We recently started a regular chore routine with our three-year-old. We came up with a reasonable list of things, and she’s slowly starting to accomplish them on her own.

I couldn’t find a chore chart I liked on the internet, so I created my own. It’s very simple, and the original idea came from a good friend of mine.

The chores we’ve started with are:

  • help make my bed
  • empty silverware from the dishwasher
  • take my dishes to the kitchen (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and
  • pick up my toys (before her quiet time and before her bedtime)

When she accomplishes a task, she gets a sticker in the allotted square for that day. At the end of the week, we count up her stickers. For every sticker, she gets a nickel (well, this country’s equivalent of a nickel).

She has three jars to put her money in: one for giving, one for saving, and one for spending. 10 percent goes into each of the first two, and the remaining 80 percent goes into her spending jar. If she does every single chore for every single day (which she has yet to do), she’d earn $2.45 a week. That’s $127.45 for the year. 80 percent of that is $101.96. Not bad spending money for a three-year-old, I’d say.

So far, this system is working beautifully. She’s excited to do her chores because she likes getting to pick out which sticker she puts on her chart, and at the end of the week, we count out each nickel one by one. For the concrete, visual processors that preschoolers are, the pile of coins is thrilling.