Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Help Charts for Kids (Sticker Charts)

When I was little, my sister and I had a "Help Chart". Each time we completed a chore around the house, we were allowed to add a star sticker to the chart next to the chore we completed. It made chores a little more fun (because, let's face it, most of us don't enjoy doing chores around the house) At the end of each month, if we filled up our chart, we would get some kind of "reward." I think most of the time it was a trip to McDonald's to get a Happy Meal. ;) 

For some reason, though, once I had my first child, I remember thinking, "I'm never going to use a 'Help Chart' and will probably never need one." I'm not exactly sure why I thought this. It might have had a little something to do with the fact that I thought it would be hard work to keep up with. Well fast forward 4 years later, and we now have 2 help charts...one for each our girls. Ha! (Our youngest might get one at some point once he is old enough).

We first decided to make one once our oldest went off to kindergarten. She needed a little encouragement during her first couple of weeks at school, and we thought this would be a good way to help boost her self-esteem and independence. Once we made one for her, though, her sister wanted one too, of course. So I went ahead and made her a help chart as well. She now gets a sticker each time she helps around the house- this could be anything from doing the dishes, setting the table for dinner, making her bed, getting dressed all on her own, etc. And I never let them get more than 1 sticker up per day. That has worked out pretty well for us. 

Thankfully, once each sticker chart is complete, our girls usually don't ask for much! It can be pretty easy to please little ones! So far, when this sticker chart is complete, our oldest wants a pack of gum and her sister wants Mr. Bubbles Bubble Bath. :) 
Some examples of rewards we have used in the past include getting a pack of chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A or a trip to the Dollar Store. They sure do love that place!
We usually try to target spending no more than $5 once the chart is finished and our girls can only pick out 1 thing each. 

I feel like it's not about the "prize" or reward they get at the end, but about teaching them the importance of helping others and practicing a good work ethic. Plus, it is fun!!

Did you ever have sticker charts growing up? Do you use them now?

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