What made it especially crazy was the fact that my organization blog this week is going to be about chore charts! I have been trying to get a more rigid chore schedule for awhile. Isabella is great about helping, even when I forget to load up her chore chart (we use the magnetic chore chart from Melissa and Doug).
For Alex, however, this chore chart is too complicated. For one thing, he can't read! For another, I even had to hang Bella's up super high because he kept stealing and losing all of the smiley face magnets because he just liked them so much!
I had been reading what everyone put on their blogs or attachments about charts and decided to just make my own. Who knows better what will work for my kid than me, right? The thing is, Alex is only 3 years old. He can't read, and I am not trying to get him to help clean the house. I am mostly trying to get him to keep his room cleaned and his teeth brushed without a hassle.
I pondered this and thought about how, even at 8, Isabella does best when instead of saying "clean your room" we only give her one task at a time like "pick up your books" followed by "pick up your dolls", "pick up your clothes", etc. until the whole thing is done. By breaking it into smaller jobs the kids seem less overwhelmed. With these running through my head I created a system with Alex, and his room, specifically in mind.
The first thing I did was I went through and labeled everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. I put a picture with the words telling what it was under each drawer or box that his toys go in (they are already all sorted because I am a neat freak).
I then created matching labels with the same picture that just said "pick up small toys, pick up trains, pick up puzzles, etc." so that I could give him the card with the picture and he would know to pick up everything that goes in the drawer with that picture. This way he can focus on picking up one thing at a time.
I made a few other cards like "put away silverware, put away clean clothes, pick up trash, and help set table", but not too many. I will add more as he gets more efficient. Right now I am just trying to help him build good habits and to keep his room from turning into a disaster area. To be honest, I may have let it go for too long. :/ When he has done all of his chores, he gets a prize of some sort. Sometimes it might be a snack, sometimes it might be us playing a game or watching a special show. It really depends on what I have planned that day already. We tried it out today (you know, so the room would be clean for me to take pictures) and my 8 year old liked it so much she wants me to make tags like that for her room! Considering that this is my first time trying to make something like this myself and that it took me a lot longer than it probably takes the more experienced bloggers out here, we will see if I get motivated for THAT anytime soon!
If you would like a copy of the tags I made this week you can get them here: