What’s Working For Us | May 2013

My kids have always had chores.They just haven’t always done their chores. And sometimes it took me losing my sanity to get them in gear. And then I got the added treat of sullen kids for the rest of the day. I didn’t like it. They didn’t like it. Nobody was happy like this.

And then Pinterest smiled down on me when someone pinned the image of these chore sticks.


I immediately rounded up our craft sticks and some card stock. I printed these bad boys and then sat the kids down to figure out a reward system.

What we came up with makes everyone happy.

Chores – This is how we all contribute to our family and the keeping of the house. Everyone pitches in!

Every kid starts the week with 10 blank sticks in their jar (labeled with a Sharpie). The girls have a list of daily chores to do posted on the refrigerator. If I have to do one of their posted chores then they have to pay me one chore stick. To keep their original 10 sticks all they have to do is not miss a chore all week. We don’t penalize those that are on trips, but their siblings have the opportunity to earn extra – hang with me.

In order to really make this work there had to be a reward. And the kids picked Sonic, much to my delight!

So, our chore economy works like this:

5 sticks = a small drink

10 sticks = a medium drink

15 sticks = large drink or mini shake/blast

20 sticks = Rt 44 drink or small shake/blast

25 sticks = large shake/blast or snack + large drink

30 sticks = Meal of choice + drink

35 sticks = Meal, drink, and small shake/blast

At first they were not too keen on the idea, because we didn’t initially have the sticks set up for them to earn extra. But, I got it in gear and finished them today. And they are all about earning up. And the way I see it is that they are doing one of MY jobs with every stick they choose, so I pay them.


Now, I did make some rules.

1. Some jobs are more involved than others. Doesn’t matter. It’s still worth 1 stick. However! A big job, done well may be rewarded with cash.

2. You can choose 2 sticks at a time and then choose from those jobs. No rummaging through and grabbing all of the easier jobs.

So far, it is working well. I haven’t had to nag for chores to get done and they are happily doing jobs that I would have never thought to suggest, but still needed to be done (wipe down the dashboard?).


The PDF File with the chore stick printable actually has more chores than we need, but aside from the 8 that we’ll never use (shovel snow, etc.) I put all of them on sticks.

The seasonal jobs – raking leaves – and occasional jobs – pulling weeds – all live in a separate jar. I will toss them in to the chore jar as needed. Once a job is done and checked the stick gets added to their jar, so at the end of the week they turn in their sticks, get their reward and I sort the sticks out replacing the weekly jobs to te chore jar and the taking seasonal and occasional jobs out of circulation until they are needed again.

There are also sticks for jobs beyond their experience, like checking the oil, washer fluid, or air pressure. All of them still need to learn those things and are welcome to choose that chore when their Dad is home to teach them and supervise that job.

Then, I went ahead and created sticks for their existing jobs, because at some point in the future we may decide to mix it up and make those unassigned chores as well. So, it never hurts to have them all set-up and ready to use.

I hope this helps someone out there as much as it has helped me!


Disclaimer:  I am not a perfect parent. I own it. But occasionally, I stumble on something that works for us and I want to share that, cause maybe it’ll help you too!

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One thought on “What’s Working For Us | May 2013

  1. Ginger says:

    What a great idea! I am trying to figure out what will work for us. I found one I liked based on the use of baseball card pockets. Right now many of their “chores” are more about completely daily tasks like brushing their teeth and taking the many supplements and vitamins they are now on. It is as much to keep me remembering as it is about them doing it! But now that we pulled them out of school and we have two dedicated days at home I want them to start being responsible for certain things. I am totally remembering this method for when they are a bit older.

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