Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do It Yourself Children's Chore Charts

With five kids we have a lot to clean up around here and now that four of those kids are old enough to help we're getting more organized about our routines!  Before I had kids I used to envision family Saturday mornings where we got up and all did our chores together while we rock out to some Journey or U2. Even though we've done that on occasion it hasn't really been enough to keep our house put together.  The kids are bigger now and their mess is bigger and pretty much every room needs to be cleaned every day.  I'm not sure how old my kids will be before they figure out that the easiest way to clean is to not make a giant mess in the first place...maybe age 25/26? ;) Plus there are every day chores and tasks that need to be done like making beds, homework, music practice, etc.

I've gone through a few different variations of chore charts (mostly found on Pinterest) and they've all either been to complicated for my kids, or didn't keep them motivated, or end up being more work for me to keep updated than the kids. So this time I kind of picked what I liked and what I didn't like about the others and tried to simplify it down as best I could.  And here is what I finally landed on.

We've been using these for about a month now and the girls all love them! Every morning I put out which chores they need to do on the To Do side and once they finish them they move them to the Done side. Every night if they've moved all their chores to the Done side they get to move their little picture on the bottom over a spot toward their payday!  Once they get 7 days of doing chores they get their allowance.  I know some people have their kids do 7 consecutive days but I'm trying to keep my kids motivated so if they miss a day I don't make them start over, they just don't get to move.  So they might clean 4 days in a row, miss a day, clean 3 more days and still get their money.

I cut vinyl lettering but you could also just use a permanent marker for all the labeling. All of the chores are magnetic so they store easily on the back of the sheet. I tried to think of every possible chore in our house but since the chore cards are laminated you could always make a blank card or two to write in any extra chores that pop up.

Our tasks list includes:
Get dressed/brush hair
brush teeth
make bed
clean up bedroom floor
pack lunch
put away backpack/coat/shoes
set/clear table
clean up living room
clean up family room
load/unload dishwasher
clean up toy room
yard work
trash duty
watch baby brother
clean bathroom sink and mirror
clean bathroom toilet and floor
pick up stairs/hallways
put away laundry
instrument practice
wash table and kitchen counters

I was originally going to do the older girls with just words but they wanted the pictures like the younger girls. I'm working on attaching the printable but until then you can email me and I'll send you the page. Below is the list of supplies you'll need to make your own.  Hope it helps your family like it has mine!

Kid's Chore Chart

Supplies Needed
-Large cookie sheet (if you can find one that isn't nonstick that's the best but nonstick works fine too)
-Decorative duct tape (I bought sparkly Duck brand)
-Decorative ribbon
-Vinyl stickers (child's name, to do, done, 6 dots and a money symbol)
- Printable chore cards (Link coming Soon! request at
-1 sheet of Magnifique magnet squares or some type of magnet
-laminator sheets
-Small 1 in. by 1 in. picture of your child

drill (that can drill through metal)
scissors or paper cutter
sillhouette or vinyl cutter (if you're making your own stickers)

Drill two holes horizontally about 1 1/2 inches apart in top of cookie sheet. Cut 8 inches of ribbon and loop it through the holes.  Tie it together in a bow to make a hanger.

Place two pieces of decorative tape straight across the sheet about 3 inches from the top and the bottom of the cookie sheet.  Place a third piece perpendicular to the other pieces of tape splitting the middle box in half.  In the top box place the child's name sticker. In the bottom box make a trail using the dot stickers and the money symbol sticker.  Put the to do sticker in the left box and the done sticker in the right.  See the picture above to help follow these directions.

Print out the chore cards and cut on the lines.  Laminate. Attach a magnet to the back of each chore card.  Print out a 1 in. by 1 in. picture of your child and laminate that as well.  Attach a magnet on the back of that and place it on the money path at the bottom of the chore chart. Now you're ready to start having your kids clean up!! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Banana Cake

Maybe it's because I've had tons of cake orders lately or that I'm back in training for a race and cut down my sugar intake but I've got cake on the brain! After a couple months of mostly healthy posts now I'm hitting you with two delicious cake recipes in the last few weeks. If you missed the first one- Chocolate Mug Cake in the Microwave- you might want to check it out too.

Over the summer my girls each took a few turns making dinner and of course they wanted to make dessert too!  Mayzie decided to make one of our favorites. Banana cake!  It's so quick and moist and delicious with a little cream cheese frosting. I make it in a 9x13 pan for our family but it also doubles easily and fits in a large sheet pan for gatherings. The next time you find yourself with some old bananas that need used up give this one a try.

Banana Cake
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (I use over-ripe to give it more flavor)
2 tsp. vanilla (real vanilla people!)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cake- use a stand mixer to cream together the sugar and butter. Mix in sour cream and eggs (one by one). Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure everything gets combine well.  Add banana and vanilla. Add remaining cake ingredients slowly and mix together until incorporated.

Bake in a 9x13 baking dish for 34-35 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean.  You can also check for doneness by pressing in the middle and seeing if the cake springs back.  When it does it finished.

Meanwhile make frosting by combining all the frosting ingredients until whipped and creamy.  Set aside.

Cool cake completely and frost. If desired, serve it topped with fresh bananas. Enjoy!