Nov 14

Job Jar for Tots

by Hannah Holt »


My children went through a phase a while ago where all their speaking vowels became extra extended. It sounded something like this: “I waaaant peanut butter. I doooon’t like tuuuuna.”

And this, “I waaant to plaaaaay. Plaaaay with meeee nooooow.”

It was driving me crazy, so I created a job jar for whining.  Every time a child came to me with “the voice,” I sent them to pulled a popsicle stick from the jar. The sticks had a variety of tasks written on them. They included things like:

  • give someone a hug
  • pick up three toys and put them away
  • draw a picture for Grandma
  • find two pieces of paper on the ground to recycle
  • pick a toy to share with your brother

The tasks were all simple things that 1) required almost no supervision on my part and 2) redirected their behavior. After a child understood their job, I had them put the stick back in the jar to use again later.

I’m not sure whether or not the job jar made this phase shorter, but it made it easier for me to pass through it. And that is a small victory in itself.

Me = 1, Whining = 0

  1. Stacy S. Jensen

    Love this. Project. My cousin has a list of task on popsicle sticks too.

  2. Gramma Holt

    I love the redirection technique….because the child’s bahavior isn’t bad…..mostly just irritating and non-productive. The Job Jar changes the direction to something easy, productive, and healthy. Love it a lot…..now that my kids are grown but oh wait! I will have grandkids near me soon! Bingo! (thank you!)

  3. Tina Cho

    Hmmm, I must keep this in mind for my older kids. haha

  4. Romelle

    Love it! I am going to throw in more chores in mine like cook, laundry, wash dishes, grocery shopping, iron clothes, mow the lawn…oops, got carried away. 10-year olds can do these things right?

  5. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books

    *makes sure Mom doesn’t see this* Umm… Great! Awesome! Gotta go! 😉

  6. julie rowan zoch

    LOVE this! Too bad I cannot make the font size BIG so uyou’d know how much!

  7. Lori Mozdzierz

    Love it!