Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kids & Cleaning - The Chore Flowers

We decided it was time for the girls to have chores. But we didn't want to start them on an allowance because we believe every person in the family needs to contribute to the family. These are called 'responsibilities'. But we still wanted to reward the girls if they go above and beyond.

What Problems Were We Facing?

  • I didn't want another chart on the wall
  • We were having problems with the girls picking their toys up
  • It needed to add to our decor, not clutter up the house
  • I needed the chore list/chart to be adaptable - adding and taking away chores
  • I needed to incorporate an Uh Oh box but again - no random slips of papers
  • I needed to add an incentive/reward type system that wasn't going to clutter the house up
These were many things to consider and I spent about two weeks looking online for a solution. I found many individual solutions but not really anything that would work together. I needed to minimize all the pieces and 'moving parts' that would lead to essentially more clutter and confusion.

I took several concepts and put them together or changed them.
First was the Uh-Oh box. This is something very cute that I found on Pinterest but I didn't like the slips of papers (could be lost, have to print them, would float around the house). 

Next, I wanted a Chore Chart. I found many clever ideas but nothing suitable. They all involved charts, lists, clipboards and such. But I didn't want more lists and charts. This stumped me. I came up with something all my own for this solution.

Last, but not least, I needed a reward system. Again, we didn't want to give an allowance. We wanted them to feel as though they are working toward something. I adapted the Uh-Oh box and mixed in a ticket punching system. 

All three of these things were incorporated into our Chore Chart solution which I ultimately came up with on a whim. They are "Chore Flowers". 

Why Chore Flowers?
  • I can tell what each flower is for - small purple filler flowers are uh-oh box chores, Big red glittery roses are Reward Box chores, Pink tulips were chosen by the 6 year old so those are all her daily chores and the red tulips were chosen by the 5 year old so those are all her daily chores.
  • These are placed in three vases. One vase per child and one vase for mommy (it holds the red roses and filler uh-oh flowers). 
  • These decorate the house while secretly holding chores. How? The bottom of the flowers are hotglued to Popsicle sticks. Each Popsicle stick has a chore written on it.
  • Anyone visiting just thinks the flowers are pretty, they don't realize they are chores!
  • This means getting rid of a chore chart, a reward chart, uh-oh box pieces of paper and adds a splash of color to the apartment which was much needed.

Reward and Uh-oh Chore flowers - Mommy's vase!

How I chose the chores:

Uh oh chores - these were chores that are not fun, slightly tedious, but don't take more than about 15 minutes. Examples: wiping down the walls downstairs, cleaning baseboards, cleaning and organizing the end tables in the living room, etc.

Reward Box chores - these were chores that make mommy's life a little easier. It is something I wish I didn't really have to do - like cleaning the toilet (I have a way to make this fun for kids!) or sweeping and mopping the kitchen (we use a kid-friendly Swiffer). There is another step to this though - each chore gets a hole punch in their ticket. (Getting to that)

Daily Chores - these are things that we ask the girls to do a lot. It all comes down to age. The basics are - shoes put away, books put away neatly, backpack put away, bed made, feed your fish, toys put away,  bathroom sink cleaned, laundry picked up and put away, reading one book a day, and they each have to do 15 minutes on which they love. So if you find yourself reminding your children to do something every day, make it a flower!

How this ties into the Uh-Oh box and the Reward box.

The Uh Oh Box - if Mom finds something out that should have been picked up, then it goes in the uh oh box. It is very simple - the girls do one purple flower chore (an uh oh chore) and they get one thing out of the uh-oh box. It's a 1 flower for 1 item exchange. Very simple. If Friday rolls around, the girls have to do enough uh-oh chores to get ALL the things out of the uh-oh box before their weekend begins. NO uh-oh chores can be done until ALL their daily chores have been completed. It's a rule.

The Reward Box - for each red rose done, the girls get a hole punch in their Reward ticket. (They know where the reward tickets are kept so they can get a new one whenever it tickles them). The reward ticket has 12 places for punches (it's a lot but the prizes are pretty cool). After they get the ticket punched all the way (12 chores) they get to pick whatever they want out of the reward bucket. This is how the girls' earned their beta fish. Same rules apply - all daily chores must be done before any reward chores can be done.

What do we use for an Uh-oh Box and a Reward tub?
Target had plastic treasure chest tubs for $10-$20 and we got a red one which was perfect for our Reward tub. We use a CLEAR tub (very important so they can see what is inside without opening it) for our Uh-Oh tub and it has the standard little Uh-Oh rhyme on top.

What do we use for reward tickets? 
There is a great free printable that I found online that is perfect. Just print it off (color looks better! but black and white works) and if you don't have a hole punch and are going to get a new one anyway I suggest getting a FUN hole punch. I got one that punches little tiny hearts instead of circles. The girls love it!

Special thanks to Fabn'Free: Free Printable Chore  Reward Tickets

Where did I get the flowers? 
The dollar store. I let the girls pick out the flowers they wanted (I didn't tell them they were for chores) and once they picked ONE flower I got at least 12 of the exact same flower (about 3 bunches) for each girl. I spent about $20 on bunches of flowers and used a wire cutter to separate them into individual flowers. I used two popsicle sticks glued together to give height. Also - I got two plastic vases from the dollar store (matching) for the girls because they like to pick their vases up and move them around. When they get older, I'll switch to glass but for now - plastic all the way!

Where did the Uh-Oh box come from? 

Pinterst! Here is the source where you can find details about it, a list of potential Uh-Oh chores and the cute graphic to print for your own Uh-Oh box. The Uh-Oh Box Graphic.

I hope that this has sparked an idea! The chore flowers are still going strong in our house since February so... a good four months! We're getting ready to revamp our chore flowers to add more chores and get rid of chores that don't apply anymore. Wishing you the best. Love this?Share it, comment or ask questions below!

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