I spent hours pouring over Pinterest in my search for the ultimate chore chart. What I found was that I liked bits and pieces of different ones, but nothing was quite what I was looking for. I wanted to have the daily routines included and I wanted something extra where the kids could do extra chores to earn money. My boys are 6 and 8 and I’ve decided to give them $2 a week allowance with the option to earn more if they want to. I also wanted to include a way to limit their screen time. I had originally purchased a Melissa & Doug chore chart for my oldest son, but hanging two of them wasn’t going to work for me. And so our chore chart was born.
My refrigerator happens to sit at the end of our kitchen, so I had the entire side of it available to me. This would also work on the front of a refrigerator, but you might not be able to include the large white board due to space limitations there.
The Ultimate Chore Chart Instructions:
- Washi tape (I used 3 rolls – 2 of the black (10 yards), 1 of the red (6 yards)
- Matching ribbon – 1 metre
- Sharp exacto type knife
- Measuring tape
- Chalk pen (or depending on your colours, a sharpie would work)
- Cardstock (for the movie & screen time tickets/holder)
- Magnetic Chore Chart ‘chores’
- Magnetic circles
- Magnetic Strips with adhesive backing
- Circle Punch
- Paper cutter
- Hole punch
Making the Chore Chart
Measure the refrigerator. I have two children so I needed 7 spaces that I could split in half and one larger space for the chores. Since every refrigerator is different your measurements will depend on the space. Allow extra space to account for your tape. To make it easier, I put a chore magnet on the fridge, then put 14 circles across it. That gave me an idea of the fit. Then I measured and made little pencil marks to show where to put the tape.
Use your exacto knife to cut one of the black rolls of tape in half (or whatever your main colour is) push firmly into the roll and slowly turn the roll as you press into it. Do NOT go back over it. I found out the hard way that will mess up your tape as it double cuts some of the layers when you do that. Instead, when you are putting it on, just use up the tape until you get to where your cut part ends and firmly do it over again for the next layers. With good pressure you will be able to get a few lines of tape each time you do this. You can skip this entirely if you want to splurge on the thin washi tape, but the only ones I could find were at Michaels and they came in a kit with a bunch of colours and were more than I wanted to spend.
Start by doing your across lines. Skip the outside edge as you will do that with a full roll of tape, rather than the half sizes you are cutting. One at a time lay them out on the refrigerator. The number of rows will depend on the number of chores you want to have up there.
Next do your down rows. I used a full size piece for the inside end of my chore section and then half size pieced to delineate each of the days. If you have more than one child and want to separate them like I did, cut the second colour of washi tape in half and you will use that for every other down row.
Once you have all of your rows done – both across and up/down, use the full roll of tape to cover all of the edges. I added a second row on the top to write the days of the week.
Use the chalk pen or sharpie to put your children’s names and the days of the week on the chart at the top.
If you are going to make the chore chart items from cardstock, cut rectangles to fit your chart and write the chores on them. Attach a piece of adhesive magnet to the back. Use a circle punch to cut out coloured markers and attach a piece of adhesive magnet to each of them. You will need as many circles as you have squares.
I managed to pick up a second set of Melissa & Doug round markers at a resale shop for a couple of dollars and a second chore chart for a few dollars, as well. I like the look of them, so if you have a local Facebook auction site, Craiglist site, or resale shop, you might want to check there.
I took a piece of ribbon, cut it to length and used two pushpins to attach each side to the corkboard at the bottom of my whiteboard. Next I took clothespins and wrote chores and the amount I would pay for each of them if they did them. Clip the clothespins to the ribbon. All the boys have to do is take the clothes pin and hand it in to me when they do a job. I kept the amounts low as they are able to do many of these daily if they wish and it does add up.
I used the paper cutter to cut out a base piece for each ticket, then a slightly smaller piece to glue onto the top of it. Then I used the sharpie to write ‘screen time’ or ‘movie’ on the ticket. For us screen time is any kind of screen. I gave movie tickets as well. I punched a hole in the top of the ticket and used strips of paper to make a ‘ribbon’.
The pocket is just a piece of paper I cut and glued together to fit the space I had. I wrote each child’s name on the pocket.
When they use these, they hand them in to me. When they are gone, they are out of screen time. I do have limits for the weekday use (1/2 hour only each day if they want it) and they can use more on the weekend.
This chore chart incorporates all of the things I wanted to have up there and includes ways to reward them. You can give them a screen time ticket for every day they did all their chores the week before, a bonus movie for multiple days with all chores done etc. They can have a way to earn a little bit of extra money as well, for doing extra chores. For a motivated kid with a goal in mind, this is fantastic.
I plan on using the blank space on the white board to record their earnings from the clothespins so I can pay them on allowance day. I will also end up using the white board calendar for our meal plan, which puts it where the boys can see what’s coming up for the week.
The total time to put together the tape portion of the chart was approximately 45 minutes. The clothespins took about 10 minutes and the movie tickets were about an hour as I fiddled with them until they looked the way I wanted them to. You could skip the ribbon portion and just make rectangular tickets, which would save you some time.
I had made an earlier prototype of this using painters tape (which did not look even half as nice!) and we’ve been using it for some time. It has proven to be the exactly what I wanted – The Ultimate Chore Chart really is the perfect name for it!