I would classify myself as a “clean as you go” mom. I am NOT a clean freak but I do like a tidy house.
I play with my kids and I pick up after my kids (admittedly) a lot.
With three under three, tidying up after my little tornadoes is an ongoing discipline. But as I approach the ages of chore-chart readiness I wanted to give my little ones a bit of familiarity with the responsibilities they can handle, and those that are age-appropriate.
So, I made a simple checklist of the things that I would like them to be responsible for…. to pick up:
Shoes (We have a shoe basket)
Toys (Toy Chest)
Books (Book Bin)
I printed my checklist two per page and then laminated it (I have an affordable self-laminator from Walmart) and put this on our fridge with a square of small stickers held by a magnet nearby.
I introduced this checklist by saying that from now on when we are responsible and pick up after ourselves we get a sticker for each thing we pick up. Then we picked up one of each item and put it where it goes, getting a sticker for each one.
Now every time my kids pick up and put away something I give them a sticker to put in the box beside the chore. I give my kids stickers now even if I encourage them to clean by singing or ringing a bell… not just if I “catch” them cleaning, but if they do it without me asking I give them two.
Every time my kids put a sticker up, I say “Oooh we are going to fill up all the boxes and we will be able to see how hard we work.” This week our “trash” box is getting full so I asked Sean Patrick what he thinks we pick up the MOST of and what we needed to pick up MORE of so that I can keep him familiar with important math terms.
I am not giving him some big reward for filling up the boxes at this time because I want to get him accustomed to working hard because it pleases God not just to get the incentive. 🙂
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