Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Loving These Chore Cards!

Well I have to tell you that I wish I had spent the money and had my Chore Cards laminated; because the cards are getting a work out! The kids love them! They still think of using them as a game, not a chore, and I want to preserve that thought as long as possible! So to help with that they are not allowed to ‘play’ Scavenger Hunt with the Chore Cards any time they want to. When the toy situation is getting out of control I announce that we will be having a Scavenger Hunt in 3 minutes. They run to get the doll strollers or something to hold the toys in and wait eagerly to find out which card I give them.

Scavenger Hunt Chore Cards

I choose the cards they get by looking around to see what toy category is most in need of being picked up. I then pass out the cards, set the timer for 3 or 4 minutes and say go! They dash around looking for their items and when the timer goes off I call them back to me. I then pretend to count items they have collected (or not) and make over each one. Then they are to put the toys were they ‘live’. Some times I pass out small food treats for a good job, but usually I just praise their good efforts.
My oldest is actually disappointed when the Hunt is over. She wants to keep playing and is disappointed when I tell her there’s nothing left to pick up. But there will always be another chance to play the game…….soon!
·         I don’t require they find every item in their card’s category
·         I don’t give them cards that contain toys they are currently playing with; they wouldn’t want to pick them up
·         I keep in mind the age of each child when I hand out the cards, some are harder than others
·         I make it an even playing field when I can, if one gets a treat, all do
·         I also plan pick up times such as rite before lunch while they are still in a mood to play it; not right before nap when they are cranky. I also don’t say things like “mom or dad will be here soon so…” I just have them play this ‘game’ 10 minutes before the child’s expected pick up time. Pick a good time to have them play this, when they are most willing to participate
·         At my grandkids ages, this is more about participating and following directions than how much they accomplish in getting toys put away
·         It is imperative that they have fun or this won’t work. I don’t scold or show disappointment in the amount of toys they collected, I praise them for trying and help by looking with them if they are having a hard time
·         As they get older, I expect to adjust my methods of using this chore game
·         When they are old enough to realize this is a chore and not a game, these cards will still help them with clean up because as any parent or grandparent knows even adults get over whelmed when we clean up and are tempted to throw everything all together to just get it done


  1. This is such a GRAND (!) idea and I am soooo copying it! I also appreciate your wise advice on the rules...emphasizing cooperation imstead of competition. Thank you for a usuable idea that will make things go easier for me at pick up time, while also having even more fun! The kids will love it!

  2. This is an AWESOME idea and I'm sharing it with my daughter, too! I think it would work equally well for Amara at home! And thanks for all the tips! Now I have to go read your post on how to make them!

  3. I love this idea! Will have to tell Bubby's mom. Thanks for sharing it! You are one smart (and motivated) grandma!

    Happy Saturday!

  4. So glad you all liked this idea!

    Grandma KC, I suggest you laminate the cards and don't do them the way I did. They are sturdier that way. They can be laminated at Kinkos, or you can get self laminating sleeves you use with your iron at home. Clear contact paper is my fav.

  5. This is a great idea. Keeping things picked up is always a challenge. You are clever to disguise this chore as a game.

    My kids love the little "Happy Meal"-sized toys, and I used to keep them all in a tall kitchen waste basket. But then, when someone wanted a certain thing, the whole basket usually had to be dumped out in order to find it, invariably somewhere near the bottom.

    Now we have one of those four-drawer plastic units where we keep different categories of toys in each drawer--things with wheels, animals, people, and, yes, "monsters."


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