Magnetic Chore Chart

 

DIY Magnetic Daily and Weekly Chore Chart - projectsinparenting.com

As a parent, I feel it’s an essential part of my job to teach my kids how to help out around the house and learn how to become a productive member of the household. They all attended Montessori Preschool, which I feel really jumpstarted them to recognize most “chores” as “practical life skills”. Whichever term you choose to use, I’ve found that most children enjoy helping out with these daily tasks and it’s a great way to teach them responsibility, independence, and self-sufficiency.

Although my kids have been great at wanting to be involved in household duties, as they’ve gotten older it’s been more of a challenge getting them motivated for regular chores — and nearly impossible to get them enthusiastic about completing them on a daily basis.

We’ve tried a good handful of ways to motivate our kids, but the most successful has definitely been the regular use of a chore chart. It not only provides motivation, but has also begun helping us teach them financial responsibility. One key to being successful has been getting the chores organized in writing – then there’s no question about who’s responsible for what on a given day.

After quite a few trial runs and alterations, below is the Magnetic Chore Chart we now use to keep us organized and help our family life run just a bit smoother.

DIY Magnetic Daily and Weekly Chore Chart - projectsinparenting.com

With the understanding that as the children grow, our household expectations may change and their chores will be reevaluated and tailored to their age level. I designed this chart so it can grow with us – easily being able to change and swap out chores as needed. In the future, perhaps adjust allowance amounts as well.

One of the most important things we are trying to teach them right now is that money comes from work, so rather than freely receiving an allowance, our kids earn their money by completing tasks. After they complete a chore, they simply move the corresponding Magnetic Pin to the jar with their name. On Sundays – payday – the kids trade in their pins for the cash they’ve earned.

They each get ONE daily task and ONE weekly task. Having three children, that has been the most realistic expectation for us, as well as not overwhelming to track (for them and myself). Since they also sometimes ask to help with additional chores, I listed those in the ‘Bonus’ section. These are not expected, but an extra way for them to earn cash.

Magnetic Chore Chart Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

I have to say, it has been nice to pass some responsibility over to my kids — waking up to an empty dishwasher has been glorious! Most importantly, I love seeing them learn new practical life skills and confidently contribute to the household.

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”  – Denis Waitley

Halloween Party Games

Halloween Party Games with FREE Printables - projectsinparenting.com

I volunteered as Room Parent for the first time this year and found out I’ll be rolling solo. At first I got nervous, realizing a seasoned Room Parent wasn’t going to take me under their wing and show me how to throw a class party. Then I realized it’s probably a great thing because it allows me to get creative and come up with new and fresh ideas!

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I couldn’t be happier it’s my first class party to plan. Ghosts, zombies, vampires, mummies and witches – what’s not to love?? In the *spirit* of coming up with unique ideas, I created these spooktacularly fun and simple DIY games…

Zombie Ball

Rules: 2+ players race to knock down a row of zombie-themed water bottles, using only a ball dangling from a stocking on their head.

 

 

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Preparation: Using these FREE Printable Plants vs. Zombies inspired labels –  I wrapped them around the water bottles (sized to Ice Mountain), adhered them over the existing labels using double sided tape, and sealed the two ends together with packaging tape (which happened to be the perfect width for the seam). To knock down the zombies, I used these black stockings stuffed with an old tennis ball.

CLICK HERE for FREE Printable Zombie Water Bottle Labels.

Frankenstein Fishing

Rules: Players take turns catching Frankenstein Fish. Each fish has a letter on the back, which the players use to work together and come up with as many Halloween themed words as possible.

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Preparation: I used this Frankenstein Fishing Printable, cut out the rows of fish and attached a paperclip to each tail. I then used contact paper to laminate them for extra durability, and cut out the shape of each fish. For catching the fish, I used a magnetic fishing pole I happened to have.

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CLICK HERE for FREE Printable Frankenstein Fishing Word Scramble.

Skull Toss

Rules: Players toss mini skulls into 3 black jack-‘o-lantern buckets, each containing a prize. I used spider rings in the 1st, vampire fangs in the 2nd, and glow in the dark bouncy balls in the 3rd (each player receives only one from each bucket).

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Halloween How-to-Draw

This will be a drawing station where each student receives a pumpkin drawing pad and skeleton pens (Thank you Target Dollar Spot!) along with a packet of Halloween themed How-to-Draw sheets – like this easy to follow Haunted House from Art Projects for Kids. Google and Pinterest are great for more resources!

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Now that my planning and game creation is complete – I have 2 days till the Halloween Party… Wish me luck!

Related: Room on the Broom Inspired Scavenger Hunt

“Zombies – They love you for what’s on the inside.”

 

Father’s Day Questionnaire

Happy Father's Day Free Printable Questionnaire, All About Me - projectsinparenting.com

Two of my absolute favorite things: Children’s drawings and unfiltered kid honesty. 🙂

I created this Father’s Day printable because, as a mom, I always enjoy getting questionnaires from my kids. Whether it’s their coloring, personalized drawings or thoughtful answers – I love that their choices come straight from their little hearts. And lets be honest, some of their responses are simply hilarious!

Happy Father's Day Free Printable Questionnaire, All About Me - projectsinparenting.com

Click HERE to download the above free printable.

Smaller kids may need help writing down answers to these questions, but all kids will enjoy coloring in the pictures and drawing dad with this fun Father’s Day printable!

 

Related Posts:

Thank you Coloring Page  DIY Childrens Artwork Canvas Tote Bag

Encouraging Kindness with Bucket Filling Gem Jars

Encouraging Kindness with Bucket Filling Gem Jars

I’ve always encouraged my kids to “be kind” and “use kind words” but when there was an excess of crabbiness and bickering in our household, I invested in a book called ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud‘. It literally changed our language around the concept of kindness to the point where “You are dipping in my bucket!” and “Did I fill your bucket?” have become common phrases in our house.

Image result for have you filled a bucket today

Using a simple metaphor and explaining kindness in a way that children can grasp immediately, this book encourages positive behavior and explains how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis. It’s the perfect introduction to self-awareness and feelings, and beautifully helps kids visualize how their actions and words impact others.

To immerse ourselves a bit deeper in the concept of this book, I created a worksheet for the kids to help think through and specifically list out what “fills their bucket” and “dips in their bucket”. It was fun discussing the results as a family and interesting discovering what differences they had based on their individual personalities and/or love language(s).

Have You Filled a Bucket Today - Bucket Filling Worksheet - Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Click Image to Download Free Printable

In an effort to encourage more “bucket filling” behavior into our daily life, as well as help visualize and reinforce the book’s concept of how “filling other people’s buckets also helps to fill our own”, I created these Gem Jars.

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Supplies for DIY Gem Jars:

General rules for our Gem Jars:

  1. Mom or Dad rewards an individual for “bucket filling” behavior / acts of kindness with a big or small gem – at their discretion, based on the specific act.
  2. There is no removal of gems for bucket dipping behavior. This is meant to detour any tattling on negative behavior, as our goal is to focus on and encourage positive behavior.
  3. It is perfectly acceptable to perform a bucket filling act specifically to ask for a gem. However, Mom or Dad may deny the gem for any reason (you’d be surprised at some of the stuff they come up with, lol).
  4. Children are encouraged to inform parents of their sibling’s kind acts so the bucket filler can receive a gem.
  5. When a child fills their Gem Jar, they receive a reward. Reward options are provided by Mom or Dad. Example rewards include: A specific toy/book/gift we know they want, 1:1 time with Mom/Dad like going to a movie, dinner at their favorite restaurant, out for ice cream, etc.

We have been using our Gem Jars for almost a year now and I’m happy to report that there has definitely been an increase in kindness and helping behavior around these parts. While I can honestly say I saw an immediate impact on my children’s behavior after reading this book and using our gem jars, I’m not going to pretend it’s some kind of miracle fix. I am just happy that it helped them become more self-aware and realize how their behavior impacts the people around them. Sure, sometimes they go out of their way to do kind things only because they want a gem – but hey, that’s the point! To be honest, I am especially proud of those moments when I see them clearly making a conscious effort to do something kind, when otherwise they may not have done so. When they are actively trying their best to be kind, everyone is happier. By putting happiness into terms the kids can understand and use, I think it really has helped them understand the effects of their actions and words on their own well being, as well as the well being of others. I couldn’t be more proud of my little bucket fillers!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” -Dalai Lama

Continent, Country & Flag Identification

Color Coded Continents Countries and Flags Puzzle Identification - Hands on Learning - projectsinparenting.com
Since my boys were 3 years old, this US Foam Puzzle has been a favorite go-to of theirs. At 1st it was just fun for them to put together, but as they got older it became a great learning tool. They are now familiar with most US states, their shape, general location, as well as some facts we’ve learned along the way.

Jacob has been asking about the difference between city, state, country and continent lately, so I wanted to come up with a hands-on way for him to understand the bigger picture. Since they enjoyed the other foam puzzle so much, I decided to purchase this World Map Puzzle with Flags & Capitals. Understandably due to size constraints, it doesn’t include EVERY flag in the world. If it did, I think that would be too overwhelming anyway. The puzzle has a total of 65 flags (based mainly on country size) which seems to be the perfect start.

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The foam puzzle, flags and map provided are great. Unfortunately there is no ‘key’ to know where each flag goes. I was able to figure it out using the original sticker sheet, but both Jacob and Evan were at a complete loss putting the puzzle together without my help. To give them the independence of easily figuring it out on their own, I created a color-coded diagram showing all of the 65 flags and the corresponding country by continent. I also made a color-coordinating continent map for easy reference.

Click on image below for FREE Printable:

Hands-on Learning, Color Coded Continents, Countries and Flags - projectsinparenting.com
Hands-on Learning - Color Coded Continents, Countries and Flags - projectsinparenting.com

Once I gave them my diagrams (other than some adorably incorrect pronunciations) – easy peasy. Both Jacob and Evan were able to correctly identify 65 flags, place them in their corresponding country, and understand which continent they belonged to as well!

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I have no doubt this puzzle will be another one of their favorites – learning more as they grow and discovering new things each time they complete it.   🙂

Related: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book
Related: Constellation Sticker Craft

“Without geography, you are nowhere.”

Dinosaur Valentine Printable

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Sweet, sweet Evan. My dino-loving, Lego master. When I came across these Dinosaur Building Block Figures, I just had to get them for his Valentines.

To go along with the theme and Evan’s appreciation for a good joke, I created these silly T-Rex Valentines to attach to each building block bag.

To create your own T-Rex Dinosaur Valentine, download my printable here.
Dinosaur t-rex valentine printable - Valentine's Day Card

Other favor ideas to pair with this Valentine…
Dinosaur Temporary Tattoos (Option #2)
Make Your Own Dinosaur Stickers
Dinosaur Squirting Bath Toys (Option #2)
Wikki Sticks & Dinosaur Stickers
Dinosaur Stress Balls
Dinosaur Pez Dispensers

Have a dino-mite Valentine’s Day!

Related: Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine
DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards

“When you are upset, just imagine a T-Rex making a bed.”

Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine

DIY Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine with Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Jacob has been into origamis lately, so for Valentine’s Day this year I purchased these fun Papercraft Robot Cards. The thick, plastic-like cards are pre-cut and creased, which makes them durable and easy for little hands to work with. No cutting or sticking is required – just pop-out and fold!

To go along with them, I created this simple Robot Valentine. We stuffed both of them into fun blue envelopes I had leftover from the boys’ birthday (similar ones available on Amazon), but they could easily be attached by simply using a paperclip. Now Jacob is just “a bot” ready for his Valentine’s Day party at school!

To create your own Robot Valentine, download the FREE printable here.

Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine with Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

If you would like smaller Valentines, click here for a PDF with 4 per page.

Other favor ideas for this DIY Robot Valentine:
Make Your Own Robot Stickers
Robot Erasers
Robot Fidget Toy

Related: Mermaid Valentine Printable
Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable
Related: DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards
Related: Super Hero Valentine’s Day Cards

“Are you a robot – or do you think for yourself?”

Mermaid Valentine Printable

DIY Mermaid Valentine Printable - Mermaid Valentine's Day Card

For Valentine’s Day this year, I started by looking up some fun favors on Amazon and presenting them to the kids. Avery was super stoked about the flippy sequin bracelets I found, so we went with a Mermaid theme.

Inspired by her favorite color at the moment – GOLD, I created this super sparkly mermaid Valentine. Paired with the sequin bracelet favors and signed using my glitter pens, Avery’s definitely ready to make a splash at her school celebration!

Favor ideas to pair with this Valentine:
Mermaid Sequin Bracelet (as shown in photo above)
Mermaid Folding Paper Fans
Sequin Mermaid Tail Keychains
Mermaid Favor Assortment (Stamps, Stickers & Tattoos)
Glitter Spiral Notepad / Pencils
Mermaid Tattoos
Depending on your favor, you can tie it on with string, attach with double sided tape, or use a fun glitter or mermaid Washi tape.

To create your own Mermaid Valentine Printable, download here.
Mermaid Valent's Day Printable Card - projectsinparenting.com

Related: Unicorn Valentine Printable
DIY Heart Breaker Valentine’s Day Cards
Build a Robot Papercraft Valentine

“Be a mermaid and make waves.”

Christmas Tree Yarn Craft

Christmas Tree Yarn Craft FREE Printable - projectsinparenting.com

My kids recently made a God’s Eye craft and enjoyed it so much, they asked to do “more things with yarn.”

‘Tis the season – so I came up with this quick and easy Christmas Tree Yarn Craft.

Things you will need:
FREE Printable
Screw Hole Punch (or a 1-hole paper punch)
Yarn (ideally green)
Scissors
Tape
Star Stickers (I used chip board glitter stickers I found at my local craft store – Here is a similar Amazon alternative or this one)
Cutting Mat (if using Screw Hole Punch)

STEP ONE:
Print template – FREE Printable here.

STEP TWO:
Punch holes where gray dots are on the template. If you are using a 1-hole paper punch you will need to cut around the tree silhouette leaving just enough space to reach with your hole puncher.

STEP THREE:
Prep yarn string sections (approximately 2-3 feet each, for easy kid-handling) by tying a knot at one end and wrapping the other end with a piece of tape (this helps to feed the yarn through the holes).

STEP FOUR:
Starting with the knotted end in back, feed yarn through the holes to create yarn tree. NOTE: I used several sections of yarn to complete the entire Christmas tree. After each section runs out and you can’t feed any more of the section through, tie the loose/taped-end in back, so that the tree does not unravel.

STEP FIVE:
Top with star sticker…. And if you’re inspired to get creative – feel free to color it and add your own personal touch like Avery did.

STEP SIX:
Have a Merry Christmas!!   🎄

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” -Burton Hillis

Related Post: Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas Color-Coded Piano
Related Post: Stained Glass Sun Catcher Ornament

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book Banner.jpg

We recently invested in a full-size digital piano and expanded our song list from my original post: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Sheets. I also switched the orientation of the pages (from horizontal to vertical). Doing so allowed me to create a beginner piano music book that sits nicely in the sheet stand. All I had to do was print them out, slide them into page protectors and insert the sheets into a 3-ring binder. To label our keys, I created these Removable Color Coded Piano Key Labels. Another option that coordinates exactly and are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards are these Color Coding Dot Labels (they just don’t remove as nicely).

Simple enough for my 4 year old to catch on quickly – this color coded piano music book has been such a confidence booster in my children’s ability to start reading sheet music.  Watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless. The best part – they are having so much fun learning!  🙂

To create your own Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book, including ALL NINE SONGS, click here.
Color Coded Piano Song Pack Banner

If you are simply looking to add to your collection from my previous post – below are the new songs…

Row Row Row Your Boat – FREE Download:
Row Row Row Your Boat

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Banner

You Are My Sunshine and Baa Baa Black Sheep
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Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
Are You Sleeping Banner

And just in time for the holidays, I added Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

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Hope you enjoy these music sheets as much as we have!

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

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Color-Coded Beginner Piano Sheet Music for Kids - Star Wars The Imperial March - projectsinparenting.com  DIY Darth Vader Star Wars Costume for Girls with Free printable chest plate iron-on - projectsinparenting.com  DIY Disney Autograph Memory Book - Multiple Colors