My preschooler is a teacher's pet, just like me (as my husband would point out). She loves to help, so we knew the Melissa and Doug Magnetic Responsiblity Chart would appeal to her approval-seeking nature. Yet we never expected her to tell others that it's her FAVORITE Christmas present. What an endorsement!
About the Product
This is intended for children ages 3 and up. The chart has two wooden tablets connected by fabric hinges. The whole thing measures 25" x 16" x 1.25". There's also a fabric loop on the top tablet so this can be hung up on the wall.
The top tablet has a grid of 8 columns by 7 rows. Seven rectangular magnets are on the left column and then there are 7 columns to its right, one for each day. The rectangular magnets are each labeled with a task and a full-color cartoon image for pre-readers. There are 25 tasks, which include putting away toys, cleaning up your room, making your bed, helping with indoor chores, not whining, and taking a bath.
Some of the tasks are more sophisticated and likely intended for older children (like showing respect, not using bad language, and loading the dishwasher). There are also 2 blank rectangular magnets so you can add your own tasks. Since you can only use 7 task magnets at a time, I imagine this adapts well as your child ages.
There are 90 circular magnets for marking completed chores each day. They have happy faces on them in different colors (red, pink, yellow, purple, green and blue). Each color has a different slogan like "Excellent!" or "Way to go!"
The bottom tablet is a white dry erase board, but we find it handy just to leave the extra magnets there.
While I thought I might have to tie earning smile magnets to some external reward, my preschooler is perfectly happy just earning the magnets and putting them on there herself. Each night, she goes and adds magnets on for chores she has completed that day. Every Sunday, we take all the other magnets off and start the week again.
I currently have a mix of task magnets so there are some easy ones she gets every day (like brushing her teeth). I also have some tasks that are harder to earn to keep her "hungry" for more smilies.
The magnets aren't very strong, so my 4.5 year old often knocks some off the bottom tablet when she's trying to pick certain colors. That's the most serious complaint I have about this chart. The other minor quibble is that I wish there were more blank rectangular magnets so I could further customize them to our needs.
This is an excellent way to keep track of your child's completion of family chores and encourage good behaviors. I'm not sure it will work for every child but it's been incredibly successful in my home.
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Amount Paid (US$): 9.99
Type of Toy: Other
Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years