It doesn’t seem to happen very often, but every once in a while I hit upon something that just really works for one of my kids. The other day we had such an experience! With as many things as we have going on this fall, remembering those mundane, daily activities like helping Jessica brush and floss her teeth has become rather challenging (very embarrassing given that my dad is a dentist)! So….in order to increase the percentage of times we are remembering those pesky daily hygiene tasks, I created Jessica a chore chart! I had to modify the way we did it because in some ways Jessica is more like a 2 year old than an almost 4 year old. Here is a picture of this week’s chore chart:
First of all, there are pictures of all of her “chores” instead of words. If it is a “chore” that has to be done twice in one day (like brushing her teeth), then one has a sun drawn beside it and the other has a moon and stars drawn beside it. Since I make a new chart each week, I can add new “chores” whenever I think we are ready! Also, I knew that she would not grasp the concept of a sticker representing a penny or earning x number of stickers means you get ___. So, I made the boxes large enough that we could tape pennies directly onto her chart! She is also not responsible at this time for remembering to complete her “chores.” We help her remember now. Eventually though, she will be responsible for remembering herself. At the end of the week, we take all of the pennies off and put them in her bank. In order to use the opportunity to begin to teach Jessica about budgeting, I bought her a special bank that I found at christianbooks.com
Jessica was excited about getting a package in the mail and enjoyed helping put all of the stickers on her new bank! I was excited because I knew the visual nature of her bank would allow me to teach her a little about budgeting! The bank has 3 compartments that look like 3 buildings: a church, a store, and a bank. At the end of the week we divided her pennies into 4 equal parts. 1 part went into the church. 1 part went into the bank, and 2 parts went into the store. The next day, we took the pennies out of the church and took them to church to give to God (that was only slightly traumatic). Then that afternoon we took her to the Dollar Tree to pick out a toy to buy. It took quite a while for her to make a decision, but she was very proud of her purchase! Once we got home, she informed me that we needed to go to the bank next! I wasn’t planning to open her up her own savings account for a few more years, but I figure since she is interested I had better jump on it!! One of my next steps will be to replace the pennies with penny stickers and eventually just regular stickers. One baby step at a time….