We used to have chores on popsicle sticks, the kids would each pick 6 chores and get them done.
My experience with chore charts is that they don't last. Every system I've ever done to help the kids with chores and behavior have always fizzled.
So I think the key for me is to keep it fresh and every couple months start a new system. The kids get excited and work harder than before. And then of course it fizzles, and then that's when I'll start something new.
So our new chore chart is simply a sticker chart. This time instead of having them pick chores every day, they are assigned 6 chores and those are their chores every day. I think this is helping them to get better at cleaning up those areas, and also it helps them try to keep "their" areas clean during the day so they won't have a huge mess to clean up tomorrow.
Each kid gets a sticker every day if they do all of their chores, and if they have good behavior. Luckily I have really awesome kids and behavior is not really an issue with the older ones. (Ben the 2-year-old however is a different story.) (And Katelyn is coming up on those pre-teen years so we are bracing ourselves).
Benjamin has 2 stickers to earn every day, both for behavior, one before nap and one after nap. If he gets at least one sticker a day his reward is getting to spend a couple of hours alone with Grandma and Grandpa Clift. This worked like a CHARM last week. He was mostly good all week with his eyes on the prize. He would wake up every day hoping it was Saturday. And then finally on Saturday we said, "Ben you get to go see gramma and grampa." He replied, "No, on Saturday"
Alex decided his reward would be either a $2 allowance or he could choose Mommy and Alex time. This was so precious to me, that he would work hard all week just to spend alone time with mom! So we went to lunch, and then we walked around Target. I found it interesting that even though he's a boy he really enjoys looking at boy clothes--something that I never really stop and look at because I figured he was a boy and didn't care. We spent an hour and a half walking around Target looking at everything. I let him lead the way. I really loved getting to know more about his growing personality.
Katelyn chose to either get a $2 allowance or a back rub. She lucked out because she got alone time with daddy, they played the Wii the whole time Alex and I were away. And then when I came home she got a relaxing massage with lotion. She was in heaven.
I think it's easy to forget that sometimes it's just those small little things, like alone time and back rubs, that kids really want. I like how they didn't choose the allowance or toys. Man, I have some great kids! :)