Friday, March 23, 2012

Chore Cards

UPDATE: I am now selling INSTANT DOWNLOADS of the binder system described below. 

In my family each of my children has a "Responsibility Binder". (NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD!) In this binder you will find:
Their daily responsibilities "to-do" list
Their Chore Cards pages, Monday through Saturday
Calendar (for our monthly planning meeting)
Independence List
and Personal Interview page.

Not only does this teach my children personal accountability, but also about the importance of personal planning and organization.
And FYI - my oldest is 8 and even my 3 year old has one! So don't think that your child is too young for something like this!
Our Chore Cards fit perfectly into baseball card page protectors! So every week on Sunday nights I update all my kids binders for the upcoming weeks chore assignments.
(Oh... and FYI I have a master binder that holds all the cards.) It's inside my Family Planner.

Each child has Monday through Saturday  separate chore pages and each page holds 3-5 chores depending on the age of the child and the difficulty of the chore.

 Once a chore has been completed, and I pass it off, they turn it over.

After they complete their Saturday chores, they get paid. We call Saturday "Pay Day". I pay my children .25 cents a chore. This usually accumulates to $5-$7 a week.
Here is the catch. I like the things that I teach my kids to apply to the real world. Soooooo,
**Chores are not mandatory in our household!!** You're probably thinking, "WHAT??!!!!?!?!"
Here's why:
In the real world, if you go to work, you get paid. And once you're at work, you don't get to pick and choose what you get to do, you do what you're assigned and what needs to get done.
So, if my kids decide that they don't want to do their chores that day, they don't get paid. Simple as that. HOWEVER, If they decide to "go to work" and do their chores, they don't get to pick and choose which ones they do that day and which ones they don't. They do what they were assigned.

Yes this system means that there are days when chores don't get done. But come pay day, when one child get's $7 and the other only gets $3 it's a real bite in the butt! And more often than not, the $3 kid works way harder the next week due to that poor pay day.

Now one thing that IS mandatory is their Personal Responsibilities.
(Making their bed, keeping their room clean, picking up after themselves, doing their homework, getting up and ready for the day and putting themselves to sleep responsibly by brushing their teeth and getting their backpacks and lunches ready for the next day.)

In the real world, you have responsibilities. And in the real world, you don't get paid to fulfill your responsibilities.
Granted, when you grow up, chores become responsibilities, but when kids are young, chores are the closest thing to "work". 

Now I know that this won't work for everyone. Every family has a different system. So, I'm sure you could use these cards in a million different ways.
*Put them on Popsicle sticks
*Attach a key chain and sort the chores by day with 5 or 6 separate key chains, and then hang it on a chore board.
*Attach magnets and put them on your fridge....

If you decide to do something else with these cards let me know! I'd love to see them and showcase it!

or click the picture at the top of this post.

Happy Parenting!

UPDATE: If you're looking for something a bit more integrated or even MORE chore cards.... CLICK HERE


  1. Cool! Pinned on our Creative Chore Chart board:

  2. These are fabulous - thank you! I have my kids chores written on 3x5 cards and I have four different color magnetic pencil holders for lockers that I got at the the Dollar Tree. I have a larger holder for all of the cards, then I sort the cards for each day into each child's holder. They get placed back in the larger holder as they are finished. I see several I'll be adding from yours. :) We've also instituted a point system. But that's a whole other story. :)

    1. LOVE that idea! Chore cards are a really great way to go IMO. :)

  3. Hi! I am not even a parent yet and I just love your site! Cant wait to read more... totally agree with this philosophy of Chores! thanks

  4. I love the idea of your system! I was going to download your cards, but evidently you have to be a member, and I can't right now. But I've bookmarked this post, and am a new follower of your blog - someday! :)

    1. I just recently found out that Scribd forces membership now so I've moved all my printables over to 4shared- membership free:) Get them there by clicking the link/picture above (link has been updated) OR email me and I'll send them to you directly. professorpoppins (at) gmail DOT com

  5. I LOVE this! I am 23 and I live with 2 24 year old boys and we have recently decided to start a chore chart and this is going to make it a MILLION times easier for everyone to understand! I am going to laminate them and put magnets on the back and dedicate an entire side of the refrigerator to it! Thank you so much!!

    1. I absolutely LOVE your idea! I have to admit- your situation made me smile and my husband got a kick out of it too. It sounds like you are like the Mom in your house- with 2 adult man-children:)I LOVE it! Kudos to you! I hope you enjoy the chore cards! I'll be adding more over the next month. If you have any suggestions let me know!

  6. I had to write to tell you how much I love these! I've looked for chore cards before,I homeschool and am trying to set up a workbox system. So i've laminated cards like these for subjects for school, and tried to find some chore ones to add to it, to make life simpler. But so many have ugly graphics and/or aren't detailed enough. I've seen plenty that say Laundry, for example, but yours has putting it into the washing machine and also one for folding laundry! Or one for cleaning the bathroom-yours are separated into the sink, mirror, and toilet. I adore that you have ones for chores like sorting dvds, cleaning trashcans, cleaning under the bed! I'm sure many moms can relate to needing that stuff done, but your site is the first one I've seen with that kind of detail! Thank you!!

  7. You said personal responsibilities are mandatory. I'm wondering how this is achieved..what consequences do you impose if they neglect their personal responsibilities?

    1. In our family personal responsibilities include: Getting dressed, all personal hygiene like brushing teeth etc., making their beds, keeping their room clean (although there are times when we deep clean that they do get paid), cleaning up after themselves (be it after meals, after play, inside or outside) etc.
      We (and when I say WE I mean not just the children, but us parents as well) follow the following Family Laws:
      RESPECT- respecting Mom and Dad, siblings, themselves, other's belongings, their belongings, etc
      OBEDIENCE- Mom and Dad will never ask anything of them that is unreasonable or unfair. When they are asked they should obey. They are also expected to obey the Family Laws, City/School/Community/State/U.S. laws Asking, Order
      ORDER- We strive to have a house of order and cleanliness. Obviously things get messy and things are constantly rotating out of order- but we strive for order and cleanliness. Shoes do not get thrown off feet when coming in, they get put away nicely where they belong.
      PEACE- Peace = happiness. The children do not like it when we fight, and we do not like it when they fight. We strive to compromise and talk through our issues. Violence is UNACCEPTABLE and not tolerated.
      ASKING- We ask. We respect each other's belonging. We like other's to ask if they can use our personal belongings so we can show the same respect and ask others if we can use theirs. We respect that Mom and Dad work hard to provide for the family and that asking is required for "family" items (such as food) to make sure that nothing is being saved for special occasions- etc. We ask if we want to go somewhere so that Mom and Dad know where we are and know that we are safe. Being safe and healthy requires teamwork. (We constantly stress that our family is a team.)
      RESPONSIBILITIES- We realize that with responsibilities comes freedom. The more you are capable of being responsible for- the more freedom and trust you will have. (This goes with everything in life from Credit Cards, Mortgages, Drivers Licence,)

      So to answer your question- Responsibilities are not just a Family Law.. it is a teaching tool. And I believe that teaching tools should mostly have POSITIVE consequences that focus on progress and improvement, meaning catching them doing something good, instead of negative consequences. There are GOOD consequences that come from taking care of themselves, their rooms, etc. For example- if they brush their teeth and floss like they are supposed to they won't have cavities. When we make our bi-annual trip to the dentist my children get paid for having no cavities. I'd rather pay THEM then the Dentist to fill a bunch of holes in their teeth. If they keep their room clean they are free to play. If it is messy they are stuck home for as long as it takes. On rare occasions- when there is a big fight and someone gets bitten or hit for example, we give tickets and fine our children .25 cents. In the real world when you break a law, you get a fine. We don't use these often- but violence is NOT tolerated in our home so that is a time when I would write up a ticket. My children are aware that breaking any Family Law comes with consequences and sometimes that means getting a ticket. I make sure that the consequences are always appropriate to the incident- they never get put in time out for example... if they break the law of order- they help Mom establish EXTRA order somewhere else.
      I will be adding the Tickets/Waivers that I use (yes we have waivers as well... fines can be waived with rectification, apologies, etc.) pretty soon- sometime in the next few weeks. I hope this lengthy explanation helps clear up any questions you may have had:)

    2. Way to go sister! I LOVE your answers here! In fact I am copy pasting and printing these as a reminder of my OWN "Family Laws" or 'responsibilities' that I would like my children (and I) to respect! MANY MANY gracious thanks to you for creating thsese LOVELY, downloadable, printable and inspiring cards! Thank you thank you! May your life be as blessed as ours thank you!

  8. I would really love to see/use these,; however, I do not like having to go through multiple sites and downloading other programs in order to get something.

  9. I am in LOVE with these chore cards! They are exactly what I have been looking for! But for some reason I cannot get them to download. Any change you could email them to me? kristen dot spencerhill at gmail dot com. Thank you so much! This is going to be fantastic!

  10. When I click on on the link it takes me to a Media Fire website and not 4shared as advised = is it safe to use this site?

    1. Yes it is. I was having a lot of issues with 4shared, so I switched the host site to Media Fire. I'm sorry I forgot to take down that little memo on the top. I've removed it now to hopefully prevent further confusion. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

  11. What do you use the family home assignment page for?.

    1. we have family night once a week... (or we try to at least). It's basically a family meeting where we discuss how things are going, what could be improved upon, plan the upcoming week, and then have treats and play a game. So I'll split up the mtg assignments so we all can share the duties. Treats, Game, Planner, etc.