Monday, August 26, 2013

Keeping Track of Who Does What...

Our two oldest kids go back to school today, the "twins" start preschool in two weeks and I am dreaming of what life is going to be like going on errands with only ONE child at home for a few hours each week! :-)

If you have been following along for a while then you will know that we love our Melissa & Doug responsibility charts. We started using them over a year and a half ago. 

Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart

We like to give our kids lots of positive affirmation for the things that they do right. However, for some reason they also seem to really like the shiny coins that we also give them at the end of the week based on how they do with their responsibilities and behaviors. 

When we (I mean, Sam) taught our oldest two kids how to clean the bathroom and clean up after meals we wanted to also create a simple system for them to keep track of who was doing what.

Currently they rotate with one child taking the full week to clear the table & sweep after meals while the other child does the bathrooms (and takes out the garbage on garbage day.)

Here is how we keep track of it. 

They both have the same charts, yet they are customized to each child based on what magnets you use. For our oldest two kids their second to last line looks exactly the same. Except that based on the given week one of them has the "Clear Table" magnet and the other has the "Bathroom" magnet.

Responsibility Chart

It keeps things fresh and ensures that not one child is doing the same dirty job every week.

Since the boards are dry erase marker friendly we simply marked certain codes under one specific line on each of their boards. "T/S 1" means clean toilet & sink on the the first floor, "G" means take out the garbage, "S2" means clean the sink on the second floor and so on. Saturday is currently our day to rest so we don't have the kids do a specific responsibility around the house on that day.

Kids Responsibility Chart
For this upcoming week our oldest daughter is up for clearing the table & sweeping the floor, so her board will actually start out with all of her smiley faces up. That is because she will do the same thing every day and we will only take down the smiley face if she doesn't clear and sweep on a particular day (we found that taking down smiley faces is easier to do than putting them up every day.) 

Attitudes and Behaviors
Since our oldest son is up for doing the bathroom then at the beginning of the week his chart will start out like this so that he is able to see which part of the bathroom he is supposed to clean. Once he completes the task then we move a smiley face up to cover the code and that also shows that the task was completed.

Kids Cleaning The Bathroom

Writing "the codes" was another genius idea that my husband came up with...two points for him, zero for me.

I've got to admit that having the kids clean one part of the bathroom at a time, one day at a time, after showing them how to do it...isn't very daunting at all. Both of our bathrooms are getting cleaned TWICE a week by someone other than me! How cool is that!?!  :-)  And we are all sharing some of the family responsibilities!

What job around the house would you freely give up: Loading the dishwasher, laundry, dusting, vacuuming? Is it something that you could begin to teach someone to do and help to share the family responsibilities that way?

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  1. I am transitioning my oldest two (almost 7 and almost 5) into dish washing. My daughter washes 5 breakfast dishes and my son washes all the lunch dishes (easiest meal). They also put away the dishes they wash. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it really cuts down on the time I am washing dishes. Totally worth the time to teach them.

    1. Dana,

      That is wonderful! Dishes are next on our "to do" list of teaching the kids. :-)


  2. I have ms so my boys help alot when they can because they now are back in school. I found you on thrifty blog hop following on email I'm lorraine at

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lorraine! :-)


  3. This is just fantastic. I really have enjoyed this article and the one on allowance. My seven year old has been begging me for allowance. I was torn between teaching him about money vs the idea that everyone is a member of the house and we all participate in chores, not to get paid, but just because its part of a family. You really helped me a lot!! Im looking forward to reading more posts!


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