Getting your kids to help out around the house, without you yelling at them, can be one of the most difficult, and frustrating parenting tasks! But to ensure the smooth running of your household, it is essential that everyone plays a part in its running – and for kids, that means helping out with the chores. Even very young kids can be encouraged to do their jobs about the house, so why not make chores for kids fun with these 8 easy tips, and have some fun while you work?
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Like any mother I found it hard to get my daughter to enjoy cleaning her room. No amount of begging, bribing or cajoling could entice her to get to work.
As the cycle went, eventually I would give in and do it myself, until we just skipped the conversation all together and she began to get so lazy she wouldn’t pick up her dirty clothes after undressing, or put her shoes away after taking them off.
In an effort to turn things around, I changed my stance. She needed to learn that we all have a role to play in the household, and looking after her room was one of her jobs.
Here are my simple tips for making chores for kids a bit of fun.
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How to Make Chores for Kids Fun
1. Make a Chore Chart
A chart is a fun and visual way to track your child’s chores, while also giving them the independence to complete tasks on their own. You could make your own, or download our free chore chart and get started straight away.
2. Tidying Toys
Make tidying up the toys fun, by getting your child to put them into the storage box. Younger children could practice counting as they go along, or you can count to 20, and they must have all the toys back in the box before you finish.
Little kids will enjoy you being silly when putting toys and objects away – act as though you don’t know where they go “Oh wow, can you remember where the jigsaws go?”. They will think you are very stupid, take it off you and put it away!
Older kids may prefer having assigned storage boxes for each of their toys – one for LEGO, one for dressing up, one for dolls and figures, one for cars, etc.
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3. Tidying/Washing Dishes
It’s generally pretty easy to get them to clean away their dishes after themselves. However, for younger kids, you might want to make sure they’re not the finest china to prevent any breakages.
Kids also seem to enjoy washing the dishes, particularly younger kids – in my house this is “splash time”, which sounds horrific but actually isn’t as bad as you would think.
Remember to take anything sharp or breakable out before allowing your child their independence at the sink. Then put them standing on the chair in front of the sink and let them get started.
4. Set up an Activity Corner
Each time they want to play those games, they go to that corner of the room and it means if any of the pieces get lost, they’re somewhere in that section of the room.
5. Clothes Washing & Storing
The tip here is to start early! It’s also worthwhile ensuring their clothes are stored low enough for them to reach – if they can’t reach clothes hung up high, we can’t expect them to be able to put their things away.
Encourage them to bring their dirty clothes to the laundry basket, to sort their washing by colours, and to help load and turn on the machine. Teach them while they are young, as they help you willingly and feel like little grown ups. The more they help you around the house from a young age the less attitude that comes as they get older! It just becomes part of their their daily routine.
Sometimes letting the kids help with cooking can be more hassle than it’s worth, especially if you are in a rush. But it is good to get your kids involved in the kitchen from a young age, as being involved in the prep/cooking of a meal can often encourage them to try different foods. It’s also a good time to catch-up and chat about the day.
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7. Music While You Work
Put on some of your favourite music while you get on with your jobs together. It’s a great distraction and the time always seems to pass a bit quicker.
8. Offer Rewards
My belief is that the promise of a reward after all their hard work is good motivation, and works well in my house.
If they do their chores all week days, then allow the weekend to be free, and plan a treat. It can be as simple as having a hot chocolate or an ice cream, or you could build up rewards to have a cinema trip at the end of the month. A pizza and movie night at home over the weekend is always popular!
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Have you got any tips for making chores for kids fun? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!