Kalliope Kids: Birthday Presents for My 80’s Pop Princess

80's Pop PrincessMy niece’s birthday is September 5, and she is all girl and channeling her inner 80’s diva!  My project for today has been to finish off her pink wristlets and leg warmers–she’s none to happy that I made her pose in them and then give them back to me to wrap up for her birthday next week!

Not to worry–she knew they were coming.  I started them last week and, because I am winging this, I needed her to try them on.  These were made with acrylic yarn that I found in the craft box (we used it to make hearts last Valentine’s Day–that is a post for another day!) and my Knifty Knitters.  I used the blue (small) infant hat hoop for the leg warmers and the flower loom for the wristlets–she’s turning 5 and not too big.

Leg warmersI doubled up the yarn in this one–for the wristlets I used one strand light and one strand dark pink.  The leg warmers were the same, but I used 2 strands dark pink for the top and bottom edges.  I also edged both with alternating knit/purl rows, and knit the main body.  I’m liking how they turned out, but I do find that the leg warmers are a bit stiff from the doubled yarn.  I’m hoping that they soften up a bit in the wash!  Leg WarmersWristlets


Kalliope Kids: Chore Chart

Here it goes–Post Number 1! And it’s only several weeks overdue 🙂 I have been crafting and crafting these days, trying to get birthday parties and presents done–it’s hard to find time to actually post everything I have been making! But I thought the first thing I should post is the chore chart I made for the kids–now that it has been in play for several weeks, I can see how it’s working. And it IS!
I made this with the Cricut Lite Chore Chart cartridge, a whole lot of Command hooks, and a piece of foam board cut to fit (I made it to fit a small wall that is beside our kitchen so the kids can see it regularly–it helps inspire them!) I created a bunch of tags, each with a chore on the front and a star on the back (and some blank ones with just the star)–we have making the bed, brushing teeth, setting the table, doing the dishes, homework, reading, cleaning up toys, taking a bath, bringing me the dirty laundry, putting away laundry, feeding the fish, being happy, and brushing hair. I tried to add some that they would get easily, so they would be able to earn some and not get disheartened, and some that were a bit more of a challenge. Plus I added plain stars that they earn when they are just being good–discretionary stars. There are multiple of each star, and a row of hooks under the days of the week. Each of the stars is laminated so we can use them over and over.

Detail ChoresWe give lots of stars out each week–and we take them away! Every time we need to stop a behavior, we give the kidlets a warning and then they start losing. The first day we had this going, each of the older kids lost so many stars they went negative and had to earn some back. But they definitely learned quickly!

At the end of the week, on Friday (our family night), the kids get to add up all their stars and trade them in for rewards. Rewards are both big and small–they get the chance to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s room, get an hour of play time out front (because it requires supervision), half an hour of tv or video games, a trip to Disneyland or Sea World, and so on. (They still get to do things like play out front anyway, but they get to dictate when that happens if they have that reward–within reason.) When they have decided what they want, they take the little star tag with the reward on it and hang it beside their name. They have to put it back when they have used it. I also made some blank reward stars that we just fill in if they have a toy or something else they want to save for–that way we can give them a value for it. Reward Stars

The kids also have the option of saving up stars–if you look in the first picture, there is a # sign under their names with a hand-written number beside it. Laminating is a wonderful thing–it lets us use a dry erase marker and erase as needed! The kids are trying to save some stars each week and save up for a trip to Disneyland. It’s good practice for them to balance the saving/spending. I’m hoping they learn a bit about money from this exercise too… especially since they have the option of earning money from their stars as well (10 cents a star). It took us a week of earning stars before we actually decided on a number–we wanted to see how much they managed to earn before telling them the monetary value!

DaysThe kids also get to share stars if they want–but they also have to share their reward. They have been debating whether to share their Disneyland stars–if they share, we all go together, but if they save up themselves, they get to go alone with one parent (this sounds more expensive than it is–we have annual passes!). It’s been a tough call, since they will get to go sooner if they share, but if they go by themselves they get to decide which rides and where they go on their trip. It’s fun to watch them try to work it out, and it’s good for them to get to have some responsibility in the decision.

And for anyone who is wondering, that last line for poor Meeska with no stars on it–he’s only 18 months and is much more interested in pulling all the stars off the board than earning them! I just wanted something that would work for him, too, when he’s old enough–so hopefully this is still going in a year’s time when he can figure it out!

I hope this helps anyone looking for an effective chore chart–it’s big, but works incredibly well. I did a lot of searching online for one that would work for my family, and couldn’t find anything exactly what I needed (but that’s why I’m crafty, right?!). Maybe this will inspire you to create your own!