Creating and sticking to a Chore System can be a daunting task! We all want our kids to be responsible and help around the house, right? But sometimes having to explain a chore or the job of tracking their completion of chores can just lead us to do everything ourselves.
My hope in this post is to share some ideas and encouragement on how to monitor your kids’ chore charts! So I’ve created a list of 6 Chore System Ideas that work with kids of various ages!
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Let’s Jump Right into our first Chore System
If your family members are tech-lovers and all able to manage the use of an app, this might be the perfect choice for you! I often say that I am an Amazon Prime mom, not a Pinterest Mom! The fact that this app is self-contained and I don’t have to create a chore chart from scrap really appeals to that side of me!
OurHome is a gamified task system that allows you to give points to family members when they complete tasks or chores. Then, once they’ve gained enough points, they can ‘buy’ a reward!
You can assign tasks or chores to any one person or to a group of people. You can also set schedules, due dates, and late penalties using the app. And you get to set the point value of all the chores and rewards!
Approval of Tasks
To keep younger or more mischievous kids in check, you can add a task approval requirement which means that a parent has to sign off on a completed chore before the kids get credit!
And this app isn’t just a task management system! It also allows you to create a family calendar and assign appointments/events to whoever needs to attend!
AND it includes a shopping list that family members can access. That way, no matter who is at the store, they know what the family needs to purchase!
The best thing about this app is that it’s fully customizable and it’s accessible at the fingertips of everyone in the family at any time! You can decide what your kids can see and edit so that you are in complete control of your family’s chores and schedule!
This is a chore system we used with our oldest when he was very young. We wanted to set a system that allowed him to see a physical representation of mistakes he made without penalizing him the second he made a mistake.
His biggest struggle was going to bed (and staying in bed!!) at night, and since he was only a toddler, that really was one of the few ‘chores’ he was responsible for.
Every night, we were fighting the battle of getting him to stay in bed once we had tucked him in. He needed water, or to go to the bathroom, or he wanted to play with his toys. Since we didn’t want him to be afraid to get up and go to the bathroom if he needed to, we didn’t want to fully penalize him for just getting up once. But we also knew we couldn’t keep this up every single night.
So we took three of his toy cars and lined them up next to his bed. We told him that if at least one of those cars was still there in the morning, he would get a quarter! (You could use any incentive that works for your kids!) But every time he got out of bed, one of the cars would be removed from the lineup.
Very quickly, he learned to prioritize. Most nights he would use up two of the cars, but once he was down to just one car, he rarely got up again because he wanted to be rewarded with his quarter the next day!
This could be employed using any toy or even Post-it Notes on the wall! I think that giving kids this visual representation of their behavior can be SO helpful, especially when they are young!!
This Chore System is something that works best with older kids – maybe middle schoolers and up. And I think I would use this in addition to some basic chores/tasks that need to be completed daily.
So the way I see this working is that your kids have some daily chores – picking up their room, making their bed, doing their laundry, etc. Then this Money Board is for extra chores – mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, weeding the garden, dusting the house, etc.
So, your kids can choose when they want to earn extra money and what they’re willing to do in order to get that extra money. You still have help with the chores but you’re not having to goad your kids into doing those chores; they’ll do them because they want to earn the money that comes along with that chore.
I think this method can be really helpful as you prepare your kids for jobs, college, and whatever else is ahead of them. They begin to see that what they do above and beyond their everyday required tasks can be rewarding and worthwhile!
One of the simplest Chore Systems comes in the form of a checklist. There are a lot of different ways to manage a Chore Checklist. One of my favorite ideas is to use Dry Erase Pockets or a picture frame to hold a printed chore list. Then have your children mark off chores as they complete them using a dry erase marker!
This Checklist can be paired with a rewards chart or allowance to reward your children for completing their list of chores daily. I like the idea of ‘paying’ my kids weekly so they have time to earn and lose money based on their behavior and completion of chores. So, if they have a really bad day, they still have time to make it up on other days before the Chore System pays out!
Mason Jar Rewards
This is a Chore Tracking System that is good for kids of all ages. It’s a very concrete and physical representation of the money/allowance your kids can earn.
The idea is to have a Mason Jar (or some other container) labeled with each child’s name. Then add and remove marbles from the containers to represent your child’s allowance.
I’ve seen this method of Chore Tracking used two different ways and I think they both have real merit!
Begin with allowance in the Jar
For this method, you fill each child’s jar at the beginning of the week with the amount of money that they get for an allowance. Then if your child doesn’t complete a task assigned to them or misbehaves, they lose marbles (aka money). If they go above and beyond, help with extra chores, have a great report card, etc., they are able to gain extra money! Then, you pay out the amount earned at the end of the week. Refill for the start of the next week.
Begin with nothing in the Jar
With this method, your children have to do their chore or task before getting their marbles/money. So you take their weekly allowance, divide it by 7 and give your child that amount each day when all of their chores are complete.
As with the first method, you child can have the opportunity to earn extra money (in the form of marbles) throughout the week for going above and beyond in their behavior, grades, helpfulness, extra tasks, etc.
With each of these methods, you use marbles as the physical representation of their allowance. You can use large marbles (shooters) to represent a greater amount of money, and regular-sized marbles to represent a smaller amount of money.
This is a very customizable Chore Plan and can obviously be paired with a Chore Chart or Rewards Chart if your child wants to save up for something big and wants you to hold on to their money for them until they’ve saved up enough.
Mom Bucks is a Chore System of my own design. Instead of giving my kids real money that they might lose, I made my own and called them Mom Bucks!
So we made a list of chores the kids can do and how much they will earn for each chore. Then we have a bucket of toys and rewards that we’ve purchased over time (usually on sale!!). We price the rewards with their value in Mom Bucks and the kids save up to purchase items.
This system has served us really well over the years and it’s not uncommon to hear one of my kids come up and say “Mom! Can I do some chores to earn Mom Bucks?” I can always find some chores for them to do, of course!!
When choosing a System to manage your kids’ chores. Remember to do something that you and your kids can keep up with! There’s nothing worse than doing all the work on the front end. Then to design a system that’s too complicated or inconvenient for your family to keep up with!
And of course, this list is not at all exhaustive! You can play around with these, and other, systems to make something that is perfectly tailored to your family’s needs!
Remember that the point of these systems is not to be perfect. But instead to help our kids grow in their ability to take responsibility for themselves and their space!