The Cozy Red Cottage: Chore Jars

Friday, June 24, 2016

Chore Jars

Getting my cute girls to clean has always been a struggle for me!  I have tried many ways and it either lasts for a day or fails completely leaving our house a mess or me doing all the work.  I finally found something that WORKS!

These awesome jars have changed the way we do things around here.
 I've discovered my kids are overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning an "entire room" even if there are only 3 things on the floor.  It takes them an hour, they shove things behind the tv or under the bed, garbage is set on the bookshelf.  It drive me nuts and leaves an even bigger mess.
So here's what we changed.  First they work together on one chore at a time.  They pick a room from the first jar and a number from the second.  If they pick living room and 20 then they run and pick up 20 things in the living room.  Then they are done with their chore.  Its easy and fast.
 Now here's the great part for me.  I decide how many sticks they draw and when.  Sometimes its 3 sticks (chores) before they play the wii or 1 several times during the day.  Sometimes I pick the room and they only draw a number.  Our other rules: 1. things have to be put where they go or you have to pick up double 2. count out loud  3. when its time to draw a stick you must stop what you are doing and do the chore immediately.  3. If there are not enough things to pick up in that room you finish up in the living room (or room of my choice.)
 In our house my kids earn points for extra chores or good behavior.  They can use the points for prizes (they loose money so this works for us).  As an added bonus for the kids I add a few surprise sticks that earn them extra points and every time a room is finished they put the stick in the done jar.  We determine how many sticks equal a point that the beginning of the day.
 It seems to be working and there is still excitement.  They are still asked to clean up after themselves and make their bed every morning.  Occasionally a room or a special job needs to be cleaned and that's their chore for for the day (or I give extra points for the job) so I do switch it up a bit.

If you would like to make your own I've included a free printable below.  I taped mine to pint sized jars (they do not wrap all the way around) and wrote on small Popsicle stick.

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