Hello, friends! Today I am sharing another free printable: a chore chart for kids. Since it uses only picture symbols, and there is nothing to read, it is best suited for preschoolers and pre-readers. There are 3 duties on the chart, which are to be marked off with either a check-mark or a sticker, each day of the week. The 3 duties, represented by the picture symbols, are:
- feed the pet,
- pick up toys, and
- obedience and respect towards parents.
(It should be fairly obvious which duties correspond to which symbol.)
There is also a column in which you may tally up the week’s total of check-marks/stickers (or the amount of allowance/reward earned) for each particular duty.
I made this chart several years ago, when my husband and I decided to start giving an allowance to our son, as a motivator to keep his attitude in check and help in small ways around the house.
According to my foggy recollection of learning about behavioural psychology all those years ago, this would qualify as a classic ‘token system.’ Teachers, parents, and therapists use these kinds of techniques all the time to motivate children, and they can be quite effective. However, they’re not fail-proof.
With my son in particular, we ended up phasing out this system after a time. Initially, it was successful. But eventually he came to realize that, along with the possibility of being rewarded, there was a possibility that he could fail. This seemed to cause him stress, and his behaviour worsened. When we removed the chart (actually, he tore it in two) and stopped harping about it (but still required the same behaviours), he became more relaxed and obedient. Perhaps, by then, we had made our point.
If you are looking to introduce your preschooler or kindergartner to the concept of having a few daily responsibilities, a chart and reward system such as this one could provide the small amount of structure and inspiration that you need. However, it is important to carefully observe your child’s responses, and shift or modify your strategy when needed.
The preschooler whom I designed this chart for is now 8 years old. I no longer give him an allowance. He is required to pick up his toys at least once per week, but other than that, he probably helped more with cleaning when he was little than he does now. When you’re 3, it can be great fun to put dishes away and play around with a mop bucket. Not so when you reach school age and the novelty of such things has worn off.
However, he’s been reminding me repeatedly in the past few days that he would love to have a skateboard. His birthday is not until next spring, and Christmas is still a ways off, so I’ve suggested that maybe we should dust off this old concept of ‘allowance’. Saving up for a skateboard seems like a perfect motivator to learn more advanced household skills, such as:
- vacuuming the floors,
- folding laundry,
- loading the dishwasher,
- cleaning the bathroom,
- taking out the garbage, or
While discussing this possibility, he asked me if I could make him a chart! So perhaps the old one had made a positive impression, after all. 😉
Once again, here is the link to the chart if you would like to take a look or use it:
Do you give your kids allowance? What’s your system? I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments section below.