July 18, 2011

free printable chore cards & tutorial


As a mama of four little ones (all seven years and under), I've seriously tried a ton of different chore systems. Big charts, little charts, chore cards, internet chore systems, schedules and more- I can't even remember them all! 

Maybe it was them or maybe it was me, but we just didn't see eye to eye, if you know what I mean. Like the time the star stickers somehow escaped from their special spot and ended up all.over.the.entire.house. Mmmhhmm. After that, I was sooo done with charts and stickers.

The one system we liked the most was the chore card system, with the name badge holder and rotating cards. But the kids lost the cards like crazy and it became more work to keep up with all of the individual cards than it was to make them do the chores!

I decided to take matters into my own hands with the whole chore system thing. I wanted cute and functional- so I made my very own little chore system (and I'm giving it to you too! yay for free stuff!).


I modified a chore system based on what works best for us- the kids have different chore times throughout the day, so they flip their card on the ring to see the next chore until they complete them all. My kids love it so far.

If you have littles, you can have them leave the chore cards at the table and come back to see what's next. Or if they are bigger, they can clip it to their belt to take with them.  Either way, the cards aren't flying all over the house like they were before! 

Another big plus of the whole thing- it was cheap and fast! If you want to try it out, you can finish this project in less than 20 minutes. 

Here's what you need:
Scissors, hole punch, printed chore cards, book rings (found in the office supplies section at Wal-Mart- 8 for less than $2), and optional 8.5x11 inch laminating pouches (these are about $1 per page
 or .17 per card).

First, print out the chore cards.
You can use paper if you intend to laminate, or 110 lb. cardstock if you want them a bit sturdier.

Cut out the cards. Don't worry about perfection,
your little one won't notice! ;)

One of the cards has a blank spot for adding your child's name.
This will be your first card on the ring.

One sheet of chore cards is empty so you can glue or draw on your own chore. 

The hubs got in on the drawing action on this one. I think I really like his chore card. In fact, I think I would totally let him take over all chore supervision if he wanted. (wink, wink, honey!)  
"A project so easy,
even your husband will do it!" heheh.
Option: Laminate. One easy idea would be to use clear packing tape to cover both sides (which makes it a really inexpensive DIY project!). The best option, if you have the time, would be to go to an office or Christian book store that has a laminating machine, and have them done there (they are very reasonably priced from what I understand). 

I used self-laminating sheets you can buy at Wal-Mart, and one important thing to note is that they need a generous 1/4 -1/2 inch border so that they will stay sealed.

Lay six cards upside down on the transparent side of the sheet, remove the directions/back cover and push the two sides together. Press out any bubbles (I used the hole punch to do that here). Cut one card out (leaving that generous border), using it as your cutting template to hold on top of the others.
Rub out those bubbles!
The cards are best arranged end to end
going from top to bottom of the page.

Hole punch the cards lining up the end of the hole punch on the edge of the aqua line
and the punch's outer edge with the paper's edge.
If cards are laminated, prepare for a serious hand workout. :)


 Place the cards on a book ring, and you're done! 


One more thing we do with the cards- after my kids use them in the morning, afternoon, and evening,  they are to put them back on the fridge each time, so I just bought a little magnetic pencil/locker box to hold them! Easy. When you have four little kids, easy is good. Very good.

I have to say my favorite part about the whole thing is that they are so cute and striped and aqua(!)- I definitely won't mind seeing them on my fridge all day. :) 

Do you have morning and evening chores? 
What chores do you have your kiddos do?  Do tell, I'd love to think of more jobs for my kids to take off my hands! ;)

Linking up at:




Pink Paper Paradise

78 comments:

  1. Such a great idea.Fantastic that you have found something that looks so cuteand works for your kids as well.So happy to see your work through MIM

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  2. Thanks Mandy for the Chore Cards. Even though my oldest is only 4 she is very capable of doing a few basic chores a couple times a day. My middle child(2) can do a couple well. And as soon as my youngest(7 months) can walk she will be participating as well. :)

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  3. Your posted handmade clear card designed so gorgeously i like it.
    Plastic business cards
    Plastic Card

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  4. I was so excited to see you featured in Money Saving Mom! I was like, "I know her!" (Although I don't really, I know Abbie and that counts, right?)
    Love these, and I will be using them! Mine are 6, 4 and 8 months.

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  5. I really love this concept...I have 3 children (between 6-9) and we have tried many different systems as well. My personal favorite was when they were younger and we played "Super Hero Clean Team". Each kid received a special Super Hero name and a cape (pinned a tea towel on their shirts)...I used my best "Super Hero" to assign jobs. One job at a time to each child (like pick up all the book in the dining room) and then they reported back to me once that job was complete for the next job. Worked great before they could read and was lots of fun for all of us:)
    I think we will give this concept a shot as this seems like something they can get excited about, is very simple in concept and is easily customizable. Thank you!

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  6. These are adorable! Another easy (and cheap) way to laminate is to use clear contact paper. I buy several rolls of it at a time from the dollar store and it lasts me forever. I just finished creating my own chore chart system and laminated it with that. Works great. Thanks for sharing your chart! Love it!

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  7. So glad you like them! I hope they work well for you! You're so right about the preciousness of 30 minutes! :)

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  8. I love this idea, I too have used several systems which at most have lasted 2 weeks, I like the daily cards, but it was taking 30 minutes to set it up every morning, Not fun as a Mom of 4 (soon 5) 30 minutes can be precious. This looks like it will help a lot plus use all the cute cards I had spent so much time finding, altering, printing, cutting etc you get the idea I hate wasting things :) Thanks again.

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  9. I have 3 kids (6, 3-1/2 and 2). I have tried getting them to help with chores, but it is a hassle! We are about to move to a new house so I figure it's the perfect time to start fresh with some new rules and routines. Since my 2 youngest kids don't quite recognize their printed name yet, I am going to add their picture to their name card. I also like the idea someone else posted about filling up the pebble jars. Once again, you inspire me! :)

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  10. We started using these last week and LOVE them. I have two daughters (ages 3 and 4) and they are really into making sure they stay on top of their chore cards. In addition to a lot of the ones you have, I added Put Dishes in the Sink, Put Shoes Away, Put Clothes in the Hamper, and Do Homework. These are a huge success in our house. I have tried chore charts before, but these are WAY better and more enjoyable to them.

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  11. I made a Big Boy Bathroom Chart for my 3 year old. He knew how to do some things, but lacked in motivation. When I posted a laminated rewards chart he started flying through it making lots of progress!
    His specific chart looks like a table with squares to color in with a dry erase marker. For example, when I was 8 months pregnant I noticed I started getting snappy & irritated when he would ask for help going to the bathroom, even though he didn't need help; he just liked the company. (But he was so stubborn he would rather pee on the floor then go alone!
    So on the chart, when he goes potty on the toilet by himself we mark a box. On the 11th box is a smiley face. So when he completes that 10 times he gets a reward! Same with washing hands and brushing teeth (his particular things he needs to work on).
    After lots of success going potty alone, we changed it to not wetting the bed! (still works with the illustration of a toilet on the chart!) =)
    PS
    Our rewards were little $1 toys like cars or bathtub toys, but after the toybox got full we changed to glow sticks (thrown out after 1 day!) or a cookie, or an ice cream date with mom (for something big like not wetting bed 10 times!).
    PSS
    For not wetting bed: you can still have big kidswear pull ups to bed and mark the chart if the fade-away picture is still on the pull ups! Which we had to call "bed-time undies".

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  12. SOOOOOOOOOOOO love these! Needed these for my 6 & 4 year old!!! Great idea, tutorial & pics!!!

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  13. I liked this idea so now I can get my 8 year old son to pick up more around the house.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this. This is perfect for my 3 year old.

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  15. Thanks so much! It's so timely that you posted this and I was linked here through kingdomfirstmom.com! One of my projects for the weeks was to try to make my own "I did my chores" system (www.chores-help-kids.com). I got the cards made, but hadn't finished the boards yet. Your system is quite similar, yet simpler! I wish I had found it before I made the cards! LOL

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  16. I love this idea! I am totally going to try and use it with my little ones.

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  17. Oh cool! I hope it works well for you guys!

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  18. Thanks for stopping in! :)

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  19. Putting the cards on a key ring is a fantastic idea! I've made some for my two little ones.

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  20. what a great idea.. makes chores fun
    Thanks for linking up to Make it Monday this week
    Lisa
    Don't forget......... if you leave a comment on another entry, mention that you saw their card on "Make It Monday" for a chance at second prize. The more entries you comment on the more chance you have of winning second prize.

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  21. I love the devo idea! Your chore chart sounds awesome! I love how our kids start compensating for their own messes as they grow, don't you? I'm so thankful! :)

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  22. I love the ring idea to keep the chores organized and always together. Currently we have a chart on the pantry door and chore cards that are divided into morning and evening chores with the little velcro circles on the back and a plastic bag taped to the bottom of the chart. When the chore is done, the card goes in the bag. :) My kids are 5 and 3 and some of their chores include, taking out trash (the little ones) and my 5 yr old brings in the cans from the curb on garbage day, switching laundry from washer to dryer and taking out of the dryer, picking up shoes (this is a real problem around here! LOL), dusting, washing dishes (5 yr old), feeding the dog, getting dressed, picking up their clothes (my hubby is not good at this LOL). I stuck a devotional card on the top of the chore chart, not that it is a chore, but more of a visual reminder for my little guys. :o)

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  23. My kids are older, so chores are a bit different. My 15 year old son unloads and loads the dishwasher once a day. Because he is old enough, he does mow the lawn once a week. My 11 year old son picks up after our dog in the backyard every evening. He uses disposable rubber gloves and a plastic grocery sack. We make sure that hands are washed good. My 9 year old daughter feeds the dogs twice a day and checks and refills the birds food and water onceva day.
    My kids have clear jars and decorative pebbles. Each chore s assigned a pebble amount according to the time the chore take and the involvement. There is a chore list that the kids can look at. If they choose to help with other things, like cleaning all of the door handles in the house, they get more pebbles. Once their jars are full, they get $10. It usually takes 3 weeks or so to fill. We don't give allowance, but we do want to reward for being an active member of our family.

    Brooke

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  24. I just read something today you two could try. Have your four year old look up and imagine herself doing the chore. That will help her remember when she gets to where she's going.

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  25. Oh, I'm totally using that! They would love it! They would think it was a game! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  26. Ohhh, I like those!! We've got a ton of windows that could use a cleaning around here. I think next time they're looking for something to do, I'll use that one! Dusting too! Thanks for the ideas!! :D

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  27. Oh that's cool! I love the chores you listed for your little ones, mine do after meal kitchen cleanup too! I'm so glad you can use them! Yay!

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  28. Oh, that's a great idea! I think my almost 8 year old could move and start the laundry! I did my own laundry by that age too and I think it taught me a lot about what's involved in running a house. Great ideas! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  29. Oh, I'm so glad you stopped in! :) I hope these work well for you- I have a four year old girl that gets distracted easily too! Let me know how it goes! :)

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  30. Thanks for the idea! I think I will try it. Like you, I have struggled to find a system that works--currently we are using the magnetic board with the little round magnets which are currently strewn about the boys' rooms. Needless to say, they are not working well.
    Some other chores you may want to try with your little ones that work well for us are: cleaning TV screen, cleaning windows (my boys love this one),
    dusting their dressers, cleaning doorknobs, sweeping and clearing out the van.. Hope this gives you a few ideas! Thanks again for yours.

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  31. Some of the other chores I have my younger one do is clearing the table after meals, setting the table, taking out the little trashes (bathrooms), take the laundry baskets down to the laundry room, and put the blankets, and pillows back on the couch. There are probably more, but I feel like there are lots of little things I am telling them ALL day long to do that I might be able to eliminate with these cards!!! Thank you so much for sharing them!!

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  32. I love these little cards. Great idea! We've been trying to keep things simple around here too, so I just typed up a list that is attached to the bathroom door. (Lots of their morning/evening routines involve the bathroom or their bedroom next door.) One thing I've been having my oldest do is take the laundry out of the washer, put it in the dryer and start it, and then unload it into a basket which he brings to my bedroom. It's not a huge thing, but it ends up being really helpful. I just start a load in the morning and he does the rest until I do the folding that evening. Once he's big enough to fold neatly, I'll add that in. My mom had us all washing our own clothes by 13 so that's my goal!

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  33. I love how you respond individually to each of your commentors. I found your blog through the Money Saving Mom link.

    These chore cards remind me of the Accountable Kids system my sister in law has been using and that I'm too cheap to buy!

    I think they will be perfect for my 4year old. Her two older siblings can read their chores off the chore wheel, but she needs someone to read them to her. And she forgets halfway between the wheel and doing them. Pictures will be perfect! And for the littlest man when he's old enough to participate.

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  34. Oh too true!! I know there are people who don't have them, in fact Tammy from Tammy's Recipes didn't have one for a lot of years! We do take them for granted, don't we?

    I love the idea of adult chore cards! That's great! We do need them too! :)

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  35. Definitely counts!! How cool!! I have 7,6, almost 4, and 2 yrs old. I'm so glad you can use them! Maybe we'll get to meet in real life sometime too!

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  36. That's so smart, I bet as they get older they do get tired of the same chores so you rotate. I'm going to have to remember that! Thanks for sharing!

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  37. Oh I love that you have 6! How fun is that! I think the pebble idea is fantastic too!

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  38. I'm so glad it's something you might use! I hope it works well for you guys! You go mama with those 5 kiddos! :) That's awesome!

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  39. Many Thanks! I have 3 little ones . . . this looks doable.
    One of our chores is called "5-4-3-2-1." That means pick up that many things and put them away. It's a lot more fun and less overwhelming to countdown from 5 than count out 15 things. So, when things are beginning to look wild and crazy I shout out "5-4-3-2-1" and everyone drops what their doing and in less than a couple of minutes 45 items are put away. Thank you for the cute chore cards.
    Janet

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  40. Cute. I need something similar for myself perhaps... And a much slimmer version for my DD who is only 3.

    One thing that amazes me is how many chore charts, cards, lists, etc contain things like "load the dishwasher", "unload the dishwasher", and even "clean the dishwasher door." I haven't had a dishwasher since 2004, and I KNOW I can't be the only one...

    I could totally make one myself... And I should... But then I would spend 3 or 4 hours more on the computer... Which I shouldn't. Oh the quandry...

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  41. Hi there - we use a chore chart system that works pretty well for us...our kids are 15, 14, 13, 11, 10 & 9. The oldest 3 are boys, so their chores are: 1) empty wastebaskets, burn trash, replace trash can liners, 2) Take slop out to the field, 3) Clean and sweep out van. The girls' chores are 1) Gather dirty laundry, switch over, hang out on clotesline, 2) Fold and put away laundry, put away leftovers on table after meals/clean table/sweep dining room after supper, and 3) Wash dishes/load dishwasher/countertops (if they did a good job during the day with dishes, they usually get a supper helper too). The boys have a chore wheel with each "chore section" listed in a third of the wheel, and there is a smaller wheel inside that wheel, with all 3 boys names in it...each week, we turn the wheel one notch, and that is that person's chore for the week. The girls have their own chore wheel too. I thought they needed to be cute, so I added stickers that represent each chore :) I personally love this method - I don't have to remember who has what chore, and neither do the kids!

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  42. I just addressed chores with my bunch of 6 little ones this morning! I have also tried many different chore systems - looking forward to trying this! Also love the pebble/jar reward system as we don't do allowances either, but would like to offer an incentive for jobs well done!

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  43. This looks awesome! I can't wait to try it for my 5 little ones. We struggle trying to find a system that works for us - especially with morning/afternoon/and evening chores. Can't wait!

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  44. Oh cool! We moms of many littles have to stick together! :D Thanks for
    following!! :)

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  45. thank you for sharing Mandy! i'm now a folwwer here and on facebook. i too had 4 kids in 6 years:)

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  46. Wow, that's so cool! I love the visual reward of the pebbles filling
    up! I think my kids would love that!

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  47. I'm so glad you can use it, let me know how it goes! Love motivated
    kids, that's awesome! :)

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  48. Thanks for the cards! I will give it a try with my kiddos. The last chore system has gone kaput. They were just saying yesterday that they wanted to "earn more money" :-)

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  49. Oh, I like that one! That's so smart about the wash rag, I never thought of that!

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  50. I'm so glad you can use it! I have 3 year old and she's very visual too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  51. I have my kiddo (wet) swiffer the kitchen floor... (I do the deep cleaning once a week) --I use the Wal-Mart brand, and if I run out, I get a wash rag wet (with a bit-o-pinesol) and put that into the swiffer system. :)

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  52. Thanks, Mandy! Great ideas. I was trying to think of what I can do for my almost 3 year old. Pictures are perfect. It will give him a sense of responsibility.

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  53. Thanks!! :) I got it at Wal-Mart for $2.50, in the big school supplies
    section. I think Target would have them too, or Office Max. :)

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  54. SO Cute! One question....where did you get the little card holder for the fridge?

    a.johnson.a7@gmail.com

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  55. Thanks Michelle! I am excited to see what else is posted and make some new friends!! :)

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  56. Hi Mandy

    What fantastic idea! Mum to three young boys myself, always on the look out for useful tips like this.

    Thank you for sharing with us at Make It Monday this week.

    Michelle :o)

    Remember to be in the running to win the prize from our sponsor this week just leave a comment for another entrant. The entries you comment on the more chances you have of winning.

    Michelle :o)

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  57. Plastic business cardJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    This is outstanding and marvelous idea ,and great colors.

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  58. For those who are beginner in the field of Plastic cards designing hope it helps a lot...

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  59. Captivating cards worthy to go for plastic cards printing which makes them captivating...

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  60. I LOVE this idea! Even just for myself. I've got a crazy schedule and need something to keep on me to remind me of things I need to get done. Plus this will be great to get the little ones started on!! Thanks!

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  61. I am using your chore charts. Thank you for making them available (and for free!). Chores I have added include: wipe off the table, and put jammies in drawer. Thank you!
    Heather

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  62. My Bambino Bliss blogJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Great idea!! Thanks for sharing the cards! I have failed in training my children to do specific tasks around the house (so far), and this looks like it may help us get into a better routine.

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  63. I love these..thanks so much for sharing. They're cute and functional and I love that I can customize them too!

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  64. So nice. Have you work before in any Plastic Cards Printing company?

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  65. Sarah at Handbags*N*PigtailsJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Another idea for inexpensive laminating is clear contact paper. Just put it on both sides. We used that years ago at MOPS to make placemats of some sort and it worked really well. :)

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  66. Sarah at Handbags*N*PigtailsJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Great idea! I may use that(in some form) in my classroom. Thanks for sharing:)

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  67. thank you for sharing this, it's just what i needed!

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  68. is there any way of putting our own clip are into these blank pages along with text?

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    Replies
    1. Im also wondering that.

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  69. FUCK BITCHES FOR LIFE!!!

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  70. There is a chore list that the kids can look at. If they choose to help with other things, like cleaning all of the door handles in the house, they get more pebbles. Free Business Cards

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  71. Thanks for sharing these! I included a link to this post and your pic in a round up of allowance ideas. http://www.activity-mom.com/2013/02/allowance.html

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  72. is there a way to shrink the cards to fit a particular size??

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  73. Could you please tell me what font and size you used in the cards? I'm a little bit particular about the ones I made looking the same. lol. But really, PLEASE?

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  74. Funny my sons name is Elijah, so it is fitting that this is the system God has lead me to. I have 3 kids 4, 7 and 11. This will work great for my two younger ones. My question is how do you regulate if they did the chore? I am asking because I am also implementing a token system. Thanks

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