(Free printables at the end to help you get started!)
One of my kids’ favorite things to do in the summer is chores. We set up a CHORE STORE and they get to work to earn a special new toy. They have normal responsibilities that are just part of being in the family that they don’t get paid for: cleaning their rooms & playroom, doing their own laundry (with some help), putting away their own dishes after eating, helping clean the kitchen after dinner, etc. The things they do for the chore store are extras, like spring cleaning type jobs or other things that I would usually do.
Here’s how it works:
- They earn a set amount of money for each job, like 25 cents per job (limit one job per day).
- They fill out a chore card each day so we know they did their assigned chore.
- At the end of each week we have pay day where they get paid based on how many days they accomplished their chore.
- They get to pay 10% tithing and put 10% aside for savings and then the rest is saved up to spend on the item in the chore store that they’re working toward.
- I put a dollar value on the item (about $5) which is pretty close to what I spent on the item; I want it to take them about 1/2 the summer to earn it so they will have some time during summer vacation to enjoy playing with their new toy but are learning about saving up for something by not getting it right away.
Last year, I let them help pick the item they would earn but this year I picked something for each of them, purchased used, so they’re getting an item that would’ve been more expensive new but I still only paid about $5. I won’t tell them what it is until the first day of summer and they have been counting down the days because they’re so excited to see what they’re going to get to work for.
Some of the chores they do are things I will have to work by their side and teach them what to do while there are others that I can give quick instructions and let them do it on their own. Some job examples are:
- dusting baseboards
- washing kitchen chairs
- cleaning doorknobs & light switches
- washing doors
- helping to organize a cluttered area
- scrubbing bathroom floors
- cleaning windows/mirrors
- cleaning/organizing the cubbies where we keep shoes
- organizing the plastic food containers
- washing down kitchen or bathroom cabinets
- cleaning outside of kitchen appliances
- special yardwork projects
- cleaning under couches/couch cushions
- cleaning bath toys
- clean out the car
Really, you can pick any job that you want and this is a great time to get some things done that might get neglected during the year. This year, the twins are 3 and it will be the first year that we include them so it will take some extra work on my part to help them with their chores, but my 7 and 5 year old will be pretty independent after getting basic instructions.
My mom had a similar system for us when we were kids. I still remember saving up and earning a white Arabian Barbie horse that was one of my favorite toys ever. She had a shelf with a bunch of items that we could pick from and were marked with prices. We earned poker chips and used those to buy the items with. I chose to use real money so they could learn to pay tithing and get into the habit of saving part of their earnings, but any way you do it, the important part is that they’re learning how to work, the value of work, and the importance of working to earn things.
Here’s a couple of free printables to help get you started:
Chore Store sign – I keep the items the kids are working to earn, the time cards, and their money jars on a shelf on my closet. To make it a little fun, I add a Chore Store sign.
Time Cards – I print out a bunch of sheets of time cards at the beginning of the summer, print them up and keep a stack in the chore store so they’re ready to go each week. Put the child’s name at the top and fill in the job they did each day.
If you do a chore store or have another great idea to help kids learn the value of work, I’d love to hear about it – leave me a comment below!