Category Archives: Kiddos

Chores, chores, chores…

I have been looking for a way to first of all keep track of what chores my kids should do and second a way to motivate my sweetie pea to actually do her chores.  About a month ago on Life as Mom blog that I follow on Facebook she wrote about a free online chore system called My Job Chart.  For a distractible mom like me it has been AMAZING!!!  I wanted something that would reward for chores done, but I didn’t want to have to figure out the system, I didn’t want a bunch of tokens or pieces of paper to keep track of.  I wanted something straight forward that both sweetie pea and I could keep track of quickly and easily everyday.  That is exactly what My Job Chart is.  WOW!!!  This has been great, it helps her know what is expected of her, helps us both get things done and at the end of the day it helps us put the house in order!!

Photo Credit - morgueFile

First you create a family account with your email address, then you create a parent account and kids accounts.  The kids log into their account to see what chores they have to do for the day and the evening if you chose.  You get to assign the chores, you can assign them for everyday or specific days.  The chores also have a picture that go with them, this helps my beginning reader figure out what the chore is without having to actually read :).  When they check off a chore they get the assigned number of points for that chore.  They recommend and I think it’s easiest to have one point equal to one cent.  So if you have a big job you can assign more points, or visa versa.  Another really neat thing is that you get to choose the rewards, anything you want and it connects to Amazon where you can pick out the rewards that they can “buy” with their points, if you want.  This has been highly motivational for sweetie pea.  To see her points total go up and to see that she could buy more and more things as her points total grows.  We have rewards like, extra dessert, computer time, mom or dad time and other things she can buy from amazon.  It also has a saving element and a giving element.  The hardest thing for us to figure out was when you are done for the day with earning all the points you have to distribute your points before you can see them applied to each area.  It tells you how many points you have to distribute and for us the total amount that sweetie pea earns each day is between 60 and 70 points, so I make her give 5 points, save 5 points and the rest are for spending (or saving until she has enough to spend on something she wants ;)).

The best thing is that Sweetie Pea can get to the site (using a bookmark), log in as herself and mark the chart ALL BY HERSELF!!!  It keeps her focused, has helped her to create new habits and routines.  It has also helped me as a distractible mom to just ask her to check her chart and get it done all on her own!  She has even been doing it without prompting lately, not sure how long that will last but thanks to this amazing chart we have less nagging and more getting done!!!

So if you are looking for a chore system to try, check out My Job Chart, you don’t have anything to lose, it’s FREE.  It doesn’t get much better than that and your kids might actually start doing their chores for once!!

Homemade Play Dough

I love making my own play dough!!!!  I found a recipe in one of my many community cookbooks that my grandma gave me.  I love it because I know what is in it for the inevitable tasting, I can make it what ever color I want and I’m sure it’s much cheaper than buying it!  I usually make it with cheap bleached flour, but I also make it gluten free (corn or soy, because they are cheap) for when my mom comes!  I also recently had some really old rye flour that I thought instead of throwing it out I would make play dough with it and it turned out fine as well!  I’ve added glitter, koolaid for coloring and smell, it’s really up to you and it’s so quick and easy!!

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Green and purple are rye flour, blue is regular unbleached flour and pink is gluten free corn flour

Stove Top Play Dough

1 c. flour
1/4 c. salt
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. oil
Food coloring

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot.  Add water, food coloring and oil.  Cook and stir over medium heat 3-5 minutes.  mixture turns globby and then eventually will form a soft ball in the center of the pot.  Turn out and knead on a lightly floured surface.  Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

A lot of recipes will call for you to store your homemade play dough in the fridge, but I’ve never had a problem with it going bad not in the fridge.  It will dry out just as any play dough so make sure to care for it accordingly.  Gluten free play dough seems to dry out quicker, also when making gluten free play dough it usually takes a little more flour especially when kneading the dough at the end.  It also has a bit different more course texture than gluten flours but I’ve never tried it with anything other than corn or soy so that might help.

Have fun!!

The kind of mischief I like to find around the house!

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