August 17, 2009

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

My daughters are not always that great at cleaning up their messes. Some days they'll clean up without fuss, other days I feel like I'm going to spend all night cleaning up their toys by myself. The last few days I've been bribing them with stickers, which seems to work, to a degree, but now I'm ready to make a chore chart.
What chores are appropriate for nearly-4-year-olds? I would like to have three age appropriate chores on their chart. I know cleaning up their toys will be one of the chores. I'm hoping this will stop Cakes from standing by the "book corner," tossing all the books into the middle of the room and then walking away. But I would still like two more chores that they're expected to do. I thought about requiring them to make their beds in the morning, and I still may do that. My only concern is that we'll be on a tight schedule when preschool starts and I don't know if tardiness is excused because I spent the morning trying to cajole 4 toddlers to make their beds.
Either way, that still leaves a third chore. Taking dishes to the sink? Putting out food for the cats? Wiping off the table after meals? I don't know.
My idea is to create a chore chart and each time a task is completed, those who did the task receive a sticker on the chart. There will be certain "prize" spaces on the chart and once they earn enough stickers to cover the "prize" space they get to pick a treat (I'll stock up at the dollar store). Eventually I'll make it so the prize space pops up just once a week and they earn a dime or a quarter (hey, I have 4 so yes I'm going to be cheap) to put in their piggy banks.
So, for those of you who have successfully taught your children to do chores... what chores do they do, and what works best to get them to do it?


LauraC said...

We don't do a chore chart at home but now that Nate and Alex have moved to the 3s room, there is SO MUCH structure. They have to wash their own hands, go to the bathroom on their own, change their clothes if they have an accident, put sheets on their cots, put sheets away, clean up their toys after each center, clean up their plates, etc. It is astounding. IT's also why this has been such a rough transition!

Anyway at home, the boys:
Put away their milk in the fridge
Put their dishes on the counter
Pick up all their toys before nap and bedtime
Put their clothes in the hamper before bed

But I'm looking for more ideas!

Sadia said...

Mel and Jessie have the following responsibilities at home:
* Take their plates and cups to the sink.
* Put their naptime things away when we get home from school.
* Put their discarded clothes in the laundry basket.
* Rinse and put away their toothbrushes.
* Put away clean laundry. They collaborate on panties, Jessie's in charge of socks, and Melly's responsible for washcloths.

Roman and Tiffany said...

A chore chart is a great idea! Here are some of the things we do:

Put dirty clothes in the hamper
Put dirty dishes in the sink
Pick up current toy before playing with a new one
Brush the cats

Good luck! Please let us know what you come up with and how it's working.

Quadmama said...

Clothes in the hamper is one we do and I didn't even think about it, so that's a good one to put on our chart. I really balked at a chore chart, but I need a way to get these girls motivated.

MaryAnne said...

We're just starting on chores, so I'd love to hear how things go at your house! Some things that we do right now:

pick up toys (I usually help)
carry dishes to the kitchen counter
wipe down their craft table
help clean up spills/messes on the floor

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