Doing chores and having fun aren’t typically a dynamic duo. Any kid with a pulse would rather be playing than doing chores. So, why not try coloring outside the lines and turn the drudgery of chores into fun family time!
Dr Seuss, the author of fun, said: “Think left and think right. Think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think of if only you try!”
So, try these six tips to turn your kids into cheerful chore doers.
Getting through chores is a great opportunity to work as a team. Pick your teams according to your family dynamics. Choose the chores and set the timer. Which team will get their chores done first? Keep a chore chart for each team and score points for a job well done.
It’s incredible how much faster chores are completed, and how tasks no longer feel laborious, when you work as a team. Not to mention, that lesson of teamwork is critical for kids to learn at an early age.
If you’re into exercise, then it’s time for some healthy competition while doing cleaning games. Grab your favorite step tracker, whether it be a fitbit, smartwatch, or a simple pedometer. You can get pedometer watches for kids for $10-$20 on Amazon.
Then start adding up the steps while doing chores. The team that has the highest score wins. Chores like sweeping and vacuuming will soon add up those steps. What once used to be arduous chores will now actually become tasks that get more points in the mind of your youngster. *Jedi mind trick!*
Make Household Commercials
Here’s an opportunity to let your creative genius come to life. It’s time for family commercials! Here’s what you do: Let everyone record a commercial based on the chore they’re assigned. Make sure everyone has a product ready to highlight in the commercial. The goal is to highlight the product and the household chore.
For instance, if your child is sweeping the floor, then he’ll highlight the “2 in 1 heavy duty broom and dustpan that makes sweeping a breeze.” And then he’ll demo how effective the broom is while he’s sweeping and you’re recording the commercial. You get my point. Have fun with it, the more creative the better.
The reward after chores are complete is to enjoy the video replays of the commercials and have a good laugh at everyone’s attempts to sell the best chore of the day.
Luck of the Draw
Here’s an idea to put some mystery into chores and reduce complaining about task assignments. Write the chore list for kids on slips of paper (1 chore per slip of paper) and throw them in a hat. Everyone pulls a chore out of the hat and that’s their assignment.
You can even make it interesting and allow kids to barter in order to trade chores with willing recipients. The luck of the draw systems helps eliminate a fight over assigning the chore that no one wants to do since everyone is randomly picking their own chore.
Sing and Dance the Chores Away
Let your kids choose their favorite songs or rhymes and have those songs playing as everyone is working on their chores. It’s amazing how the sound of music can make work more enjoyable and help time pass faster.
As a bonus, you and your kiddos can play dress-up as you’re cleaning up. Whether you’re superheroes saving the day by battling the “Choremonster,” or pirates swabbing the decks with a mop, this is sure to make cleaning up more fun. You can even have a clean-up celebration when everything is done. AARGH aargh me hearties!
Use a Barometer to Keep Kids’ Eyes On the Prize
There’s nothing like monitoring success, and a family barometer strategically placed could be a great incentive for your kids. At the end of the week the person, or team, highest on the barometer gets to choose an outing or family treat for the weekend.
There is one serious side effect to all this fun. Through their chores, your children will be learning about responsibility, organization and running a home.
Ann Landers said, “It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”
Use house cleaning games; enjoy chores with your children; love and celebrate their efforts; and whistle while you work!