Get right on track with a Thomas-inspired chore wheel that will turn your preschool train enthusiasts into Really Useful Engines!
Time: 15-20 minutes
- Black construction paper
- Red construction paper
- White paper
- Magic markers in assorted colors
- Glue stick
- (1) Brass paper fastener
- Sit with your child and determine four important chores he might do each week. For example: picking up toys, folding socks, helping to feed a pet and/or helping to set the table. Involve your child in the decision-making process to further invest him in the chores!
- Cut the black construction paper into a large circle (approximately 7.5” x 7.5”).
- Cut the white paper into a slightly smaller circle (7” x 7”) and adhere onto the black paper using the glue stick. The result will look like a train wheel!
- Using a ruler to trace straight lines, draw two intersecting lines across the diameter of the circle to create a “+” dividing the chore wheel into four equal parts.
- Using the different colored markers, note a chore in each quadrant and let your child decorate the wheel. Write the chore name around the perimeter of the white circle so the arrow does not cover up important information!
- To further connect it to Thomas’ world, assign a character to each job: Whiff can inspire the trash-collecting chore; Percy can deliver laundry (as he delivers mail!), James can be very useful in clearing dishes and Thomas is No. 1 when it comes to caring for plants and animals!
- Cut the red construction paper into an arrow 1” wide by 3” long.
- Using the paper fastener, punch a hole into the bottom-middle of the arrow and fasten it to the center of the Chore Wheel. The arrow will be able to spin to the different quadrants, indicating which core your child is responsible for that week.
- Post the wheel in a central location. Make weekly station stops to change the arrow on the wheel and watch your child demonstrate how Really Useful he can be!
Talk About It
Developing a sense of responsibility doesn’t happen overnight! Discuss how the chore wheel is working with your child. Are there any obstacles to getting the job done? How can you problem solve to remove any barriers? Are there other jobs your child might be able to do? You can try out different ones to see which option is easiest to complete independently.
Optional: Reward stickers may be posted on the wheel or on a separate piece of paper to indicate a job well-done. Special rewards may be offered when he reaches a certain number of stickers!