Be Intentional Challenge #29 – Develop a Chore System and Check Out Ours That Our Kids Beg To Do (with Free Downloads)

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by Cassie

It is day #29 of our Be Intentional Challenges!

We hope it has been wonderful, productive and life-changing so far.

And if you don’t know what we are talking about….. read our original post HERE with the links to the previous 28 challenges!

I am so excited to finally share this – after some computer and technical issues and losing the first one I typed up (the original I have been using the last year I just hand wrote, but we wanted to make it easy for you!), it is finally ready to share!

So, Be Intentional Challenge #29:

 Develop a Fun Chore System – Feel Free To Use Our Bag Chores Game For Your Kids and Family

Chores are one of those dreaded words in most anyone’s house.  But they are also very necessary! Chores are great for kids too because it teaches them responsibility, self-discipline, character building, and it allows you to develop their sense of how important it is to take care of the things God has given, including the home they live in, the toys they are given, their clothes, everything!

Well, I have a list of chores that we each do in our home, and then there are all of the extra things – you know, the deep cleaning and the nooks and crannies and things I would love to see done.

I tried many, many different methods and systems and nothing seemed to be very motivating and effective – I still found that I would nag more than I wanted to.  I seriously tried 4-5 systems before I finally just kicked them to the curb and develop my own system based on the whining and complaints kids had.

Here were their top complaints:

  • not fair because so and so has an easier chore
  • boring, mundane and same ol’ same ol’
  • Not mixing it up enough

So how do I make a chore system that they seem to love and also try to get everything done?  Well, how about a totally random system – each day you wake up and you won’t know what you will get, I have no control over how easy or fair they are compared to another child (each chore is 5-15 minutes and some are super easy and some take the full 15 minutes), and it is a surprise each day!

So…..I came up with Bag Chores! It is actually quite fun and the kids actually love them, even after 1-year of doing this!

First, I want to talk about our regular chore system.  There are things that need to be done everyday in order to ensure peace and order in our home.  But I tell the kids to do this quickly so that they can move on to bag chores.

Here’s the regular chores we have:

Mom (Me)

  • Make Bed
  • Exercise
  • Stretching/breathing
  • Shower
  • Dressed to Shoes
  • Master Bathroom and Bedroom Pickup and Counter wiped off
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Bag Chores
  • Home Map Task
  • 20-minute quick clean
  • Nighttime laundry and kitchen routine

Our 9-year old Girl

  • Make Bed and pick-up room
  • Dressed
  • Wash Face
  • Brush teeth
  • Shower every other day
  • Unload Dishwasher
  • Pick-up Living room
  • Collect dirty laundry and sort (all kids)

Our 8-year old Girl

  • Make Bed and pick-up room
  • Dressed
  • Wash Face
  • Brush teeth
  • Shower every other day
  • Pick-up and straighten Kids and Main Level bathrooms (pick-up, wipe counters, shake rugs, sweep floor, refill toilet paper – scrub 1x per week with homemade natural cleaners)
  • Collect dirty laundry and sort (all kids)

Our 6-year old Boy

  • Make Bed and pick-up room
  • Dressed
  • Wash Face
  • Brush teeth
  • Shower every other day
  • Dump Bathroom/Bedroom Garbages
  • Pick-up/straighten up family room
  • Collect dirty laundry and sort (all kids)

Our 4-year old Girl

  • Make Bed and pick-up room with sisters
  • Dressed
  • Wash Face
  • Brush teeth
  • Bath time as needed
  • Collect shoes and put on shoe rack in front closet
  • Collect toys and take back to toy box

So there is their short daily list – honestly, they think that brushing their teeth and getting dressed is far more of a chore than what I am about to show you :)

Next, each of our kids participate in the 20-minute quick clean, but they also have 1-3 bag chores (depending on the day).

What is a bag chore?

A bag chore is a chore game where small 5-15 minute tasks are written on a strip of paper and then you randomly draw chores and what you get you can’t complain about!

Here’s some examples of what’s in there:

  • Clean and vacuum out couches
  • Clean under beds
  • Wipe down doorknobs/light switches with antibacterial wipes
  • Clean out bottom of pantry
  • Scrub down table, table legs, chairs and chair legs.
  • Shake mats/rugs
  • Wipe down baseboards in room XYZ
  • etc., etc., etc.,………

How cool is that???  The kids are actually excited about it because it is a game! It might sound like a super silly system – but don’t knock it until you try it.  I was at my wit’s end to stop the whining until this came along! My house is cleaner (and deep cleaner) than ever as these fun chores dive into the heart of the messes that develop!

Every once in a while, they get one that they despise – I just say – “sorry, you’ll get something different tomorrow!”  And they know that they can’t argue because I didn’t put it on a list or ask them to do it and so it makes it harder to say “this one is too hard today” or “her chore is easier than mine – that’s not fair.”

Alex always knows when we are doing bag chores because he can here that mama is happy – why? Things are getting cleaned and much less painfully! I LOVE bag chores….seriously LOVE them!

Inside of our bag chores bag and the little box that the finished chores go in!

Once they draw a chore, we put it into a ziploc or small box so that all of the chores get drawn before the old ones are added back in.  We actually have dozens and dozens of chores in them.  It takes us about a month to get through the bag.  But you know what that means, if we are being diligent in doing them, the couches get vacuumed out often, under the beds are cleaned out often, baseboards are wiped down often, books/magazines are cleaned out often, and the list goes on! Trying to incorporate these tasks into a daily chore system rotating these additional tasks was just never happening! But now it is!

Here’s how to play the bag chores game:

  • Find a gift bag and print and cut out the chores appropriate for your home, their are blank ones too for you to add your own.  Laminate them to make them last longer and cut them apart and throw into the bag.
  • You may need 2-3 different bags for age appropriate chores – we just have 2, the kids and the parents – all chores in the kids are appropriate for our 9, 8 and 6 year old.  Most of the chores are mine – I play too :)
  • Attach an envelope to the bag with the prize for emptying the bag that month – perhaps a pizza party, Wii game night (for us), board game night, zoo visit, etc.! Change it each round so that it is a surprise and seal the envelope!
  • After a piece is drawn, collect the chores in a ziploc or box to dump back in after the bag is empty to start over.

The sealed envelope on the back with the “surprise” prize!

So to make this easy on you…. I have typed all of the bag chores that we have that covers all parts of our house so that this will give you a good amount of chores – I mean, there is a ton of them :)  There is also “blank” game pieces for you to add additional ones. We would recommend laminating them if you have the ability to make them last a long time.  Sort the chores for older kids, younger kids, mom and dad, etc. and put them in the right bags. The better news is that although there is a lot of them, the amount of ink required to print is extremely small amount!

For these downloads – there are 3 different downloads:

  • #1 has 4 pages of pre-made chores for you to just cut or laminate and cut out
  • #2 has 1 page of blank game pieces to write in your own chores – print off as many as you need
  • #3 is the tag that goes on the front of the bag chores game bag
<== Download your Bag Chores Game Pieces HERE
<== Download your Bag Chores BLANK Game Pieces HERE
<== Download your Bag Chores Game Tag HERE

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

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Alex & Cassie

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennie V July 26, 2013 at 8:26 am

This is great! Thank you!


Jennie V July 26, 2013 at 8:56 am

I have a question. What is “edging” a room?


Cassie July 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

It is the space between the carpet and wall that the vacuum can’t get. We vacuum almost everyday, but only edge sometimes because you have to hook up the hose and that skinny little attachment and get the edges of the room! Hopefully that makes sense! They don’t get as dirty as the rest of the floor so every once in a while works for us :)

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