Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chores made simple (I hope)

A while back, a friend sent me a link to this amazing chore organizer project on the equally amazing blog "How does she?"  Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was able to marvel at her creativity, her skill with power tools and the genius of this simple system for doling out chores to (possibly) willing children. 

In the past, I have tried lists, written chores on scraps of paper and let them choose blindly and then eventually just given up!  I like the idea of the popsicle sticks because they should last all summer (at least).  I also like assigning chores because I can tailor the task to the child's age and ability. 

I am a firm believer in giving kids chores (just ask them, they will bore you with exaggerated stories of child labor camps) but often fall short in the consistency category.  When there is so much to be done in a day-homework, reading together, sports practices and other obligations, it can be just easier to take it on myself or even ignore it completely until the kids are at school or I can't stand the mess anymore.  I am really hoping that this very simplified version of the idea from "How does she" will help me stay on track this summer and give the kids the chores they should be doing.  Honestly, I am also hoping that it will save me from saying things like "Am I the only person who can bend over and pick up socks on the steps?"  Or, the ever popular "Can't anyone flush a toilet?" 

So, before I share these pictures, please go and look at all the details of the much more beautiful inspiration piece that gave me the idea in the first place-you will be blown away with her skills.  Mine, on the other hand, took a more simplified approach.  First, I considered using mason jars, but they are a little too tall for the popsicle sticks that will be the assigned chores, so I picked up a few of these pots:

Personalized them just a bit:

Next, I got the popsicle sticks-the wide ones that look more like tongue depressors, and simply wrote the chores on them in green (my favorite color) sharpie.  Alison actually included a printable template for the chores so that you can cut them out of paper and mod-podge them to the sticks.  For me, it's all about being done in the time that I have, so a sharpie had to do the job (and I must be quite a task master because I had WAY more chores than the template):

I've also added two clothespins to each flower pot; these are like gold around here.  One is for computer time and the other for TV and neither can be used until the chores are done (what's that noise?  angels singing?  I think so). 

TA-DA!!!  my chore assignment system.  Let the complaining, trading and bargaining begin!  Oh, and hopefully the eventual submission and cleaning, too!  I decided that because today is the first day of summer vacation, we would start out with just one chore each and work up to a few for each day.   


Lisa said...

I love it! You'll have to let me know how it goes. I need to enforce the chores a bit more around here, too. said...

How do you decide what chores the kids get? What is your list of chores? I'm always interested in seeing what other people do.