Keeping kids on task is tricky. When Jeff and I added baby number three to our family – it became necessary for our big girls (ages 7 and 5) to step up and help more around the house. We soon discovered that shrieking at them to “make their beds” and “take a shower” and (the worst) “eat your food” was not working. Our kids just looked at us with vacant stares as our heads spun (channel ‘the Exorcist’).
The result? Two exhausted parents. One hurricane house. Three wild kids.
I discovered “Job Jars” when I was visiting a mom friend. She had been using them with success. The idea is genius and since implementing it in our home – Jeff and I have been thrilled with the conviction in which our girls have been getting their “jobs” done. The best part? Making “Job Jars” is easy.
What you Need:
- Hot glue gun
- Craft paint (I like Decoart Paint. It comes in a lot of fun colors and includes a brush)
- Jumbo Craft Sticks (pre-painted or un-painted)
- Small wood cutouts
- Chalkboard stickers
- Fine tip painter pen (white)
- One oversized jar and one small jar per kid
- Jar labels
How to Create:
I do most of my shopping at JoAnn Fabric (I love their coupons!). Once you get your supplies, lay down some old newspaper, cardboard or wax paper on a flat surface. Take the wood cutouts and spread them out. Paint each cutout its own unique color. Let dry. Flip over and paint the other side.
TIP: If you are making more than one jar (for multiple children) – I find it is best to make sure each “job stick” is the same (i.e. “Get Dressed” is a pink flower for everyone). You avoid fights down the road over “who” gets “what” stick. Parents of daughters – you know what I am talking about.
If you buy the pre-painted jumbo craft sticks – you can move right onto the next stage. If you buy the “raw” craft sticks – paint just like you did with the cutouts.
Take your painted cutout and hot glue it onto the craft stick. Let dry for thirty minutes. It is fun to mix and match colors. While the sticks and cutouts are drying, take the chalkboard stickers and fine tip painter pen and write each “job” you want a child to complete on the sticker. Again, let dry. Suggested “jobs” include:
- Get dressed
- Brush teeth
- Make bed
Customize the sticks for whatever goals you want your kids to accomplish around the house!
Once the sticks are dried, flip them over and affix a chalkboard sticker onto each one. Place all of the “jobs” in the big oversized jar (I like using fat squat Mason jars for this project). Take a jar label and write “Jobs” or “Tasks” on it (“Chores” will do nicely as well) and affix on the large jar. Then, write each child’s name on a jar label and affix to each smaller jar. Place all of the “jobs’ into the oversized jar. Then, take each task you want your child to complete and place it into their respective jar.
It your child’s goal to “empty their jar.” As they complete each task, they remove a “job” from their “jar” and place it back into the large jar. Once their jar is completely empty, I reward our kids with a small treat (a piece of chocolate, a sticker etc.). Not only do the “jobs” get done – but they also get done with a smile! There is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition amongst siblings in this effort as well.
Make sure to include your children in this craft. They will enjoy painting the cutouts and creating this motivational tool with you. Our “Job Jars” are proudly on display in the kitchen. Who knows – I might even create a jar for Jeff. Tasks to include: throw away empty chip bag; mow grass; and wash socks.