Chore Charts and an American Girl

chore charts for kids
Last week during Lydia’s rest time, she and I counted the money in her piggy bank. And by piggy bank, I mean 3 jars and a giant Snow White bank from her Papa. She has been saving her money for the last 2 years (at least) for an American Girl doll.

I knew she had about $75 in there but an American Girl is over $100! I didn’t think she was close enough even after birthday money and some happy $5 bills my aunt recently sent. We counted the cash first. When we got to $75 in cash, I was kind of shocked. She still had a load of quarters and change to go! We continued to count and suddenly we were up to 89, 90, 91, 92, 93–we got up to $96! We were dumbfounded! Lydia started giggling and running around the room with excitement.

In order to get the doll and the hardback book, Lydia needed to earn a few more bucks, so I bumped up a project that had been halfway done for a few weeks–chore charts!

I’ve tried assorted chore charts with nominal success. I researched a few and settled on one I hope will work!

diy chart for chores

It’s so simple–just a mini cookie sheet (I got mine at the dollar store), some wooden coins and small magnets (at Michael’s with the 40% off coupon!) and some stickers (I used vinyl and cut it out with my mom’s Cricut).

I couldn’t think of a better title than CHORES, so I cut that out. Then I cut out three big stars to put on the bottom.

Next, I glued magnets to wooden coins. Then wrote chores (mainly chores I hate to do and the kids are old enough to do) with money values on each coin.

kids chore chart diy

I put all the chores available on top. If the kids do one of the chores, they move the magnet under the stars and every Sunday I count them up and pay them!

This is a general all-kids chart and is kept in the kitchen for the kids to do as they please. The big rule with this chart is they only get paid if they do it on their own. If I ask them to take out the trash or clean off the stairs–no money for them. These chores have to be done at some point and if they take the initiative and do it before I make them (or do it myself!) they’ll be rewarded.

I made two other charts with the kids’ names on top instead of “chores”. The magnets on these boards have basic everyday responsibilities that they do NOT get paid for: brush teeth, make bed, do dishes, etc. Honestly, I’m still working those out because I’d like to color coat them and say all red magnets need to be done daily and blue magnets done weekly. But I haven’t figured it out quite yet!

So far this big money-making chart has been a hit! Lydia earned her last few dollars and we headed to the American Girl Store and Bistro during Spring Break. Here’s a few pictures of my sweet girl meeting her new BFF, Rebecca…

american girl store atlanta
Standing in line with the big box!

kids chores

The American Girl star sticker only given to girls who buy their own American Girl! (The cashier said, “I don’t give out many of those!”)

american girl rebecca

Together at last!

Our kids are still young, so our chores/allowance philosophy is always evolving. Lydia and I read Three Cups, a fictional story that explains the Save-Give-Spend idea. We have her three jars (which is actually four jars to include a SORT jar for when she finds money around the house or earns an odd amount that can’t be divided easily). I am sure we’ll flesh this out more as she gets older and actually wants cash jingling in her purse. But for now, this was a BIG accomplishment for our little girl!

How do you handle chores, allowances and saving for BIG items?

{ooh, I just found the post about when Lydia first started saving for her American Girl! Almost THREE years ago!}


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