I feel as if lately I’ve revealed more about myself than I ever thought I would. Well, I have another confession. Since Riley was about six months old I’ve treated her like she was at least a year old. My issue is that I’m not very good at the baby stage. I LOVE the toddler stage where she can understand what I’m asking her and respond correctly. I’ve always had high expectations of her and some of my teacher friends would probably say that I expect too much, but I feel it’s important to expose her to the expectations of society. For example, Joe and I enjoy eating dinner out. We’ve never shied away from bringing Riley out with us. We had expectations though of how we expected her to ask and now at two and half (terrible twos), I’m never afraid to bring her to dinner with us because she understands that a restaurant is not a place for her to run around and yell. Consequently, I thought it was about time to introduce her to the idea of daily chores. I’m not going to try to tell you that she does them every day, but she understands what chores are and that she can earn something when she does them. Early exposure is key in my eyes.
I started out with a clean pickle jar with the label removed.
I spray painted the inside of the jar to give a great blue color that matches our bathroom, which is where we keep the jar because we finish our night with brushing her teeth and a bath.
While the jar dried, Riley got to work painting the chore sticks, which were from Popsicle sticks. She was so intent on painting the sticks that she barely noticed I was taking pictures. Before I forget, this was a pajama day over the summer. Riley loves wearing her footy pajamas all day long and I gave her a day to do that as school start to creep upon us. Once the sticks were dry I wrote the five jobs and gave her a pictorial representation of the chore. She helped me create the list of chores. I wanted it to be chores that she understood she did already when she was in the mood to be my helper.
The five chores are putting her pj’s in the bedroom hamper, putting the silverware away to help me unload the dishwasher, pick up her toys, brush her teeth and feed the kitties. Throughout the day I give her reminders about earning her sticks. At the end of the night we go through the chores and turn the ones that she did upside down in the jar. She earns a quarter each day for completing 4 out of the 5 chores.
I feel like this post screams “I’m a teacher mommy!” I love everything about the chore jar though. It teaches Riley responsibility as well as works on her counting (how many chores were completed) and money sense (quarter is worth 25 cents). At what age did you have your children start doing daily chores and how did you reward them?
Toddler Chore Jar by Jenny Melrose