Mardi Gras is one of those times when hoarding is actually encouraged. Collecting as many bead necklaces as you can is somehting that engages all ages and genders. Using this idea, I’ve come up with a reward system that is bound to get kids (and maybe even some parents) excited about helping around the house. Each time a task is completed, you get another bead to add to your necklace. See just how long your necklace can become in just one week! You can also add to the fun by making your own beads ahead of time with duct tape and straws.
AgePreschool, School-age, Tweens
Number of Players2, 3 to 4, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+, As many as you can handle!
Prep Time20 minutes or more
Time LengthIndefinite (as long as you want!)
DifficultyAttention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Space NeededSmall (a clearable open space the size of a 1-car garage)
Mess FactorDustpan, please
1. Write up a chore chart for each participant (parents can get into it too, with their own chore charts) or just one major list of basic chores. Assign each chore a bead value; chores that take more time, such as mowing the lawn, should be worth more beads. For example...
Making the bed - 1 bead
Walking the dog - 1 bead
Washing the car - 3 beads
2. Hand out a 3-foot piece of string to each player and have them select one favorite bead from the bead container.
3. Have each player securely tie their bead to the end of their string (this will keep the various beads from slipping off as the beads are accumulated throughout the week).
4. Have each player make a loop at the opposite end of the string. Slip a paper clip onto this end, or make an S-shaped hook out of a 4-inch pipe cleaner and slip one end over the loop.
5. Write each player’s name on a slip of paper, secure it to the cork board with a push pin, and slip the paperclip or S-hook over the push pin so the string hangs where it can easily be seen.
How to Play
1. Set aside a time each day (before bed time is probably the best time) for bead distribution. The bead box should stay in a secure place where only an adult has access to it.
2. At the end of each day bring out the bead box, and take an assessment of all the chores completed that day. Let each person choose their own beads, remove the hook from their string, and slide them onto their necklace string.
4. Once the beads have been strung, re-hook them to the bulletin board.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 3, every day for a week.
4. At the end of the week, after the final beads have been distributed and strung, tie off the ends of the necklaces and wear your beautiful creations with pride!
1. Make sure the bead box is hidden in a safe place.
2. Keeping track of completed chores can be done with colored markers. Assign a color for each player, and as they finish a chore, place a check next to the chore. Once a bead has been awarded, “X” that check mark off, to keep from awarding double beads. To help keep this organized, write each person’s name in a different color, and use that color for their check marks.
3. You can make your own beads very simply. Simply take strips of fun colored duct tape and wrap around drinking straws. Cut the straws into ¼, ½, ¾, 1 inch beads. You can make bunches of beads easily this way! Check out our Straw Bead tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
4. If you find that this system is working for your family, you may want to try using thematic
beads for each month or week. For example, use pink, white and red beads during the week of Valentine’s, use wooden beads for Earth day, letter beads for back to school, etc.