Penny Jobs for Two to Four-Year-Old Kids

I LOVE my system of teaching my kids how to do extra chores around the house. It works GREAT for motivating my kids and it helps mommy out too! There are SOOO many benefits to doing it this way and I think Dave Ramsey would be proud! 

We do not call these chores. Chores are responsibilities that they have to do because it's part of being in a family. If you want to know what chores I have for my little kids, check out my post from yesterday. JOBS are things we do to get MONEY. Just like mommy and daddy for their jobs - well at least daddy does in our household! They must do the jobs WELL and with a good attitude or they do not get paid. Jobs are also something they VOLUNTEER to do, they are not required. I do ask them occasionally if they would like to do a Penny Job, but it is ok if they say no. 

I do not do Penny Jobs for one-year-olds because they don't understand the concept at this point. 


  • Dusting - super fun with a feather duster! 
  • Picking Up Baby's toys
  • Picking Up Laundry from a certain room and putting them in the hamper
  • Picking Up all shoes and putting them in the appropriate places
  • Sweeping with a Dust Pan and Brush under the Kitchen table after a meal
  • Pick up books and put them on the shelf
  • All of the two-year-old jobs
  • Helping with Laundry - Mommy takes the wet out and they put it in the dryer, shut the door and start it. Mommy can get a second load going while they put the wet in! 
  • Wiping the Bathroom Sink with a Disinfecting Wipe 
  • Cleaning Toys with a Wipe
  • Straightening the Area Rugs
  • Scrubbing a dirty pan in the sink with a scrubbie (my kids LOVE to do this!) 
  • All of the 2 and 3 year-old jobs
  • Making Mommy and Daddy's bed
  • Folding clean towels from the laundry
  • Picking up toys outside
  • Fix the books on the bookshelf with spine out
  • Wipe the table after a meal 
  • Catch them doing or helping someone do their chores or job, they get TWO pennies - but not if they tell you about it - doesn't count! 
So now that they have done their jobs and earned their pennies? What do we do with the pennies? They get to choose from three options! 

  1. They can put them in the offering plate on Sunday morning. (I usually emphasize or encourage this on Saturday or even on Sunday morning). If they choose to do this - I put them in envelopes by the door to grab before church on Sunday. I grab the envelopes EVERY Sunday even if they are empty - so when they want to put money in the offering plate - they get their envelope to see if they put any pennies in their envelope. I've had some pretty SAD faces when they don't have anything to put in the plate on Sunday! 
  2. They can save them. (This is rarely chosen because they are soooo young!) 
  3. Or they can spend them on candy right away! 
So far - the piggy banks and purses are quite empty and this is quite full of pennies and empty of Peanut Butter M & Ms! Gum? Not a chance! This works well because they are learning to spend money for the things they want and when we're at the store and they want some trivial thing I ask if they have saved their pennies. Of course they haven't but they are learning that it costs money and hard work to buy things and that mommy and daddy are not going to fork it out for them because they work hard for their money too! 

We picked this gumball machine up at Toys R Us and I have been VERY happy with it! You can set it up to dispense candy without pennies but you have to take it apart to do that. It's too hard for them to turn by themselves and even if they DO find a penny somewhere and pull it off by themselves it only dispenses 1-3 pieces at a time (always a mystery!) so no worries about too much candy! I'm sure that as they get older and the chores are more substantial and the candy is not as gratifying, we will adjust our system but for right now - this works perfectly! 

In HIS Grip, 


  1. oh I like it :) I'm starting to think up my list of chores now!

  2. What a fantastic idea and I love you list of "jobs"... we just started chores and I think my little ones would like to have this as part of our routine!!

  3. It's wonderful when kids get to the age to be able to help out. I now have my four and seven year olds emptying the dishwasher--how awesome is that:) We use an ABC giving bank that works great to teach them about tithing, saving and spending. Enjoyed visiting from WLW.


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