Ava is old enough now to begin understanding that there are some things she needs to do on a daily basis to help herself and to contribute to our family life. So, we made her a Responsibility Jar by decorating an empty food canister and purchasing some glass pebbles (I really wanted marbles but couldn't find any) at the dollar store. Colorful pom-poms would have been fun, too.
How It Works
Ava and I talked about what her responsibilities would be and she helped me make the pictures on white labels. We then trimmed them and stuck them onto the outside of the canister. Each time she completes one of her responsibilities, she gets to draw a pebble (she calls them jewels) from a bag and add it to her jar.
Why It Works
Currently, I like using a jar better than using a chart, because I never have to re-do or re-print it. If we decide to change one of her responsibilities, we can just cover over an existing label with a new one. Currently, she has four responsibilites (which I am monitoring at this age) - Brush her teeth, Make her bed, Eat all of her food, and Pick up her toys. She thinks brushing her teeth and making her bed are fun, so I was glad to include them as part of her responsibilities. I don't want her to think of all responsibilities or chores as being a pain.
At this age, just putting the "jewel" in the jar is enough motivation. I hope it continues this way for a while. If one day when she is older we need to motivate her further, we may let there be some sort of reward when she fills the jar... maybe something like getting to pick a movie for movie night or a trip to the park or whatever seems appropriate when we cross that bridge.