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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Chore Time

As moms, we all love it when the kids are old enough to start helping out around the house. But the catch is that we then have to figure out when and how we want them to help and to follow through on it with the least amount of nagging from us. I'm still in the process of figuring out what works best for us but I thought I'd try the mailbox chore cards I found here.

Isn't that a cute idea? Each person has their own little mailbox (and I already have some altered mailboxes - yay!) and whatever I want the kids to do that day, I simply put the card for it in their box and put up the flag. When they've done the jobs on the card they simply put the cards back in my mailbox. It sounds like so much more fun to get "mail" every day than to look at a chore chart doesn't it? And hopefully it cuts WAY back on the Mom Having To Nag All Day part.

She has printable ones for sale if you don't want to make your own, but of course I wanted to make my own. :) I spent some time brainstorming on my own, and with Audrey while she was here and came up with a fairly comprehensive list of what I want the kids to learn to do. For Kaitlyn I just typed them up in a Word document, cut them into rectangles, and mounted them on patterned paper. Tyler can't read yet, so I had to hunt up some clipart to put on his. (the site I ended up using for the clipart is here) I made sure to use different patterned paper so we can easily tell which are Kaitlyn's and which are Ty's. Then Audrey helped me "laminate" them all with contact paper.
Kaitlyn's are pictured above, Tyler's are here:

My goal is to make the kids as self-directed as possible. So I printed up some routine cards for morning and night as well. I even put a deadline of 8:00 on Kaitlyn's night time one in the hope that she'll watch the clock on her own and again, so it won't be me or Sam telling her every step of the way what she needs to be doing. And trust me, if any kid is going to be into this kind of thing and actually do the things on her list, it will be Kaitlyn. Especially when we start incorporating rewards and allowance.


I also made up a set of Brownie Points cards. Following the example on the blog I used for inspiration, I just googled "heart brownies" for a photo then added the lettering on top of it in Paint. Then made a whole page full of them, printed it out, cut it into pieces, attached it to more of the patterned paper and laminated it too.
The intention is that I will slip one of these in their mailboxes any time I think they are doing an exceptional job, or saw them go out of their way to be niced to a sib, or spent a whole day without fighting, or whatever. And when they have collected 10 the will get a reward - pick a prize out of the box where I store fun things I pick up in the dollar section or go on a fun outing.
Let's hope it all works! We're starting today.
There. Kaitlyn has mail... :)


craftykat said...

I like this idea a lot- I saw some mini mailboxes at Target too- the girls would get into it at least.. where did you find the great clip art?

Cheri said...

Cute idea! Love the mailbox twist. I just might try this with my kids!

Krispy said...

Just stumbled across your blog - this ios a great idea - my boy is 3 and I was thinking about starting the picture bed time and morning routines soon, with some minor chores as well - LOVE the mail box :) (haven't seen those here in australia)

Krispy said...

Hi Alayna... Thanks for your comment over on my blog - I was sooooo thrilled (girlie squeals!) I've been in contact with Oriental Trading and they don' ship to Australia - do you know of anyone else in the US who stocks those mail boxes I could get in contact with? Its such an awesome idea and I know my little guy would just love it! Thanks:)