“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!” -Mary Poppins
I saw the model for this project in a speech-language pathologist’s room. I’m fortunate to know many SLPs and they always have the cutest, coolest stuff for kids. My friend told me she had adapted this to a chore checklist for her now 4 year-old son about a year ago. My Bear just turned 3 so I thought this might be a good way to introduce him to household responsibilities. She even gave me this fancy folder to get me started and some magnet squares. I love SLPs.
On to the Chore Checklist!
You need: a file folder, scissors, some glue,8 small pieces of adhesive magnet, and a writing device and paper (I used a computer because I prefer it to drawing).
1. Choose 3-4 chores for your toddler. At this age, you will have more success with very specific directions that include 1-2 object(s) (books) and 1 place (the shelf). Try, “Put your books on the shelf” instead of “Clean up your room.”
I chose: put your Legos in the tub, put your clothes in the hamper, put the trains and tracks on the train table, and feed the dog.
2. Cut out 4 squares or rectangles with your jobs listed on them. You’ll also want to make some type of decoration to go on the front (4 more squares/rectangles). I used numbers.
Make sure they fit before you get too far into it. I measured wrong had to redo all my boxes. 😦
3. Get your file folder.
Cut off the top so that you have a straight edge across the top. (I really have a straight edge, I just took the picture at a weird angle.)
4. Lay out how you want your front design to look. Make sure you leave 1 inch at the top. Glue down your decorations.
5. Next, cut 1 inch off ONLY the front part of the folder. Then make 4 cuts down the same front side only. The back piece should remain solid.
5. Now you will add the squares with your chores and the magnets to the inside bottom portion of your folder.
6. Adhere your remaining 4 magnet squares to the top portion of the folder. I found the easiest way to match up the magnets was to adhere one side and then peel off the back and stick it to the one already pressed down.
I then closed the folder and pressed on the spot where the magnet was and it stuck in place.
Continue with the rest of the magnets.
Now I could have stopped here (and you can if you’d like!), but I had purchased some train clip art from Maree Truelove’s Etsy shop that I’d wanted to use on something. (BTW- everything in her shop including this train art is 50% off right now!)
I liked how as The Bear completes a job he gets to cover up a piece of the train. It would be fun to tailor this part to your child’s interests.
Note: I tried putting magnets on the back (a lot of them) so I could stick it to the fridge, but it kept falling off. Instead I just used a big clip and I’ll keep my eye out for something “train-ish” to replace it.
Tonight I introduced it to the Bear and he LOVED it which kind of surprised me. He did the jobs to the best of his ability and I praised him, helped him, and avoided pointing out toys/clothes he had overlooked. I’ll have plenty of years to fine tune this skill, but for tonight I wanted him to be excited about “doing his work” (his words!).