I had been thinking seriously about a chore chart for a year now (yes...a whole year) ever since I realized how unprepared Elder Boy was for the world beyond home and high school. In that year, we have made small steps. The "Pickles" now wake themselves up (though The Girl still needs some pushing to actually get OUT of bed), they make their breakfast and their lunches, they automatically do their homework (though they still need reminding when they get distracted), put their laundry away and set the table for dinner when asked. I even bought a canister of Clorox wipes for each bathroom in the house which made the "Pickles" much more willing to help clean the bathrooms. The Girl has always been my helper in the kitchen but starting next week each child has one day in the kitchen with me to plan and prepare a meal. Like I said...little steps. But it is a big difference from last year.
On one of my many sessions on Pinterest, I came across a printable sheet on Etsy for making chore magnets. Well, the chores on the sheet didn't fit what I needed and it was only the paper printout (and I only have a B&W laser printer but to print the sheet you needed a color printer). You still had to actually make your own magnets. Still, I was interested in making some chore magnets. I could print out the chores myself and customize them to what I needed.
Instructions for the bubble magnets were gathered from a combination of a "walk through" on Not Martha and a thread about them but I later found some short instructions (and supplies) at Craft Supplies For Less. I have never purchased from them so I don't know how they are, but if you can't find your supplies anywhere else it's an option.
I wanted to print out the chores on scrapbook paper so I needed to figure out how small to make the circles and text. After several tries in MS Powerpoint, I was able to get just a tad larger than my 5/8" circle punch. This was fine because the outline of the circle would be left behind when the circles were punched out.
Materials for the Magnets:
E6000 silicone glue - I got a "mini" tube for $2.49 at Hobby Lobby before I found a much much larger tube for $6.49 elsewhere.
Magnets - I initially got two sets of 8 extra strong 3/4" disc magnets at Lowe's for $2.79/pkg. I had forgotten to look for them everywhere else. I later found a package of 50 3/4" magnets at Michaels for about $7. I would prefer 1/2" magnets but I haven't found any yet.
Clear Glass Gems - Michaels was the only place I found a large bag of these in the smaller size. It was $6.99 for a 2lb bag. The bag also had quite a few regular clear marbles in them but plenty of the flat bottomed ones as well.
Scrapbook paper - 8 1/2 x11 size if you plan to run them through your printer
5/8 inch circle punch
I used a toothpick to spread the E6000 glue on the magnet. Then I pressed one of my punched out paper circles to the glue and let it sit. After going through about 20 magnets like this, I went back to the first magnet and squeezed a dab of the glue onto the center of the paper circle.
I then immediately placed a glass gem, flat side down, on the dab of glue and pressed down making sure to center the gem on the magnet. The harder and more evenly you press the less likely you are to have air bubbles in the finished product.
The chore board took a bit longer to complete simply because I couldn't find the materials I wanted (cheaply). I kept searching thrift stores for something I could attach the magnets to - sheet metal I could cover with fabric or something similar. I finally came across a stack of magnetic dry erase boards similar to these at Goodwill (still in their shrink wrap!) for $1.99 apiece. They not only had magnetic faces, but also included magnets for the back so I could display the chore charts on our refrigerator.
With a black Sharpie (yes, permanent ink) I divided the dry erase board into 2 columns with 7 blocks each that were 2" high and 5" wide leaving a space at the top for the heading. I wrote the days of the week down one side and "To Do" and "Done" across the top. Then using colored Sharpie markers, I added "Chore Chart" to the very top and colored in some color along the side where the days of the week were.
The chores for the day are in designated boxes on the "To Do" side. When the chore is completed, the "Pickles" can move their magnet to the "Done" side. At the end of the day when I check off their chores, I move magnets back into position. Things like "Empty Trash" which they do once a week on Wednesdays will go back into the "To Do" section for Wednesday. Other things like "Homework", "Make Lunch" and "Book Bag" are moved to the next day because those are done Sunday through Thursday for school (and while they are technically not chores, I find myself constantly reminding them to finish their homework, make their lunches for school and get their book bags ready for the next day).
Some of the chore magnets are not yet being used. I want to see how the system works before I start adding in additional chores to the board. Day one was crazy. They kept forgetting about the chart. Day two went well. I only had to remind The Boy once to check the chart before asking if he could play on the computer. Now we're on day three...