Tag Archives: crafts

Family Chore/Job Center & Chalkboard Door

Some time ago I decided I needed to do something different for our chore charts. I wanted a job for hire board. I thought about checklists to help the kids remember the daily things they needed to do. I thought about regular rotating chore charts. It seemed like a lot of different charts to have to make. I looked all over pinterest and nothing stood out to me until I found this amazing idea. It seemed pretty involved as far as making it, but I loved the look and a lot of the ideas behind it – especially because it had all the charts I wanted in one place. I decided to see what Paul thought, since I would enlist him in building it, and he agreed. After a few months (mainly because we had so many other things demanding out attention that we kept shoving it aside) we finally got it completed today. I had a number of requests on Facebook for more details and some close-ups, so I obliged.

First off, here is what the whole thing looks like:

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The ladder was not hard to build and Paul has a saw and  such, so I put him to work. He cut and sanded and painted. We have two pieces running along the back that we fixed the head board and all the smaller ladder boards on. I don’t really know dimensions – we just looked at the picture I found on pinterest and then we figured how big we wanted to make ours for the space where we wanted to put it.  I could have done it myself probably, but power saws and such make me nervous (I mean, good grief, look at what I did with a lawn mower and my toe in high school, lol).

Then I got to do the fun part.  I’ll start from the bottom up.

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We talked about a bunch of ways we wanted to do the kids chore chart & checklists, and finally I decided I liked the clipboards the best for a number of reasons – namely they required the least amount of extra work.  These were plain brown boring ones I got at Staples for $2 a piece. I painted them to make them more interesting.  On the bottom is their daily checklist – it’s fixed permanently onto the clipboard. These are the things we expect of them daily simply because they are alive.  They are all pretty self explanatory except possibly “Your Stuff” which means to make sure your stuff is gathered and put away from around the house & “Observe” where we want them to observe 1 thing in the house that needs to be done and then do it without being asked. I laminated the cards so they can mark them off each day with a dry erase marker. If they complete their checklist for the day, they get to check the day off up above. Once a week I will give them a ticket for each day they completed their checklist.

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The top card on the clipboard is the rotating chore job. They have 2 chores each week: a kitchen chore and a household chore. Those are laminated for durability and get moved each Sunday. On them I listed what I expected to be done daily & weekly in each chore area.

The next section of my board consists of a row of buckets. Target has adorable buckets for $1 I love color so I got colorful ones (and I might trade them out if other more colorful ones appear). You will find them in the $ section close to where you walk in. The buckets are utilitarian in purpose – that’s where we put the tickets they earn and store the dry erase markers for the kids to mark their checklists with.

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Finally comes the upper section:

Just above the buckets is a little picture frame where I can write (in dry erase) the date of the next reward day (we will probably have one about once a month or so) and a list of what they can order with their tickets. We will probably change this up from time to time, but it’s a way to use incentives to motivate them. Then we have the Service bucket. Paul and I decided we wanted to have a spot where anyone could put in service they see needs to be done or would like to have done. The kids can pull out an act of service and complete it. Also in the service bucket is a dry erase marker & a regular pen (we though we might have an issue with ticket transference from one kid’s bucket to another, so the idea was proposed by our oldest to write names on the tickets so there can be no confusion). Finally is a little box where we keep help wanted chore cards and we might poke an eraser in there for chart cleaning, etc.

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Across the top and above the little black box are our chore for hire cards. These are chores above and beyond what we would typically ask and are willing to pay for. We are pretty cheap parents and don’t pay much (mostly because we can’t afford to shell $10 out a kid each week, heh), but it gives them an opportunity to learn to work for a wage. We sat down and made a list of what chores we felt were above and beyond and the amount we were willing to pay and I made a set of cards. I’m sure I will add on to them as time goes and we think of more things. As we see or feel the need for certain jobs to be done we will clip them up – they are first come first serve and the child will bring us the card when they are finished. We will inspect and then pay them. Some people keep the money with the card – we don’t because #1 it can be a temptation to wander away with sticky fingers & #2 many jobs are under $1 or depend on how much is done (such as cupboard washing – we pay 10 cents a cupboard so it all depends on how many cupboards they wash). Finally, on the end is the roll of tickets. I think I mentioned earlier that these can be earned (1 each day) by completing the entire check list on the the clipboard.

At some point we will put some cute saying, quote or maybe just Chore Center in the black above the work for hire section, but I haven’t decided what I want there yet.

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SO there you have it – our chore center largely copied from the one I found on Pinterest with a few things changed to fit our family personally. We screwed eye screws into the back and strung picture wire between them for hanging. When we put it up, we rearranged things to have our FHE chart, family clock, and blessings board (a really cute present from an awesome friend) all nearby.  It’s beside our front door and takes center stage in our living area to help us all remember to actively do our part in helping the home run smoothly.

Do you have a chore chart you love? How do you involve your kids in daily household doings? Share your success/fail (because we all have those too) stories in the comments!

I recently chalkboarded the door too, so it has become a center of family fun as well.  We did it with DIY chalkboard paint!

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This was super easy and cheap to do. To make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want all you have to do is add 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout to 1 cup of paint and mix it really well. I chose a dark brown color (I felt black would be too dark) and since I was just doing 1 door, I bought a sample from Lowes for $3.50. Add the grout in just before you are ready to paint as it will gradually thicken and get clumpy after a time (a friend gave me her box when she was moving, but it’s not terribly expensive and lasts forever – so ask around if you know anyone who has grouted recently, or get a box to share because all of your friends will want to do this when they see your awesome door! lol).

Once your door is painted and completely dry, prep it by rubbing white chalk all over it in circular motions, then go back and erase it in circular motions and then voila you have an amazing chalkboard door that will be the hit of your home!

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We celebrated our 18th anniversary on Monday! Woot! Robert was very proud of his “first boat ever, Mom!”.

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Christmas!!

Well, I pulled off a home made Christmas! Though we had some wonderful contributions from others – so it wasn’t all home made, though my portion was.

Anyway, it was SO much fun, and a ton of work, and a huge success! So, per demand by my non-facebook user friends here are the long awaited for photos (since they involved some of Paul’s presents, I had to wait until after Christmas to post)

Robert made Story stones for his brothers and sisters (he made a set for himself too for after Christmas) and and a picture frame for Dad from when we made the alphabet – it says “LUV”

Gifts from Robert!

One of the highlights (and funnest things for me to make ) Were the Hary Potter wands – our of paper and hot glue! I also made everyone spell books, and I made the kids robes too.

Harry Potter

Every year we do pajamas, this year I had material I had found clearenced earlier in the year, so I made all the kids Lizard pj pants and Lizy shirts! I made Paul and I Lizy shirts too.

Lizard Pajamas

Since we gave the kids the pajamas early – at Thanksgiving – I made Lizy Lizard slippers for the whole family (Dad and I included). Santa Dad brought these to everyone on Christmas Eve.

Lizy Lizard Slippers

I made Paul this Nativity & gave it to him early.

Nativity

Operation Incognito was a huge hit! I made the beards and mustaches and found the fedoras & glasses at the dollar store.

Operation Incognito!

For each of the kids I made a peg people set – I made the peg people out of wood pieces I had laying around. Paul cut blocks for me for backgrounds. I painted (quickly and not very well) a background for each set on one side of the blocks and on the otherside I painted a chalkboard so they can design their own sets.

Peg People

Probably the thing I was most excited about was this Star Wars chess set I made for Paul.

Star Wars Chess Set

Paul decided I should attempt the deathly hallows – so here are the invisible cloak, elder wand, and resurrection stone – inside a snitch that opens and closes. Paul helped me with the snitch. 🙂

The Deathly Hallows

For each of the kids I made a neat art carrying case. It has big pockets for notebooks and such on one side and small slots for crayons, colored pencils, etc. on the other side.

Art Bags

I made Paul this backgammon board – though he made the tray! I didn’t tell him what I was going to do with the tray, I just asked him if he could build me one. Then I painted it and turned it into a backgammon board and gave it to him for Christmas.

Backgammon for Paul!

Home made Bananagrams game! I’m excited to play this with the kiddos.

Bananagrams

Dot made fort kits for the boys, some beautiful jewelry for Em, and a neat picture cube (out of old CD cases) for Paul to store things in on his desk.

Gifts from Dorothy

Emily made the boys stick horses, Dot a jar with “156 reasons why we love you” in it, and a picture cube (like Dot made) for Dad.

Gifts from Em!

Jacob made all the siblings tic tac toe games (and one for himself for after Christmas) and a picture for Dad that says “DAD”

Gifts from Jacob!

James made prayer rocks for the siblings (and one for himself for after Christmas) and a frame for Dad that spelled “FUN”. He also made with Dad, that neat American flag for me! – he drew up the plans on a piece of paper and asked Dad to help him build it. He painted it all himself (with a little help from Dad on the stars). It’s pretty awesome!

Gifts from James

I think I got everything captured here! It was fun and wonderful and full of miracles that I will have to write about here really soon. For now, I need to go celebrate James’ birthday! He’s 6 today!!

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Project Christmas Part 2!

So, the craftiness continues!

I have been having a blast coming up with cool creative things to make the kids for Christmas. The trick is, I am trying to use what I have on hand and not spend money – unless I desperately need some little thing to finish. These I was able to do all with what I had at home – except for the books – I got little 4×6 photo albums for those – cheap ones.

Anyway, so Part 2 consists of:

Harry Potter Wands, Boxes, & Spell books!

The kids still love HP – Em just finished the seventh book recently and Jacob just started the 1st this week. So, Em was HP for Halloween and the kids (even little Robert) dart around casting whichever spell they can remember. Mainly they just drop to the floor. I thought it would be fun to make them honest to goodness wands & boxes and then a book with all the different spells and what they can do so they can play even more & creatively too!

I even made a set for Paul and I so we can join in too!

This is the full set – the boxes are made from gift boxes – the fabric is some left over fabric from some stockings I made ages back for an awesome family. I found the labels & box numbers online, and the wands are made from Paper & hot glue. I found an awesome list of spells on Harry Potter Wiki that not only listed spells and what they did, but pronunciation & etymology – though there wasn’t room in my book for the etymology, I will print off a master copy which include it – it’s really cool and teaches lots of latin!  In the book I also included the Hogwarts school song, proper care of a wand, Rules for Duelling, & potions (fun recipes for slime, butter beer, play doh, etc).

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All 7 wands

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I am really stoked about this! I think the kids are going to have a ton of fun! And I think Paul & I will too!! I can’t wait!!!

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Look at me, getting crafty!

It can happen, you know!

I really do like to make things – call me a closet crafter, lol.

Often I just don’t have much time between kids and writing and life,

but this year things are a little tight and we had some unexpected expenses in the last week

the kind that make you think….

“Hmmmm… I have a bunch of crafty stuff laying around, I wonder if I could make Christmas?”

So, I got started, and I’m having a blast.

One of the ideas I saw & loved was to make peg dolls – pinterest is covered with them. But, the tricky part for me was that I didn’t have any peg dolls on hand & going out and buying them would defeat the whole “let’s save money” mindset.

So, I dug out my box of wood crafts. I don’t even know where I got most of them – I think someone handed them to me at one point and I said “cool! thinking they’d come in handy someday for kid crafts or who knows what.”

In my box I found a bunch of wood balls and beads in varying sizes & a bunch of wood candle cups in varying sizes. After playing around with things for a while. I flipped the candle cups upside down and set beads or balls on top (depending on the size.

Voila!! 

I had peg people!!

I was immensely excited and began hot gluing away – the plan being to make 5 sets of 5 (1 for each kid). The only downside to this whole process was the few layers of skin I took of my finger with hot glue – OUCH!!!

Anyway, not only do I have nifty peg people, but mine are even cooler because you can stick your fingers in them and use them like little wooden finger puppets too! Gotta love those upside down candle cups.

I spent the morning painting the first group – I’m not the most amazing artist, but I really had a lot of fun 😀

So, here is my first set – this is a Super Hero set which will go to Jamesy (don’t tell!!!)

Super Hero Peg People

 

Here are the other 4 sets to look forward to:

Star Wars (Jacob)

Sesame Street (Robert – these will all be done bigger – Incredible Hulk size)

Harry Potter (Em)

Wizard of Oz (Dot)

Wish me luck! We’ll see how they go 😀

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