Thursday, May 7, 2009

Melissa and Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart

We recently purchased the Melissa and Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart for Eliana. We are not so much using it as a reward chart as we are a way to keep track of the things she is supposed to be doing every day. And so far, she is very excited about it. I am excited about it because I tend to forget to keep her on a "routine", which means I often forget things in her schedule like brushing her teeth. They are routine for me, but not for her yet, so I'm trying to get to that place. And for her, she gets to put a smiley face down when she does it, so it's exciting and she remembers to do it! =D

There are lots of "responsibilities" included with this chart. They range from things like dishes and homework to no teasing and stop whining. Because there are things we expect Eliana to do all the time ("say please and thank you", "aplogize to someone", "share") I doubt we will ever use those magnets. At least not as part of this chart. They need to be done more than once a day, so I don't know how you would use the smiley faces in conjunction with them. There are plenty of others that we will use, though, as part of her schedule, such as making her bed (which we don't have her do right now) or taking care of a pet (when we someday have one).

Right now our schedule reads:
*Get Dressed
*Brush Teeth
*Empty Dishwasher
*Clean Up Room
*Put Clothes in Wash
*Take a Bath
*Get Ready for Bed

Generally, the first 3 are done in the morning (getting dressed, brushing teeth, and emptying the dishwasher). It is her job to put away the silverware when I empty the dishwasher. Just to explain that we don't expect our 2 year old to empty the whole dishwasher. =D The last 4 are part of her bedtime routine. Cleaning up her room, putting her clothes in the wash (really, putting them in the hamper in the closet when she takes them off for her bath), taking a bath, and getting ready for bed.

If nothing else, I hope this chart will help me be a little more regular about her routine, and help her learn that routines are important and good for helping us make sure the things that need to be done get done.

As for the set itself, I think the wood and magnet quality seem to be good. I have yet to be disappointed by a Melissa and Doug product as far as quality is concerned, and this isn't any different. As mentioned above, I think some of the "responsibilities" are a little odd given that they shouldn't be a once a day thing, but then maybe everyone doesn't expect their children to be polite all the time and once a day will suffice. Who knows. I do sort of wish that they had put the chart on the bottom panel and the storage panel on the top so that I could stand the chart up like an easel instead of hanging it. It's too heavy to hang on a fridge (I can't find any magnetic hooks that are strong enough to hold it), and I don't really know of another good place to hang it. So I do wish that were different in the design, just for versatility. Overall, though, I'm pleased with it so far.

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