I’m not sure about you, but screen time is a constant struggle around here. I fall kind of into the middle ground: I’m not staunchly opposed to letting the kids play on the iPad or a few levels of Mario, but I also don’t want them living -or begging- for it. I might put on a movie or tv series for them to watch during rest time in the afternoon while Josie is napping, but outside of that we don’t do much screen time on the regular. That’s why my kids are buying their screen time this summer ⭐️ here’s the deal:
I knew I had to prepare a response for the inevitable chorus of “can I play on the iPad” that would begin as soon as the bell rang on their last day of school. So before they could even ask, I introduced this new straightforward summer screen time system. We’ve tried implementing chores with reward systems in the past but for one reason or another they just haven’t worked for us. This one IS and I think your kids might like it too!
The form above will give you instant access to your own download of a blank choose-a-chore chart! I had mine printed at Staples on 110lb paper but your home printer will do just fine!
As a family, we came up with a few tasks that they could complete around the house and assigned each one 1-5 stars based on their effort and time. We kept it simple enough for my 6- and 8-year-old to do on their own (or with minimal help). Tougher jobs earn more stars and are usually only done once-ish a week (topping our list is organizing laundry and helping to mow the grass). Easier tasks can be done daily and get 1 star (wipe surfaces with a cleaning wipe or make your bed).
It’s as easy as banking 10 stars and you can buy 20min of screen time 🤑! Simple, right?
Using this chart, we’re able to introduce the value of working towards a goal, star management (you can save them for bigger chunks of screen time), and the responsibility of choosing to complete chores and earn stars if they want to use their electronics.
We’ve tried chore or routine charts in the past but they just haven’t worked for our family. I’m thrilled that we’ve been using this for about a week, it has stuck, and it seems like we may have actually eliminated the screen time struggle. So why is it working? I think it’s because this system has turned control over to them; they don’t actually HAVE to do any of this stuff. But they are- and they have each been averaging about one free-play screen time sesh per day. Getting a cleaner and more organized house out of it doesn’t hurt either 😉
I wanted to provide blank coupons in my free download so you can write your own tasks that work for your family and household. We picked chores but you could also do different sorts of challenges! If you need some ideas for getting started these are the tasks my kids can choose from:
1 Star : Make bed, disinfectant wipe surfaces/door knobs
2 Stars : Vaccuum a room, Move your laundry into the washer
3 Stars: Take trash cans to curb, Clean up activity table
4 Stars: 15 minute quick clean, empty dishwasher
5 Stars: Organize a load of laundry, Mow grass