yet but this is a great post to share with my bff. She needs to read this ? great post

    • haha. If you say so. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m seriously loving the system. It has been working great for us! Let me know if it works for her.

  • Jillian Hailey

    I love this idea. So often we get carried away with the busyness of life that we forget to take advantage of teaching moments. This is a great way to teach good values quickly and easily.

    • I think so too! They have taken to it really well and I’m so glad. Thanks Jillian. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jillian Hailey

    I love this idea. So often we get carried away with the busyness of life that we forget to take advantage of teaching moments. This is a great way to teach good values quickly and easily.

    • I think so too! They have taken to it really well and I’m so glad. Thanks Jillian. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shani Ogden

    We just started a similar chore chart for my daughter where she earns stickers for doing her chores and once she gets to a certain number of stickers, she can either choose a prize or she can choose to keep earning stickers for a better prize. I love the value of teaching kids hard work.

  • Shani Ogden

    We just started a similar chore chart for my daughter where she earns stickers for doing her chores and once she gets to a certain number of stickers, she can either choose a prize or she can choose to keep earning stickers for a better prize. I love the value of teaching kids hard work.

    • Exactly! Im actually surprised by how well they have taken to something that seems so simple. But its definitely working for us here. Thanks for reading Shani!

  • Live by Surprise

    That’s perfect that you can get it to work. I’ve found chore charts require too much discipline on my part…I just can’t make it work here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • haha. and that’s okay. We had this chart for a couple years before I actually found good use for it!

  • Live by Surprise

    That’s perfect that you can get it to work. I’ve found chore charts require too much discipline on my part…I just can’t make it work here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • haha. and that’s okay. We had this chart for a couple years before I actually found good use for it!

  • Terryn Winfield

    How cute! We had that chore chart when I only had two kids and it worked great! Now things are a little bit more complicated with 5 doing chores, so I have had to create a system. But if it works, keep doing it!

    • haha, i bet that 5 warrants a more abstract system! But for now, this is definitely helping us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Terryn Winfield

    How cute! We had that chore chart when I only had two kids and it worked great! Now things are a little bit more complicated with 5 doing chores, so I have had to create a system. But if it works, keep doing it!

    • haha, i bet that 5 warrants a more abstract system! But for now, this is definitely helping us. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I hope I remember this for when my son grows up. It’s such a great idea and so easy to implement.

  • I hope I remember this for when my son grows up. It’s such a great idea and so easy to implement.

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Light + Bright in the Living Room
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