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Customized Chore/Behavior Chart for Under $5!

I have tried to make chore/expectations charts in the past.  I made tables on paper using clip art and images from the web.  We would put stickers in the squares to chart our progress each night.  But, to be honest, it would last a few days and then be forgotten.  And, I felt guilty when I looked at our chart and realized it had been 5 days since we had looked at it last.  Plus, they just really weren’t very pretty.  Yet, I knew we needed one.  My daughter is a visual reminder sort of kid, and quite frankly so am I.

I contemplated buying one of those magnetic chore charts that you see in stores.  They are a bit pricey for me, and for my four year old, many of the items included were just a bit out of her league.  Plus, many are weekly, and I wanted something a little different than that.  I just didn’t know quite what.  So, I sat down and really thought about what would work for us taking into account time frame to be plotted, what we wanted to track, and how we wanted to track it.  I know my daughter has certain “jobs” around the house and parts of our daily rituals that we don’t want to ignore.  Plus, I wanted to keep track of her behavior.  Like all kids, we are trying to change some habits.  I tried to keep track of them in a rewards jar app on my phone, but again, it didn’t quite work how I wanted it to because it was not a constant visual reminder for her.  So, this is what I came up with as our list of needs:

1)  Track jobs/rituals on a daily basis.  (Less guilt if a day is skipped and a much smaller chart would be needed.)

2)  Track behavior on a weekly basis.  In our world, she gets a reward if she alters a behavior for seven days (does not have to be consecutive).  Not a huge reward, but a reward nonetheless.  It seems to be working so far, and I think a visual cue will help.

3)  I really LOVED the idea of using magnets, mainly because they are fun, but also because we can customize them and reuse them.

Now, how to pull it all together.  Use a piece of sheet metal or a baking pan and cover it in pretty paper?  Doable, but requires many steps and having decoupage on hand.  For me, pure dumb luck was the key here.  While wandering the clearance aisle at one of our neighborhood box stores, I found a small decorative metal board hanging from a ribbon.  It had great colors that matched my daughters room and looked fancy without much effort on my part.  Plus, it was only 98 cents.  SCORE!  Now to turn it into the chart of my dreams.

Step one:  Gather supplies:  metal board, card stock paper, self-adhesive magnets, ruler, and computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step two:  Decide how to organize the board.  I went back and forth on this for a while.  I decided on two columns of boxes–which fit our magnet size nicely.  The top box for jobs/rituals and the bottom for behavior.  Since we were rewarding on a 7 day basis, I decided to keep track of 7 jobs/rituals as well–mainly for symmetry.  I picked out a few of our every day items like reading books, learning time, and  brushing teeth.  Then I added her “jobs” around the house including putting her clean clothes away, putting her clean dishes away, and vacuuming under the kitchen table (We discussed that these items would not be moved to the “done” boxes every day).  I showed her my list of six and asked her what other item we should add.  She said, “exercise” which I think is a great reminder for both of us.  Later I realized clean your room should have been on there, but in the grand scheme of things exercise is more important and more fun.  Then, we picked out the clip art images for the magnets together.  I also copied a picture of her current reward seven times so she could see herself earning her reward. (We can always change this to a different picture when a new reward system is in place).  Then it was a matter of printing them out on white card stock, cutting them to size, and adhering them to the magnets (simple peel and stick!).

Finally, I printed out our chart on matching pink card stock and left room at the bottom for the magnets to rest until placed in the “done” boxes on the chart.  The chart is attached to the metal board with scotch tape (I figured this would be easy to remove is necessary since the chart is not laminated and we may want to change it someday).  The board is hung on the wall with a command hook and some painters tape on the back to keep it from moving around and scratching up the wall.  Voila!  Easy customized chart in about 30 minutes that cost less than $5.  So far we have done a good job of keeping it up to date.  Hopefully it is a help to both of us keep track of our goals!  I really want to figure out how to make one for me now.

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