Toddler Chore Jar

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

Comments

  1. Cute idea Jenny! I bet she loves it! Hope your new school year is off to a great start! :)
    Mackenzie

  2. Love your comments about taking Riley out to dinner with you. We did the same with our children – exposing them to all sorts of restaurants early on in their lives made them much better social animals later. There is nothing worse than seeing poorly behaved children in a nice restaurant. Just recently my husband and I were out to dinner in a very posh restaurant and a couple came in with their toddler who proceeded to take over – not pleasant.

    Chores – your jar is a super idea (teacher mom). Riley will learn responsibility early on, something that will take her through life. Again I started my kids young too – they were making their beds by 3 and folding laundry with me as pre-schoolers. You’ve made it fun for her with the jar and painting the sticks created some ownership on her part. Cute.

  3. I feel the same way, I always felt like I had too high of expectations for my son and that I was moving faster then he was. But, I feel like it is good to have expectations and goals to achieve for kids. When he does something great we both are super excited and happy! I love the chore sticks, it is a really great idea to get them started on picking up after themselves. I am definitely thinking that I should make a chore jar for my little man! He is a little over 2.5 years old too :D

  4. What a great idea! My boys are a bit young yet, but we’re already starting to pick up our blocks when we’re finished with them.

  5. Being a Mom of four children, I feel like it is never too early to start having the kids pitch in and help out around the house. I believe giving kids chores helps teach responsibility and gives them a strong sense of family, plus helps them learn that keeping a household running involves teamwork and effort. ;o) Keep up the great work at home.

  6. What a wonderful idea. I love it!

    New follower from the 36th Avenue Link Up. Love your blog!

  7. Great idea! Especially since she helped to make it…I’m going to have to do something like this. We love painting and big popsicle sticks, too. :)

  8. i totally love this idea! those are great easy chores that my little girl can do, and teach her responsibility and i like the idea of her earning a quarter each day to put in a piggy bank! thanks for the ideas! when you have time i’d love for you to stop by my blog!

  9. I love your chore jar! So cute! I had my toddlers do chores but not in such a fun way. More like just saying “We have to pick up toys before nap and bedtime”, or giving them a wet dishcloth to “help” me wipe down the table or having them “help” load the dishwasher or wash machine. I think chores teach a lot. They teach responsibility, pitching in when you’re needed, sorting skills, routine, etc. There’s a list of toddler chores at http://www.toddler-tips-and-tricks.com/toddler-chores.html, but what it all breaks down to is just simply giving your tot a chance to help out. I fell bad for children who haven’t been given any responsibility at home!

    • Kate, Thanks so much. I’m glad you liked the chore jar. Riley loves it. When she’s trying to get out of doing something I can quickly remind her that she won’t earn her stick and she gets right to it. She looks forward to finding out at the end of the night how many she sticks she’s earned as well.

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