Even very young children can help out around the house, and a colorful chore chart is just the ticket to get them involved. By making your own rather than buying a cookie-cutter chart, you can customize it to your family and make it more appealing to your child. Luckily, you can turn a plain brown corkboard into an eye-catching chore chart in a matter of hours. If only getting your child to do her chores without reminders was that quick!
Choose Your Chores
Before you can make a chore chart, you need to decide which chores your child can realistically do on a daily basis. Common chores for toddlers and preschoolers include making the bed, setting the table, folding napkins, loading the washer and dryer, or unpacking grocery bags. Keep in mind that children this age need an adult nearby to supervise when they are doing housework, so don't expect your load to be lightened very much.
Plan Your Chore Chart
Sketch out your chore chart on paper before transferring it to the corkboard. The chore chart should be in a grid format, with the days of the week written across the top and the chores along the left-hand side of the grid. For young children, a simple picture of each chore is better than a written word they can't recognize on their own. Make sure to leave a space at the top for extra pushpins.
Make the Chart
To liven up your boring corkboard, cover the entire background with a colorful piece of thin cloth. Use thumbtacks to secure the fabric along the edges. With a permanent marker, draw the lines of the chore-chart grid that you worked out on paper. Write in the days of the week, but leave the spaces for the chore pictures blank. These should be drawn or printed onto small pieces of paper, laminated, and attached with a pushpin, which lets you change the chores on your chart as your child matures.
Draw or print out several dozen happy-face pictures. Once these are cut out and laminated, your child can pin them in the squares to show which chores she has finished on any given day. Make sure she knows how sharp the pushpins are and uses them correctly. If you are offering your little one a reward for her chores, you may want to include a picture of it right on the chore chart to keep up her motivation.