My 3 year old is typically an eager helper when it comes to anything I’m doing around the house. Letting him jump in on the mopping or dish washing is not my idea of a good time and often makes an even larger mess. I did NOT however, want to pass up my opportunity to teach him task-oriented chores or discourage him from learning responsibility. Together we came up with a system that allows him to contribute to the household and helps him feel like he’s a part of the family team.
Although the jobs are not always done to my standards, I remind myself that it doesn’t really matter because the pay off in years to come will outlast the imperfections today.
We created this fun reward jar system to motivate hard work and reward good behavior. It consists of a chores jar full of glass rocks (each glass rock equals one chore), and a rewards jar that, when full, can be exchanged for the desired item written on the jar.
What you will need:
2 jars (any jars with lids will work)
3 wood tags and string to attach to jars
chalkboard paint and chalk
marbles, glass rocks, pebbles, or buttons (Any small item will do)
scrapbook paper and letter stickers (optional)
Start by painting one tag with chalkboard paint and set out to dry.
Trace other 2 tags onto backside of scrapbook paper, cut out the shapes and glue on the tags.
Place stickers or write “Chores” on one tag and “Reward” on the other.
Attach the chalkboard tag and reward tag onto one of the jars, and attach the chores tag to the other.
How to use the reward jar system…..
First, determine what the reward will be and write it on the chalkboard tag attached to the reward jar. The chalkboard tag is handy, because if your young one changes their mind, it’s easy to erase and rewrite the desired reward. Plus it can be used over again for future rewards!
Each time the child completes a chore on his list, he gets to move a glass rock from the chore jar to the reward jar. When all the rocks have been moved, he receives the reward listed on the jar! Hooray!
It is a good idea to start slow when introducing chores. For example, start with establishing a morning routine with small measurable tasks such as:
- Brush teeth
- Brush hair
- Get dressed
- Make bed
Then add in some age appropriate chores, creating this list together with the child will get their buy-in and motivate them to accomplish the tasks. Here are some examples of toddler age chores:
- Help prep meals
- Dirty clothes in hamper
- Fold newly washed washcloths and hand towels
- Match socks
- Clean up toys
Feed the dog
- Water plants
- Play with siblings
- Unload silverware from dishwasher
We love our new reward system! Goodbye poster board and stickers!
Hello, helpful motivated child of mine! 🙂