Monday, September 16, 2019

Tips to Make Chores Fun for Kids


by Neima Pollak
MBE staff writer

Getting Children to Do Chores, Happily

Let's face it, kids do not like doing chores. They will figure out ways to avoid them and if they are stuck doing it they will likely complain the whole way through. But it doesn't have to be this way! You can alter the way kids do their chores so that when it comes time to take out the trash, you will not have to go looking for your kids, rather they will come running to find you.

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Easy Tips to Inspire Kids to Help More

Start with this list of five easy ways to make chores more enjoyable, adapting to your family's lifestyle, and create new ways to facilitate chores at home.

Begin Age-Appropriate Chores Early

The younger the child, the more guidance they will likely need. Although the goal of chores may be to free up your time to take care of other things, you are teaching your child how to do it now so they can do it independently as they get older. For example, to start your young child off teach them to put their own empty yogurt cup into the garbage or place their spoon in the sink. This teaches children the basics of cleaning up after themselves, something that many parents work hard to get their kids to do. 

Make Chores Entertaining

Cleaning up does not have to be a boring and quiet routine. Lighten up the mood and sing a song with your son or daughter while you are cleaning up together or play some music. Feel free to use a cleanup song you have heard before or have your child join you in making up your own lyrics to a favorite tune. No song is too silly, so do not worry because your child is not judging your songwriting abilities. This will make the experience pleasurable for you both, with the added plus that you are spending quality time with them. 

Turn Chores into a Game or Contest

Present the chore as a game or race. For example, ask your child, "How fast can you put away all the toys in the room?" using a timer to motivate them. We love this cute red fox kitchen timer for instances like this. It is a little thing that will make chores all the more fun for the whole family.

Even if you present the chore as a game, your child may say something like, "I know you're only doing this so I clean up!" Don't try and convince your child that you are purely doing this as a game, because they are smarter than that.  Instead explain to your child that yes, you are doing this to clean up, but you are also trying to do it in a way that makes it more fun. If your child does not want to engage in this chore game let them know that the cleanup task still needs to be completed and do they have another suggestion to tackle it?

Use a Sticker Chart with Rewards

Make a chore chart (either together with your child or by yourself) that has clear directions on how each chore should be done. Use a pasteboard and some markers to create a chart that has a list of chores you may ask your child to complete. Underneath each task, write out clear instructions for how the chores should be done. This will help you and your child when they are doing their chores because it will build their independence and it will also give you a few more minutes of quiet to do what you need to do.  

Not into making your own chore chart? Buy one like this cute and colorful magnetic Responsibility Chart with Stickers with pre-made chore labels or this more sophisticated dry erase Magnetic Chore Chart for older children. Every time your child completes a chore, put a sticker on the chart to mark it. When your child reaches a certain number of stickers treat your child to a reward, that you have decided on with your child in advance. 

Doing Chores, Teaching Kids Responsibility Is Easy

Using all or one of these tips will help your child have a more enjoyable time doing chores. It will also, no doubt, contribute to a better relationship between your child and chores. The goal of starting off like this is that eventually they will do their chores without all the added incentives automatically. By doing so they'll not only be developing a stronger sense of responsibility, they'll also be learning first-hand that by contributing to the family household, helping around the house can be also rewarding and gratifying. 

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