The “Chore Chart” points-style!


There are several purposes behind having kids do chores:

  • Teach responsibility
  • Teach work ethic
  • Teach home-ec skills

But as a mom with a newborn, toddler, and preschooler, I NEED my older kids to help out around the house to keep it from becoming a complete disaster. I used to assign specific chores for the kids to do each day, but I kept running into the problem of them sometimes being unable to complete the chore (can’t read to younger siblings if they keep running off, and can’t empty the dishwasher if it didn’t need to be, etc). I wanted more flexibility– that their chores could change based on what actually needs to be done. I also wanted them to have more say in how they help out around the house (when they get to CHOOSE what their chores are, they take more pride in doing them– similar to adults usually getting to choose their career path and job).

After brainstorming, my husband and I came up with a point system. We listed a ton of chores and categorized them based on difficulty and time to complete.

The easy, quick chores are worth 1 point.

The moderate chores are worth 2 points.

And the more time intensive, difficult chores are worth 3 points. 

chores by points

This chore system is all about flexibility to fit our needs though. This is a pretty extensive list of chore options, but there still are sometimes when I have something extra that comes up that I need done. In that case, I say, “Who will put the stroller in the car for 1 point?” (or whatever task I need accomplished).

Each child needs to do points that will add up to their age. For instance, our 11 year old completes 11 points of chores each day. He earns a “Behavior Buck” for chores once he meets his chore requirement for the day (which takes him maybe an hour at most). Yesterday, he did the following chores to accomplish his chore requirement:

empty trash (1 pt), wipe up a spill (1 pt), help younger siblings wash hands (1 pt), play with baby for 5 min. (1 pt), meal prep (2 pt), clear/wipe table (2 pt), and tidy family room (3 pt)

So far this system has worked really, really well. The kids get points towards their chore requirement for the day for little things they help out with. They’re looking around and seeing what needs to be done more often (instead of completing some rote list of tasks). And they’re becoming more experienced with a wide variety of household tasks!

I should note that not ALL chores are appropriate for every age (for instance, the preschooler would NOT be allowed to iron Sunday shirts). But our pre-teen is able to accomplish every item on this list. Use your own common sense 🙂


Reading to teach


I recently read an article in the Spring 2017 BYU Magazine, written by Sue Bergin, about how reading books which model important life lessons can be valuable to children. Because stories relate to a person’s emotions, they can be a particularly powerful teaching tool.

I read to my kids every day. We have several shelves of our own books at home with our favorite books. And we also fill a large basket at the library every week to have a new assortment of books to read. I let my kids choose many of the books we read, but I also pick a few. By choosing some “good” books, I can promote literacy AND positive behavior at the same time 🙂

For older kids who are reading on their own, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the Good and Beautiful book list compiled by Jenny Philips. (You can download a sample list at that link, or purchase the full list). I don’t have time to pre-screen every book my pre-teen reads. Jenny Philips has read hundreds of books and recommends books that teach good moral values; unfortunately, so many of the books available nowadays make rude and crude behavior seem funny– I appreciate that she’s gone through and found “good” books. My older kids have read many of the books on her list, and they’ve really enjoyed all of them. (Note that some of these books are older, and aren’t available at many public libraries. BUT… a lot of old books that are no longer under copyright are available to read online for FREE at Project Gutenberg and can be listened to FREE at LibriVox. I’ve found these to be very, very helpful resources.)

Here are some picture books for the little guys that Sue Bergin recommended in her article (with a few of my own suggestions):

SOCIAL AWARENESSunderstanding things from another person’s perspective

One Smile by Cindy McKinley

The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth

Do unto Otters by Laurie Keller


The Enchanted Wood by Ruth Sanderson

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

If I Only Had a Green Nose by Max Lucado

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

The Big Fib by Melissa Anderson

RELATIONSHIP SKILLS— positive interactions and friendship building

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

The Blessings Jar by Colleen Coble

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

SELF-MANAGEMENT— controlling thoughts and behavior

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Lacey Walker, Non-stop Talker by Christianne C. Jones

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

SELF-AWARENESS— identify own emotions

Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty

Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams

Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth


CTR Airlines Primary Activity


In our church, kids ages 3-12 attend “Primary”. The person in charge of the Primary (Primary President) ensures that there are teachers in place for each class (for an hour the kids are split up by age groups), plans lessons for “sharing time” (the hour when all the kids are together), and helps everything run smoothly. Our Primary President is awesome. She recently did a Saturday activity for the kids called “CTR Airlines” (CTR= Choose The Right). For the invitations, she made airline tickets with all the details.

When we arrived, the kids checked in. They received their luggage and put their names on luggage tags.

They also got their passports and put their names on them.

The passports show the destinations they’d be visiting.

The kids followed the signs to the “airplane”.

The “airplane” consisted of rows of seats set up airplane style in the overflow area of the chapel. In the front, there was a TV. The Primary President showed a short video clip emphasizing each destination’s important before we arrived.

Armor Island was our first destination. Before arriving, we watched a bible video about the Armor of God. After the video, she announced we had landed, and everyone got off the plane and we walked to the Primary room. There were tables set up with paintable CTR shield cookies for the kids to decorate. As the kids decorated, they came around and stamped the kids passports.

Afterwards we got back onto the airplane. We were shown a video about the importance of prayer. They came around with snacks (goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and water). Then we landed at Prayer Prairie. At this location, the kids painted prayer rocks.

Again, their passports were stamped and then we got back on to the plane. We were headed to our next destination, Service City. We watched this really sweet movie about a 13 year old boy who did a triathlon bringing his friend with cerebral palsy along with him.

At Service City, the kids helped sort broken crayons (which had been collected in the month prior to the activity) into different colors. The crayons would then be melted (by a non-profit organization) and made into new crayons to be given to local children’s hospitals.

We got back on to the plane and watched a short video about Paul telling the importance of heeding the Holy Ghost’s guidance. Then we arrived at our final destination, Obedience Beach. This was outside, and consisted of water balloons, sprinklers, and a homemade dunk tank. The kids had lots of fun.

I can’t take credit for any of these ideas, but I wanted to share them to help inspire others to throw fun activities for the kids in their churches!

Saint Patrick’s Day rainbows


This year for Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided to do a food craft with my kids. I like edible crafts because then there’s no extra clutter messing up my house, but they can still be creative!

I gathered fruits of each color, and vanilla yogurt for the background.

Red- strawberries

Orange- mandarin oranges

Yellow- bananas

Green- kiwi

Blue- blueberries

Purple- grapes

Shredded coconut for the clouds 

Here is one of the creations. (Don’t mind the super fancy bowl)

Teaching optimism verses pessimism


One of my kids like to find the negative in every situation. Fed up with his constant complaints yesterday, I drew a picture of a green triangle on our white board. I then wrote everything good about it. I paused, allowing my child to read all the good things I wrote about the triangle. Then, on the other side of the board, I wrote all negative things about the green triangle. 

I explained that two people can look at the very same thing, but see it in two opposite ways depending on their attitude. Attitude makes all the difference! The green triangle (or circumstance) remains the same.

I continued by explaining the idiom “see the glass half full”. 

I’m sure this won’t be my last spiel about seeing things in a positive light, but perhaps this can help you paint a picture for your own child who is struggling with complaining about things!

No-sugar-added applesauce 


One of my favorite things to make in the fall and autumn time is applesauce! I looked through a few recipes online, which inspired this recipe.


3lbs apples

1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/4 tsp salt
A squirt of lemon juice
Peel and core the apples. I use this really nice Pampered Chef apple peeler.

The apples come out sliced in rings. Then it takes just a few quick slices to get nice bite-size pieces of apples.

Add all ingredients in a large pot. It’s not going to look like there’s much liquid. That’s correct! As the apples cook, they give off their own juice.

Bring the liquid to a boil. Since the apples are atop the liquid, just use your spoon to check and see when the juice in the bottom of the pan starts boiling.

Then cover, turn to low and simmer 20 minutes. (Stir every 5-10min). 

Pour it into your Blendtec in two batches and press the “sauce” button.

Allow to cool a bit (it’s boiling hot at this point). This is delicious warm or cold! 

You can put it in a jar and keep in your fridge for up to a week (if it doesn’t all get eaten in one sitting!). I usually let my kids eat a bunch and then still have enough to fill about 15 squooshies (reusable food pouches our kids love).

Valentine’s Day cards


Tonight at a Relief Society Enrichment meeting (a monthly group for the women in my church), we made homemade Valentine’s Day cards. I don’t know who to give credit to since I was supplied the ideas second-hand, but I wanted to share them here 🙂

Buy a box of blank brown cards (Hobby Lobby carries them) to make these. You can elevate the pictures on each card by doing dots of hot glue (and letting a layer dry before adding on top of it for more height).

I love homemade cards!!