If you are struggling with unruly behavior, your family will benefit from a household rule chart.

How to Make a Household Rule Chart for Children

by Kelly Sundstrom

Do your toddlers and preschoolers seem to get out of hand at the worst moments? Every mom cringes when that phone call comes in, and the children are screaming in the background. But, it doesn't have to be that way. You can tame your rowdy children by making a household rule chart that your little ones can follow. Sometimes, children don't understand what you expect from them, but once they understand their rules and boundaries, a behavioral shift usually follows.

From a poster board, cut out a rectangle that measures approximately 24 inches wide and 36 inches long. Consider foregoing the conventional white poster board and use colors that will pop. Pink, blue or green poster boards will jazz things up a bit.

Draw a grid on the poster board using a ruler and markers. Make the grid as large or small as you want; just be sure that the squares are large enough to write in. They need to be large enough for your child to see them easily, as well. Use colorful markers for a decorative, kid-friendly appearance. If you are going to use a colored poster board, try to coordinate the markers to match the board. But be careful that the colors don't contrast so much that the chart becomes painful to look at.

Write the family rules along the left edge, one rule per grid square. Don't go overboard with your writing — you want your little one to follow along and understand the rules. Since most toddlers and preschoolers are not yet reading, consider using pictures instead of words to indicate family rules. For example, if the rule is "Wash your hands before dinner," draw a picture of hands covered in bubbles. If you have a child who is starting to read, use simple words to describe the rules.

Write the days of the week across the top of the grid, one day per grid square. Consider using a different color of marker for each day of the week. Using different colors can help children understand that there is a change, like a change in days.

Cut pieces of adhesive magnet strips with scissors to fit inside each of the empty grid squares. The size of the magnetic strips will depend on how large your grid squares measure.

Cut another set of magnetic strips to match the first set. Glue each of these magnetic pieces onto a 2-inch pom-pom using craft glue. Let the glue dry for at least 20 minutes.

Hang up the household rule chart on your refrigerator or prominent place where your child can see it clearly. Whenever she has followed a rule, place a magnetic pom pom onto the grid square for that rule and day.

Items you will need

  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Markers
  • Adhesive magnet strip
  • Large pom poms, 2 inches wide

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images