With the Kids

Helping Kids Learn Responsibility with Job Jars

Job jars are just what I needed to help my kids have some sort of routine this summer. I got this great idea from a friend’s blog. Megan has 4 cute girlies and they’re getting chores done with these great Job Jars.


With 6 sticks for both my kids, I wrote a specific job on each. My son’s sticks are blue and my daughter’s sticks are pink, of course! You can make your jobs fit your routine and age of kids. Once the job is done, the stick gets turned with the colored side down.

Here’s what I chose to write on our sticks:

  • Make your bed
  • Get dressed
  • Clean your room
  • Brush your teeth
  • Give Mom a Hug
  • Mom’s Job Choice

So far, our Job Jars are working great and my kids respond very well to them. We don’t use these everyday, but at the crack of dawn when they’re wanting to play with friends, or watch TV, or play computer, they have to go to the Job Jars first. It’s great. Thanks Megan!


  1. Victoria – Thanks for sharing! I’m happy Tauni sent you my way! I still use these Job Jars, even after 2 years!! They are super simple and do the trick.

  2. I love this idea. I was trying to come up with an idea and didn’t just want a paper chart so I searched Chore Jar on google and your blog came up. My friend @TauniTweets raves about your site all the time so I know you have great stuff. Can’t wait to try this idea!

  3. @ Pam B – We make it that they have to have all their Morning Chores done before tv, etc. Same thing when afternoon and evening roll around. It’s a nice break-down of the day.

  4. I really like this! I might change it up a bit: I’ll reverse the way they’re turned over – when the job is done, the colored side is up. Also, next to each chore, at the end of the stick, there will be either a sun, a half moon, or a rising sun with clouds to show what time of day the chore needs to be done (we have certain chores that need to happen repeatedly -like brush teeth, pick up toys – throughout the day.) This way, once their morning chores are done, they are done until afternoon chores and likewise with evening chores.

    Sidenote: I already have a “Good Job!” Jar that we fill up with marbles. Each child has a color of marble (blue, green, purple). Once the jar is full, we go as a family and do something special (the zoo, park, swimming, get shakes..) We then empty the jar and start all over again (note: it’s important to “pick” what activity the family will be doing when starting with the empty jar. This keeps it from being “vague” and keeps them motivated). When they complete all their chores for the morning, they get a marble. Likewise the rest of the day. When they do something worth rewarding, they get a marble. I can also “take away” marbles for bad behavior. It’s been great and versatile – one child kept getting out of bed at night. We told him if he stayed in his bed all night, he’d get 3 marbles. Worked great! I even used this while potty training…a marble every time a successful trip was made. I love how this involves everyone working together as a team. (I’ve given myself some marbles at times!) We DO make special recognition if one child has by far the most marbles…sometimes others put in more work and deserve special recognition. This could be as simple as a special sticker on their chore jar, or a small toy, special outing with mom or dad. Whatever you feel is best.

  5. So, how many jobs do the kids have to do before allowed to play with friends, watch TV, go on the computer? My kids are 4, 10 and 13…and there are plenty of jobs to be done. I wouldn’t consider “give Mom a hug” as a job, but maybe it’s more of a chore for my 13 year-old. I like that idea! :)

  6. This is the greatest idea! I’m totally going to incorporate into our Summer routine!! Thanks!

  7. So glad you did the jars! I love them too. My girlies have been doing theirs faithfully. It really has made a difference in what my house looks like too. The morning runs so much smoother and they know just what to do. I also don’t feel like the bad guy because when they ask me if they can go play all I have to say is did you flip your sticks and their jar answers for them. Love them too. Love your blog too. Do you have a button?

  8. We love these Job Jars. We just used them this morning in fact and the house is so much more calm and clean! I’ve loved them and hope you will too.

  9. So that’s where I saw that! I was telling the boys today that I saw this idea that we were going to start using. I told them I couldn’t remember which blog, but that we were going to use it. They know what to do, but they are such visual learners that they just need the little visuals to help them remember what they have and haven’t done. This was a great idea!!

  10. This is great. I have come up with tons of different ideas for job charts, list, etc. but this is very simple and seems easily workable. Thanks for the post and congratulations on your new addition.

  11. great idea! i’m gonna do this for my 7 yr old so we don’t have any more whining about it! even my 2 year old will like this w/ super simple stuff!

  12. Marie-
    I love this idea too! I use Daily Routine cards for my son so that he knows where and what he’s doing for the day. But I’ve been looking for something for jobs. This will be perfect! Thanks!

  13. what a GREAT idea! I am putting mine together TODAY! My kids have been doing chores for a while now but this will be easier than a chart. Love it thanks!

  14. Oh, thank you! I was going to make a chart tonight, but have been having a hard time coming up with how it will work. This is great, and simple enough for me to keep up with!

  15. WOW – THANK YOU FOR THAT!!! I have been trying to sit down all summer and establish a chore & behavior chart but still haven’t found the time!! I am running out to get some sticks this morning!!!
    So simple, yet so brilliant!! I think I am also going to use a second jar for behavior (maybe green as a bonus for good behavior and red for bad). I’ll have to play with that system!
    I especially like your “mom’s choice” stick as everyday comes with a new priority!
    I subscribe to alot of blogs (including yours) and I gotta tell ya, yours is one of my FAVS!!!
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. ^_^

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