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Kids Chores and Allowance {Guest Post}

Today's guest post is from Jenny, mom of 4-year-old twins. She has created a great system to help her girls learn about chores and allowance that she shared with me after my request last month on how to approach this concept with my kids.

When my twins turned four, I started a chores and allowance system that is working really well. I bought a wooden plaque at Lowe's and painted it to match the playroom. I screwed in two rows of 6 tiny cup hooks. Each week my girls get to draw out the job “cards” and hang on the hooks (they each only chose 5, because the 6th job every day, every week is playroom clean-up). For the cards, I picked up free laminate samples at Lowe's. They are stiff and sturdy unlike cardboard or cardstock. Each card has a clip art graphic glued on it to represent the chore:
Kids Chores and Allowance | MoneywiseMoms
You'll notice that there are two colors of cards. The daily chores are white cards, and the weekly chores are black. I brainstormed tasks a 4-year-old could accomplish. The Daily Chores are:
  • Playroom clean-up (this mommy does not pick up ANY toys)
  • Food helper (assists with meal prep getting items out of fridge and pantry and putting things back while I am cooking/baking)
  • Recycling helper (takes all cans, bottles, jars and newspapers to the recycling bins in the garage)
  • Feed/water dogs
  • Table setter (puts on silverware, napkins, condiments before each meal)
  • Meal clean-up (wipes down placemats and booster seats and sweeps under table/chairs with whisk broom after each meal. They both hate this chore, but do it.)
  • Get mail (everyone loves this chore)
And the Weekly Chores are:
  • Plant watering (household plants- may become a daily chore now that we've planted tomatoes/herbs)
  • Coupon cutting (yes, my kids cut out all of the coupons- great for scissor skills. Plus that's how I have taught them to read the values of money)
  • Laundry helper (bring all dirty clothes from bedrooms to the laundry room, brings down weekly drycleaning, matches all socks, and folds all washcloths, dish towels, rags, etc.)
  • Empty Garbage Cans (empty all trash cans in all bathrooms, offices, bedrooms)
When the girls do all of their chores each day it really is a help to my workload! In exchange for their chores, each girl gets $1.50 per week (paid in coins). Each girl has a small organizer with 3 drawers. The drawers are labeled “Spend”, “Save”, and “Share.” Each week they have to put some amount of the $1.50 in each drawer. They can divide up their earnings however they want, but they have to put some money in each drawer.

One daughter learned an important lesson yesterday that you have to save (even within your spend drawer) to get what you want. She wants a stuffed rabbit from Build-A-Bear Workshop. It will cost about $18 with no outfits. She has $7.63. It will be end of summer before she can afford a naked rabbit. She was really disappointed when we counted yesterday because the $7.63 looked like a lot to her. We have talked a lot about how if you spend all of your spending money right away on small things, its gone and you won't have it to save up and buy something bigger. Both girls plan to pool their share money to help pets and people with no homes. So far our system is working well!

What systems are you using with your kids this summer to encourage their help around the house?

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