Picture lists for children

IMG_9272 The most effective, if not the most practical, method to include your children in the house chores is to prepare picture to-do lists.

To-do / house chores list:

When  tell my children to clean up, they just stare around as if they’ve seen the house for the first time. What works best is when I make a to-do list in pictures and assign a task to each. They understand what they need to do, they don’t need me to repeat / remind it. They check it off when done. Looking at the pictures, they do not complain one is doing more than the other. I also put myself on the list so that they know “we are all working as a team”. Granted, it takes time to take the pictures and print it out, it is less exhausting not having to remind what they need to do next every 5 minutes.
IMG_5009 Responsibility Chart:
For everyday habits and behavior a responsibility chart like this works better. You don’t need a customized list. You can buy a wooden/magnetic one like this one or you can prepare your own using felt and velcro or even a laminated sheet. 

IMG_5054 Recipes:
My children love to prepare their own waffle and pancake mixes on weekends. I prepared picture recipes for them. They know where the ingredients are. I just monitor and they prepare the mix together. My son guides his sister with the measurements.

Picture shopping list:
If you want your child really help you during shopping and not ask for everything they see on the shelves and you don’t need, prepare a picture shopping list and assign him the job of finding those for you. Younger children love to do adults chores. They love to feel included. I prepare my lists quickly in MS Word with the help of cliparts. I give the list to my son and ask him to keep an eye on the aisles so that we do not forget those. Then he helps me fill in the bags, as well as quality control and counting.

They get the satisfaction of completing a task, once they X or check off an item from their list. With all these lists, I feel I help my kids grow independent as well as helping myself keeping my sanity.

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