When it comes to getting your kids to do chores, it can be difficult to get them interested in helping. Even though most of the mess is theirs, children just aren’t ready to do their part to help with housework. You can always try using reward charts to help encourage good behavior, but sometimes it’s as simple as “money talks.”
These free printable “chore bucks” will allow you to pay your kids with time instead of money, and they can be used for all sorts of things your kids might love. Plus, they’re a great way to help kids learn a variety of skills that will help them later in life.
What Are Chore Bucks?
To put it simply, Chore Bucks are pieces of currency your kids can earn in exchange for completing tasks that you set. You can create your own specific system whereby a set task earns a set payment, or you can offer up payment as you see fit.
Instead of actual money, these Chore Bucks are worth time, specifically minutes. The minutes can be accumulated and used in different ways depending on your family’s situation.
How to Use Chore Bucks
Chore Bucks can be used in a variety of ways. Each family is different, and so there are many uses for these tickets. The basic premise is that your child earns time depending on the work he or she completes. They can then turn in their tickets and use this time for specific advantages, such as staying up later, more time on the computer, or extra one-on-one time with mom or dad.
Depending on how you structure your Chore Buck program, you can even encourage your children to get creative with their ideas. If the child is in a ten minute time-out and wants to use a five minute ticket to cut their time in half, then that is a clever use of their earned time. Or perhaps everyone is working together to clear up after supper, an activity that generally takes ten minutes. One of the kids would like to be excused, so they use their ten minute ticket to be free for this evening.
The great thing about this type of currency is that your child is earning time against future activities. They aren’t simply being lazy or making excuses to get out of helping – because they have already done something extra to earn their Chore Bucks.
Another way you may choose to use these tickets is to pay them based on the time they’ve put in during the week. For instance, if they have done thirty minutes worth of chores, they get a thirty minute ticket. They collect tickets throughout the week, and at the end, they are paid based on how much time they have collected. Each child is paid based on the effort they’ve put in. This way, allowances are much fairer, and kids don’t have to feel like they have put in more effort than a sibling who gets paid the same.
Chore Bucks can be used in different ways depending on the ages of your children. Before using them, get a feel for what may work best in your family’s situation.
What Skills do Chore Bucks Teach Children?
Chore Bucks have the potential to teach a great many skills to kids. No matter what age they are, these are a great teaching tool for parents and caregivers. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Basic Math – Adding and subtracting Chore Bucks is a great way to get kids doing basic math in their heads. Figuring out how many tickets they need to earn a perk will have them calculating over and over again.
Time – Since the tickets are based on minutes, children will become more familiar with how to tell time. While their math skills are being honed, they will be learning fractions based on the sixty minutes of a clock rather than percentages of one hundred.
Negotiation – Since there are many ways to use Chore Bucks, your children will be able to negotiate their way to earning more for their work as well as getting more for their time. Allowing them to “haggle” will give them a sense of how to deal with people fairly.
Patience – Saving their Chore Bucks may be difficult for younger children. Earning five minutes here or there may not feel like much, so saving is going to be how they earn the bigger prizes. Learning to be patient will be a necessary skill for them, and this is a great way for them to get there.
Fairness – Having a visual representation of time they can see and hold to show them how much they have worked (or not) comparative to others and what that gets them (or doesn’t) will help them learn about what is fair.
How to Get Your Own Chore Bucks
If you want to make your own Chore Bucks at home, I’ve got you covered. I’ve made a free printable for you so you can download and print off as many as you would like.
I’ve even made some in black and white for those who don’t want to print in color. They’re great for younger kids, too, since they’re fun to color in!
And that’s it. I would love to know any more ideas for how you use these Chore Bucks. It always makes me happy to see how others find new ways to create cool things with my printables. Leave a comment below, OR find me on Pinterest to show me what you’ve done. I hope these are helpful. I know my kids LOVE them.
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.