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 Mmmhhmm. After that, I was sooo done with charts and stickers.

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! ;)

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