How to Create a Room Cleaning Checklist and Reward System for Kids


Help your child create a recipe for successful room cleaning by organizing a checklist on recipe cards and storing them in her own hand-decorated recipe box. You can incorporate reward cards in the box, too, or slip one in once a week to reward your child for a job well done. If your youngster is more of a garden enthusiast than a cook, fill an ordinary flower pot with a bouquet of room-cleaning tasks instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden recipe box
  • Nontoxic paints
  • Recipe cards
  • Small to medium-size flower pot
  • Stickers or decoupage kit (optional)
  • Ribbon
  • Sticker label
  • Green floral foam
  • Card stock or poster board
  • White paper
  • Craft glue
  • 1/4-inch-wide wooden dowels
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 1/2-inch-wide green ribbon

Recipe Box Chores

  • Place a wooden recipe box on your work surface and let your child decorate it with nontoxic paints to personalize her chore checklist box. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Write one item from your child’s room-cleaning checklist on a recipe card and slip it into the box. Alternatively, if your child is not yet reading, draw an image to represent each action. Make additional cards for each item on the checklist.

  • Create reward cards. Write a description of a reward on a recipe card or draw a representative image instead. You can add the reward cards to the box for your child to choose from when she completes her tasks, or leave the reward cards out and then surprise your child by adding it to the box on reward day.

A Garden of Tasks

  • Decorate a small- to medium-size flower pot with your child. You can paint it, cover it in stickers or decoupage, or tie a ribbon around the center. Label the flower pot with a title, such as “Victoria’s Room Cleaning Checklist.” Fill the pot about two-thirds full with green floral foam.

  • Cut flower shapes from different colored card stock or poster board. You will need one for each item on the checklist, plus an additional four to five flowers.

  • Cut a circle from white paper for the center of each flower and write an item from the checklist on each one. If your child is not yet reading, draw a picture to represent each item, such as a bed for bed-making and a toy box for tidying up toys. For the remaining four to five flowers, write a reward on each circle. Glue one circle to the center of each flower.

  • Lay a 1/4-inch-wide wooden dowel against the back, center of each flower. Use hot glue to attach the dowel to the flower and create a stem. Cut a 4-inch-long piece of 1/2-inch green ribbon for each flower and tie it in a knot around the wooden stem to make leaves.

  • Insert all of the checklist flowers into the flower pot. If your child is rewarded for chores on a daily basis, insert one of the reward flowers into the pot, too. If she is rewarded weekly, leave the reward flower out of the pot for now and add it to the bunch at the end of the week.

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