I was cleaning out a cabinet last week and found this chore assigning tool. I don't even remember how old the kids were when we used it. I doubt they even remember it. But, the more I thought about it, the more brilliant it became. It was free to make, could work for any size family, and the chores could change with the season and abilities. Wow, at some point, I was smart!
So here is what I did...
I saved some toilet paper rolls and covered them with construction paper. You could also use fun duct tape, but they only made silver back then in the good old days. Then label each tube with a person's name.
Write chores on popsicle sticks. Think outside the box and make some EASY chores and some that stretch your kids ability some. Then, give up some perfection...you are training them to help you and eventually be self sufficient adults. That is worth a poorly folded towel in the long run. Reward effort and calmly show them HOW to do it. And, if you are going to redo it, don't let them see you.
Assign chores by placing the stick in the appropriate tube. When that person finishes the chore, they get to move their stick to the empty tube.
I personally think that it is important for Mom and Dad to have a tube. That way kids realize that we have jobs too. We aren't just giving all the jobs to them. Everyone works in a family. This would be especially important if you do chores while they are sleeping.
At the end of the week or day, assign new chores. There should be consequences for failure to move your stick or failure to complete your chore. (The best one in my house was "no tv" till it is done. As they got older it became "no screen time" - screens include computers, handhelds, tvs, XBOX, etc)
Now that I've spent all those years training my kiddos, they are leaving me to go to college where there truly IS a Dish Fairy...you put your dishes on this belt and they disappear behind the wall and are magically cleaned. Man, I want one of those...
*Chores even little kids can do...
unload silverware basket in dishwasher
unload plastics in dishwasher
feed the dog
pick up their toys
pick up their dirty clothes