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?
Like any mother I found it hard to get my daughter to enjoy cleaning her room. No matter how much I bribed her she kept saying it was my job, as I am the Mammy! Ironic isn’t it!
Eventually I gave in and did it, until 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!
But she needed to learn, that she as a child, also has her own chores & her room was one of them. Here are my simple tips for making chores for kids a bit of fun.
1. Make a Chore Chart
- Make a chart up you for each child, and let them tell you at what chores they think they will be really good. At least they will feel like they have been consulted, and have had a say!
- Make boxes on the chart to allow them to achieve good marks.
- Each time they complete a chore or clean the room fully, they get a good mark and a small bit of praise.
You might also like to try the ChoreMonster app.
2. Tidying Toys
- Make tidying up the dolls and actions figures fun, by getting your child to toss them into the storage box. They could practice their counting as they throw, or you can count to 20, and they must have all the toys back in the box before you finish.
- Play 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? I remember in the basket”. They will think your very stupid and take it off you and put it where it goes!
- When the girls are putting the dolls and buggies away, tell them to pretend their dolls are going for a sleepover and not to forget to put all the dolls accessories the bag. Just in case they need them later that night!
3. Tidying/Washing Dishes
It’s generally pretty easy to get them to clean away their dishes after themselves. For younger kids, you might want to make sure they’re plastic though.
- Ask them to see can they reach the sink and put them in without breaking them.
- It’s a challenge and when they come back gloating tell them it was just good luck and they wouldn’t be able to do it all the time.
- They voluntarily offer to put them in the sink slowly but surely and it’s not so much a chore any more.
Kids also seem to enjoy washing the dishes, particularly younger kids.
- Put them standing on the chair in front of the sink, put the stopper in with a small amount of water and some washing liquid. Our house class this as “Splash Time”! Believe it or not it isn’t messy and they do their own dishes so well they feel like cleaning them all the time.
- Remember to take anything sharp and breakable out before allowing your child their independence at the sink
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 tips here is to start early, like I did! 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.
My child is 4 ½, and she has been putting her own washing away since she was 3, and in fact enjoys it more than she should actually!
When I call her to get the washing she hold out her two hands straight, I hand her all of her own clothes one after the other, and she now brings them in to her room and sorts them into their rightful place. And every night when she takes her dirty clothes off ,she puts them in her own personal wash bin.
Make it fun by counting to 20 and see can they get all their washing put away in the right place by the time you have finished.
Encourage them to bring their wash baskets to the laundry room, sort out their washing by colours, and help load and turn on the machine. Teach them while their 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. Here’s 20 best things about cooking with kids.
Kids of all ages can help out in the kitchen with simple jobs.
- Get the child a little apron to help you.
- Remember to always let them wash their own hands before prep.
- Let them get the pots you need and fill them with water.
- Allow your child to take spuds and veg from bag – tell them how many you need and where to leave them.
- Older Kids can help peel vegetables, and if they have knife skills, chop.
- Set the table.
7. Music while you Work
It’s a good idea to have a “cleaning CD” with all your children’s favourite songs on it, and play it while they work as a small distraction. The time seems to pass a bit quicker when you work to music! Try it yourself if you don’t believe me!
8. Reward Them
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 going to Kids Club Movies at your local cinema (which are usually cheaper priced), or planning a trip out for an ice-cream or hot chocolate. Or plan a pizza/movie night at home over the weekend.
Kids love these treats and you all get to spend a but of quality time together, now that your house is nice and clean!
I hope this helps all the other parents out there! As a result of these simple tips, the bonus is she still cleans her room and doesn’t complain 🙂
Over to you! Have you got any tips for making chores for kids fun? Share them with us in the comments below