New Family Task + Chore System / Board – Make your own!
September 7, 2016
This post is to show you our new Task/Chore System Board. Hopefully I can give you a few ideas to implement in your own family because we all know different systems work for different families. First I’ll do my best to describe how it works and then I’ll show you how I put it together (I love my Cricut machine!!)
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with chore charts and I’ve used a lot of different charts/systems/rewards over the last 5 years to help my kids with their chores and I’ve never been completely happy with any of them.
Chores are a must in my house to teach the kids responsibility and share the load of the housework as a team effort (if you live here you’re certainly making messes)!
I posted a few years ago about chores and a new chart system I was enjoying. I’ve used a few other methods as well. Last year I got into the routine of paying my kids for bigger jobs and before that I was giving out tickets as a form of payment so they could buy things from the ‘family store’. I’ve learned my lesson that I can’t keep up with the chart systems that are time consuming to operate or require tally keeping and so forth. I’ve never been a believer in paying kids for jobs and was getting frustrated that the kids were learning the idea that they did chores for money and not because it’s a normal responsibility.
I started thinking how my 10-year-old should be able to perform larger step-by-step tasks rather than a simple ‘clean the windows’ chore. After looking up what age appropriate jobs would be for my boys who are 10, 8 & 5-years-old I knew I needed to change!
MUST-HAVE’S FOR MY NEW SYSTEM:
-Something that was easy and straightforward for each of my kids to know what is asked of them for that day
-Picture cards for my 5-year-old who isn’t able to read yet
-Step-by-step tasks for my oldest boys to follow (when you have 4 kids it can be nearly impossible to direct each child for every little thing they need to do (& remind them a few times)… then have them tell you it’s done; you check and you have to tell them again what they need to do/fix and the process goes on…)
-Something that was easy for me to customize each day according to what needed to be done/cleaned
-No tally keeping, stickers or rewards. Your reward is when you’re done you have ‘free time’!
-It needed to be aesthetically pleasing but not stand out too much because I wanted it close to the kitchen (where I usually am) and somewhere where the kids can see it easily
This is what I came up with!
I showed my husband when I finished and was trying to teach him about how it works and he gave me a blank stare and said, “wow, that’s a lot”. Hopefully I can explain it to you better than how I explained it to my husband. It’s very straightforward for my kids and that’s the most important!
One thing I wanted to really push is that as a family we’re a team and should work together and do our best work. Rather than say “Chore Chart” at the top I put “Working as a Team” so they would see it often as a reminder. I don’t like calling everything “jobs or chores” because more than half of what my kids are doing are tasks or routine things.
I have large task cards for my 8 & 10-year-old. One of my boys gets distracted easy and rather than asking “did you do this?.. did you do that?” I can just ask “did you finish your checklist?” and he can look it over. Getting them out the door to the bus stop is madness and this helps ease the craziness. There’s more craziness when they get home after school and this keeps them in order of what they need to do before they play with friends, toys or play games. I got the idea for the checklists/chore cards, here.
The leather pouches clip onto their pants/shirt and they can look down easily to see what they need to do next. During the week I keep the 3 checklist cards (above) inside and rotate throughout the day. On the weekends, only the morning checklist stays and I add 2 Chore Cards for them:
These are the large chore cards with step-by-step instructions for them to follow and check off with a dry erase marker. The last step is “Double check your work” (we’re still working on them following through with each step and making sure it’s done correctly the first time).
This is what a typical weekend looks like. I always have each of them do their bedroom (so I have one card for each; and only 1 of each of the other chore cards).
Because the big boys have their checklists they don’t need small task cards with pictures like my 5-year-old but I still use the small cards for my big boys so they have 2 small jobs each day during the week (on top of their daily checklists to keep them on task). The vinyl pocket on the board is for storing the large cards… they only do the ones that are in their leather pouch.
My 5-year-old has his daily tasks on the smaller cards with pictures and will have 2 chores mixed in as well.
His typical day will look something like this:
Say your prayers, let out & feed the chickens, get dressed, make your bed, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put your backpack and lunchbox away, do your homework, put chickens away and gather eggs & read (be read to) for 20 minutes.
When the boys are done with their tasks/job cards they will see a star and they will be done for the day and have free time.
I put Velcro on the back of the star cards so they stay in place.
I have about 50 different job/task cards to choose from and I keep them on rings so I can flip through them easily and keep them together in a drawer.
The first ring is for the cards I use most often…
… I also typed on the back of each one (for my bigger boys).
The second ring has jobs I don’t use very often as well as the jobs I typed up without a picture to go with.
The third ring has assignments for when we do our family night where we do a spiritual lesson, scripture, treat, etc and then I have blank cards for when I need to write a new job/task.
I used 3M Command Strips for the first time and I am hooked! These things are awesome!
I put the board up in our hall so the kids can see it as soon as they walk inside from the garage and it’s also right around the corner from the kitchen.
_________________________ Now we’re on to how to make this thing!! Can I tell you something? I found out a few years ago Cricut had a cartridge for a Chore Chart and I loved the little images so much that I wanted a machine ever since! I finally got a machine a few months ago for a good deal and bought the cartridge too! *If you don’t have a Cricut machine I bet someone you know does! Also, I realized AFTER I cut out all the little chore cards that I could have ‘flattened’ the image and simply printed them out. I’ll give you links & access to the chore cards and checklists – don’t worry!…
First off I picked the images I wanted from the cartridge and changed the colors – I didn’t like the bright colors of the originals (I love that you can drag and drop layers into color groups – see the right-side of the screenshot).
Click HERE to have access to the cards in Design Space* (if you want to use them they’ll prompt you to pay). *This is a large file – once you open it don’t click on anything for a few minutes so it can load – if you try clicking around it will usually crash and you’ll need to restart your browser.
Next I created my own custom chore cards and the vinyl words to stick on my board! …(I can’t share this file because they’re not original Cricut images.. sorry)!
I cut and glued all the itty bitty pieces together. THAT was a lot of work! Even though I now know I could have flattened the images to print, I think I prefer the depth the cutout pieces give.
I used 7.5 MIL pouches to ensure they’d be durable and won’t bend easily. TIP: A carrier is ideal when sending things through your laminator – it prevents wrinkles/waves in your finished product.
Cut along crosshairs – I make this too easy for you!
I used a paper punch to punch out the circle for hanging.
This is my first time doing vinyl from my own machine! I used clear contact paper for transferring.
Stick the contact paper over your vinyl and scrap hard with something flat to make sure your vinyl will stick. I cut the words apart after this for transferring to the board.
Pull backing paper off gently.
I used my job cards & checklists to layout over my board (did I mention it’s a salvaged cupboard door!?) and used a ruler to make sure everything was straight before deciding where to put my vinyl.
Scrap over the top again to make sure vinyl sticks to the bottom surface and carefully peel off contact paper.
Mark placement for nails. TIP: mark at the top of the punched hole since the cards will hang from that point.
I outlined 2 corners on the large cards so I could make vinyl pockets while trying to keep the cards in that position. I used 1-1/4″ long nails for hanging the cards. TIP: put the nails in at an upward angle to keep cards from falling off.
I first nailed (with carpet tacks) the edge of vinyl for the bottom/back of the pocket, flipped it up and nailed the sides in place. Finished! I feel like I gave a lot of information – hopefully I wasn’t confusing and hopefully this will help you in finding a system that works for your family!