Our guest blogger today is Melanie from PlanforAwesome.com. When she’s not getting her family ready for anything, she’s running her own household. And, thanks to her, we have an awesome free download for you today!
Today is the day for Toddler Chore Charts! And what would this post be without a FREE TODDLER CHORE CHART PRINTABLE?!
These are for kids who can’t read, who are just learning to do the basics. I remember the toddler days, trying to come up with creative incentives to just get my kids to get themselves ready for the day! It certainly was a process, and a new chore chart always seemed to help refresh their motivation.
There are a ton of different chore charts available on Pinterest. Some are free and some cost a small amount of money. I have created a Chore Charts Board on my Pinterest account, so please go visit that board if you are looking for something different than what I settled on. No hard feelings!
**This post containss affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you**
After trying different methods and styles for my young kids, I liked the idea of having it on the fridge, with each chore attached to a different magnet, and having a “pocket” for my kids to put their chores in once they had completed them. After searching and scouring Pinterest, I couldn’t find any printables that would do exactly what I wanted, that also had graphics to represent each chore I wanted. So I made my own. Here is a picture of my homemade ones that I made several years ago.
I made three different “sets” of tasks, for 3 different times of day. Each of the kids had a set of morning tasks, afternoon tasks, and evening tasks. Some of them were the same, and some were different. This may seem like overkill, but it sure cut down on the whining and fit-throwing when it was time to brush teeth. It became a game to get all the tasks in the pocket and helped move the daily grind along.
I labeled the back of the graphic with “Morning,” “Afternoon,” or “Evening”, to make it easy for me to find the tasks for each timeframe quickly. I would set out the morning ones first thing in the morning. Then when they were eating lunch, I would set out the group of afternoon ones, and then after dinner, I would set out the evening tasks.
I did find it helpful to have some fun things in there as well. One of the afternoon tasks was “Play a Game.” This was more for me than for the kids. It was a gentle reminder to me that spending one-on-one time with my kids was important, and it held me to it.
Since this is the system that seemed to work best for me for the younger years, I went ahead and made some updated printables for you to use. I did add text to each picture, to describe each task. I don’t think it hurts for kids to see the words associated with the pictures, even if they can’t read yet. Then when they start learning letter sounds, they can start putting things together and it’s right there staring them in the face every day ?
I got them all on one page…I have two of some things, like “Brush Teeth,” so there is one for the morning and one for the evening. I put them in a logical order…the morning tasks are at the top of the page, afternoon tasks are in the middle, and evening chores are on the last couple lines.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FREE PRINTABLE TODDLER CHORE CHART
- Toddler Chore Chart Printable (<-get your download there!)
- Laminator (optional)
- Magnets and a Glue Gun (or something strong enough to hold magnets) OR
- Magnets that come pre-sticky and ready to peel and stick
- 2 sheet protectors per child (a sturdy envelope would also work…like those yellow ones with the brad that fastens them shut)
- Cut out any tasks you want to use.
- If you want to back them with any background paper, do that now.
- Write “Morning,” “Afternoon,” or “Night” (or whatever words you want to use to distinguish between the different times of day for each group of tasks). Keep in mind that you will be attaching a magnet to the back of each of these, so write it along a back edge of the cut out task.
- Laminate each task card and cut it out again (optional).
- Attach a magnet to the back of each task card (these are great because they are ready to peel and stick, but if you’re wanting to use a normal magnet, hot glue guns are glorious! I will say, the ore-sticky magnets are pretty flat, and therefore make it harder to grab the chore off the fridge. The stronger magnets that you have to glue to the back are thicker, and make the chore card stick out away from the fridge, making it easier to grab)
Now make the pocket to stick the chore cards in.
If you choose to use a sturdy envelope, just attach magnets to the four corners on the back of the envelope. (Tip: Don’t use the sticky magnets for this one. I used these stronger magnets because the envelope will need to hold all the chore cards eventually, and these are a lot stronger than the ones that come pre-sticky)
If you go the sheet protector route…
- Take a sheet protector and cut the top half off.
- Attach magnets to the four corners of the backside of the half-sheet protector.
- Stick a half piece of cardstock with the child’s name on it, in the front of the half-sheet protector.
- Use the other sheet protector to stick on the side of the fridge, to hold the tasks that aren’t being used.
I personally have never provided rewards for completing the daily tasks that I expect my kids to complete. The goal is to talk up the chore chart, and get excited enough about it that the satisfaction of being able to check everything off, or stick everything in the pocket, or whatever it may be, IS the reward. The closest thing I have offered for a “reward,” would be getting to pick an extra book at bedtime if they got all their tasks completed before 8:00, or something like that.
For my older kids in particular, I use a chore chart as a prerequisite to screens and other desirable things. They aren’t allowed to play on a screen or go to a friend’s house or whatever might motivate them, until their list is done. But I would call that more of a consequence than a reward. I guess it depends on how you look at it. And of course, this is relatively flexible. If a kid wakes up at 5am and I didn’t get to bed til 1am, I’m gonna throw an iPad at them til I can function. Or if a friend only has time in the morning to play, we may cut a deal to switch the order of things that day. But generally speaking, my kids’ chores are completed before screens or friends.
For a printable chore chart for kids who can read, click HERE.