Mornings with my kids used to be so stressful and unproductive. I couldn't get them to do the SAME things as I verbally told them. My son wouldn't get dressed and my daughter was always running around not sure what to do even though I kept telling her. So, I needed to come up with a system where I was not the one to tell them what to do.
I have tried many chore systems to help my kids in the morning before breakfast: stickers, magnets, charts, etc. Nothing has worked! I needed something that would help them to be independent, accountable and that was something they could do themselves. I didn't want to have to keep up with it.
So, I came up with this stick and ball idea.
Here's how it works:
*Each child has a 2 jars (small and large), sticks with chores on them and a bunch of puff balls (I count them to make sure there are a sufficient amount).
*On the sticks I write chores that need to be done BEFORE breakfast. Most are quick and easy, but some take a few minutes longer.
*Each night or in the morning before they get up I put out their sticks.
*When they get up, they do everything on their sticks. When they get a stick job done, they put it in the little jar.
*At breakfast, they count up the sticks and put that many balls in the big jar. I also keep the extra balls in a baggie in the same big jar.
*When the jar is filled and baggie is empty they get a reward- dollar store purchase, candy, any special prize I think of.
*It takes them about 2-3 weeks to fill the jar.
*Then we put all the sticks back in the big jar and put the little jar on top. ALL DONE! I only have to put out the sticks and the kids take care of the rest! Simple, easy and the jobs get done.
So, what are the job?
*Breakfast (set it out)
*Fill water bottles
*Feed and water cat
*Laundry (bring it down)
*Bed sheets (take them off and bring down)
*Check in with mom
They do not do all these every day, but I have them do about 4-6.
This has made our mornings (mostly) smooth, the kids are working and being responsible for their own jobs. It's amazing! I've been doing this for about a month and it works so well.
And my kids, well, they like it and they are very proud of themselves and so am I.
I do have a different system for other household chores that we do after breakfast which is even more simple, but I'll share that in another post.