January 08, 2021 3 min read
“Do I haaaaaaaave to?!” was the dreaded question I was often met with when the topic of chores came up with my kids, age 4 and 6. They begrudgingly complied with my requests for help around the house but not without a big side of whine (and not the kind I like.) Did it have to be this way?
I decided to confront the issue head on and make it my mission to find a way to make chores less painful for my kids (and me!) My criteria was that I needed EASY ways to do this because with three young kids, the last thing I need is more work. So without further adieu, I present to you four tried and tested ways to make chores a little less cringy and a lot more fun!
Kids equate “game” with “fun” so this lucky dip game is a good place to start to add a bit of excitement to seemingly mundane tasks. Simply cut up strips of paper and write down various chores. Put them in a container (we used a basket) and each child pulls one out and that’s their chore! Once it is complete, they can choose again from the basket with “prize” written on slips of paper. These can be as simple as “Play a game with Mummy” or “Ten extra minutes of screen time” Whatever you find motivates your children best! The lucky dip removes the argument from the conversation and motivates them to get through the task to get to the prize. This easy and effective game was a game changer for my kids and believe it or not, they asked to play again!
Ah, the good ol’ chore chart. I’m pretty sure they were around when I was a kid around 30 years ago for this one reason… THEY WORK! Chore charts are a simple way for your child to see what needs to get done and then celebrate when they have achieved it. Even as an adult, there’s nothing better than ticking things off your to-do list and guess what, kids love it too! A chore chart works especially well for daily chores like making your bed, brushing teeth, etc. We love using rewards at the end to keep them motivated and because prizes add that extra special f-word (FUN) into the mix.
HOT TIP: Let your child help you decide what chores to include! Kids love choices and being a part of the decision making will give them ownership and responsibility. We have attached a link to a free printable (thanks, Pinterest!) of a simple chore chart that you can print out and put on your fridge today to get your kiddies motivated to tackle those daily chores!
Music just has a magical way of making everything more fun! Crank up your favourite song and bust some (probably uncool) moves to get your kids laughing THEN challenge them to a “tidy and dance off!” An upbeat song is perfect because it has a definite ending that can be used as a deadline ie “Let’s get all the blocks cleaned up before the song ends!” Your kids might be so busy grooving that just might forget that they are cleaning!
One key I’ve found to help take the groaning and moaning out of chores is by making it a habit. If kids are used to helping around the house, it comes more naturally than if it’s a foreign concept. Chores build skills and character in children and it’s really to their benefit that they are included in household jobs. That leads to the question…how young is too young to help out around the house? Here’s some age-appropriate ideas for chores for kids!
2-3 years old:
• make bed, feed pets, clear plate after meal, pick up toys, check post box.
4-5 years old:
• set table, clear the table, carry in groceries, put laundry away.
6-9 years old:
• vacuum, fold laundry, empty/ load dishwasher, clean bench tops, help with food prep.
So there you have it, four tips that have helped me (a busy mama just like you) make chores more fun and manageable for my kids! Now let’s get those kids earning their keep! ;)
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