A few years ago, I implemented our magnetic chore chart system to instill good values while my kids were young and it’s been working like a charm ever since.
Over the years I’ve had a lot of friends ask me to share my entire chore chart process so that they can implement it with their kids too. Today, friends, I’m going to give you all the details so you can make your own DIY magnetic chore chart.
Are you ready to put a chore chart system in place that will teach your kids responsibility, fight entitlement, and allow them to get a taste of how the real world works? Keep reading!
How To Make a DIY Magnetic Chore Chart For Kids
Step #1. Get Your Supplies
For this project, you’ll need:
- 2 Magnetic boards
- Magnetic bull clips
- Pushpin magnets
- Envelopes – 1 per child
- Printer, paper & ink
- Laminator (optional)
First, buy two magnetic boards.
We found our magnetic boards at our local IKEA for $12.99 each but I don’t think they carry the exact product pictured above. The ones I have are 14 ½ x 30 ¾ inches and are not dry erase friendly.
I wasn’t able to find an alternative with the exact dimensions, but I believe this one I found on Amazon is the most comparable option: 17.5″ x 12″ Magnetic Board
If you’re looking for a free solution, use your refrigerator, the side of a filing cabinet or any other magnetic surface you have lying around the house.
Next, Purchase Clips & Magnets
The bull clips hold our work for hire cards and use the pushpin magnets to “check off” each chore as the kids complete them each day.
Step #2. Get Your Printable Chore Chart Templates
Next, you’ll want to print out your customizable chore chart templates.
Step #3. Print, Laminate & Cut
Now that you have your supplies and chore chart template, it’s time to print it out, laminate (optional) and cut. You can do this on your printer from home or go to your local office store.
I opted to use my local copy and print store and had them laminated my templates at the same time. Laminating is completely optional, but I found that our system has worked for several years now because the lamination helps them hold up after years of wear and tear.
If you don’t opt for lamination, just make sure the charts and cards are hung up properly and well-taken care of so that it lasts a long time.
Last, cut out the work for hire cards. The goal is to make these cards look like cash so that your children will visually understand that working equals money.
Step #4. Put It All Together
- Find the perfect place in your home to display the magnetic boards and mount them to the wall.
- Once mounted, place the work for hire cards in your bull-clips and put them on your first magnetic board.
- Place your daily chore chart templates on the second board and add the pushpin magnets in the to-do column.
- To keep track of the tasks the kids completed, use a bull clip and add an envelope next to the kids’ chore charts.
- Voila! It’s time to put the system to work.
How This Chore Chart System Works
I’m a firm believer in raising grateful kids in an entitled world; that’s why we break up chores into two categories – expectations and commissions.
Expectations (Chores Without Pay)
Expectations are a set of tasks the kids required to do every day without pay. Having expectation-based tasks teaches kids to help and contribute to the family because it’s the right thing to do, not because you get something in return.
If the kids fail to complete their daily expectations, there are logical consequences.
Taking away screen-time minutes for the next day seems to work best for us. However, you could limit or take away other toys or activities that are meaningful to your child. When you put this system into practice and consistently enforce the consequences, it teaches your kids that TVs, tablets, computers, video games, their toys, or other activities are all privileges they earn, not deserve.
Alternatively, you could implement a reward system where they earn points for consistently completing expectations. Once they reach a certain number of points, they can redeem them for prizes like lunch with mom at school, going to see a movie, having a friend sleepover, etc.
When implementing this for yourself, consider what works for your child. Do they respond better to incentives or consequences? Also, we’d the method you can keep track of and follow through consistently.
Consistency is key.
Example Of Chores (Unpaid Expectations)
The most important part is to set tasks that meet your family’s and child’s needs. Here’s an example of the unpaid expectations we set for our elementary-age kids, ages 5 and 8:
- Brush Teeth & Hair
- Get Dressed
- Make Bed
- Eat Breakfast
- Take Vitamin
- Homework + Read 15 Minutes
- Pack Lunch & Backpack
- Set Out School Clothes
- Shower + Put on PJs
- Brush Teeth
- Pick Up Toys & Tidy Room
- Read Bible Story & Pray
- Fold & Hang Laundry (We added this later as our kids got older)
Note: If you want this system to grow with your kids as they age, feel free to leave the chores blank, laminate the chart and then use a wet erase marker to write them in.
Commissions (Chores With Pay)
Commissions are optional tasks the kids are welcome to complete each week as earn money. Commission-based tasks teach kids the value of working for your money and how to save for things they want.
The consequence of not doing commission-based tasks is a natural one. You can’t buy things you want because you didn’t work for it (just like the real world).
My husband and I try not to buy toys or games for our kids other than at Christmas, their birthday or other special occasions. So it’s up to them to earn money if they have their eye on something.
My 6YO has been saving for at least seven months for an American Girl Doll. She already has $75 saved and will not spend that money on other things she wants because she has her eye set on that doll.
There are times when she doesn’t feel motivated to work, so she doesn’t, and she doesn’t get paid. Then there are other times when she remembers why she’s saving, and she works non-stop to earn more.
She’s even asked other friends and family members if she can help around their house to earn money because she’s saving for a doll.
If I chose to give a set allowance every month, I feel that we wouldn’t be as diligent in checking the quality of her work. In essence, she could slack off and still get paid. That’s not the value system I want to instill in her.
Example Of Chores (Paid Jobs)
Every family is unique, so I want you to customize the chores or jobs in which you plan to pay your kid(s). I’ll share the commission-based chores we set for our elementary-age kids.
Just remember, some of these may work for your children as expectations, or these might be too advanced for your kids. Make it work for your child and family.
$0.10 Per Task
- Feed Dog
$0.25 Per Task
- Load Dishwasher
- Unload Dishwasher
- Wipe Kitchen Counters & Dining Table
- Tidy Living Room & Wipe Surfaces
$0.50 Per Task
- Sweep Downstairs
- Mop Downstairs
- Take Out Trash
- Vacuum Living Room
- Scrub Bathroom Counter, Sink & Mirror
$1.00 Per Task
- Vacuum Upstairs
- Sweep & Mop Bathroom
- Scrub Toilet & Bathtub
- Vacuum Out Car
$3.00 Per Task
- Scoop Poop
- Wash Outside of Car
We printed multiple copies of the same card and treated them like money. For example, the dog needs to be fed 14 times per week, so we printed 14 feed the dog cards. The trash might need to be taken out 2 or 3 times in the week, so we printed 4 of those. (To have an extra – just in case.)
Paying Your Child
Any time your child completes a chore, they can notify a parent and then place the commission card in their envelope. Instead of paying out daily, we set Sundays as payday, but you can pick a day that works best for you.
On payday, your child can bring their envelopes to you and together you can add the totals of their cards. You pay them in cash or electronically transfer money from your bank into their savings account and hang the cards back up.
Alternatively, you could use a piece of paper or journal instead. When a parent confirms a task was completed, that parent could write down the task name, date, payout amount and sign off.
Give It A Try
Now that you have everything you need to set this chore chart system up in your home, I can’t wait to see how it works for you. After you set it up, be sure to share it on social media, tag me @hellosensible and use the hashtag #hellosensiblelife. I’d love to see how it’s working for you!