Keeping the house clean and tidy isn’t exactly the most thrilling of activities, and it’s easy to see why kids often let out a big sigh when it’s time to do chores. If only there was a way to make it more fun…
There aren’t many adults that want to do chores, never mind kids! But encouraging children to get involved with household cleaning and tidying is something that we should all be trying to do more of. Not only does it promote the importance of responsibility, but it’s also a way to teach kids essential life skills that they’ll need as they get older. So how can we make doing chores a more enjoyable experience?
Star charts can be effective as a short term solution, but the problem with this form of reward is that it’s just that: a reward. Sure, it works to motivate children to get the job done, but it doesn’t actually make doing chores any more fun. That’s why we’ve come up with 5 great ways to transform some of the most boring and mundane of household chores into exciting activities that your kids will really love.
When it’s time to clean and tidy, try out one of these great tips:
- Hide Surprises Amongst the Clutter
As we all know, many kids are highly motivated by rewards; usually toys or games. Rather than promising a reward for doing chores, you can easily make it into a game that will encourage them to help out.
Use a voucher code to purchase some small, inexpensive toys and trinkets, and hide them amongst the clutter. To find all the surprises, your children will need to sort through the mess and discover those clever hiding spots. You can also try this with stickers, stationery, pennies, or any other small, low-cost item.
- Play the Matching Game
All you need to make laundry day more fun is a big basket of clean socks! Play the matching game, seeing who can find the most sock pairs… there may even be a small prize for the winner.
You could also divide clean clothes into piles, and see who can separate their pile into categories the quickest. Adding a competitive element makes it all the more exciting. There are so many ways to turn sorting laundry into a game. Get creative and design your own challenges, or ask your kids to come up with some ideas.
- Take a Hands-On Approach
If your kids absolutely love to get their hands dirty, then let them! If you have any lonely socks without a partner left over from the matching game, pop them on your children’s hands and allow them to quite literally take a hands-on approach to dusting the house.
From window sills and sideboards to bedside tables and photo frames, there are lots of easy-to-reach surfaces that kids could dust using their hands. Make sure to pop the socks straight into the washing machine afterwards, they can get quite dirty!
- Give Kids Free Reign
A lot of children really love to help out, but it can be hard to find the fun in something that’s so limited. A big part of the chore problem is that children are often told exactly what to do, and how to do it, which doesn’t give them a lot of scope to find their own rhythm.
It’s time to make things more flexible. Write your child’s name on a plastic bucket, fill it with safe items such as soft cloths and sponges, and just let them run with it. You may be surprised at how productive they are when left to their own devices!
5. Conduct Science Experiments
Where’s the fun in using store-bought cleaners? Before getting to work, take some time to conduct ‘science experiments’ with your kids, making up your own cleaning concoctions from safe, non-toxic items.
Lemon juice is a fantastic natural cleaner, while essential oils like lavender are also good choices. Baking soda and salt also work well as mild abrasives for tough areas. Perhaps best of all, children can use these chemical-free cleaners themselves, and you’ll have complete peace of mind that they’re safe.
Mary Poppins had the right idea way back in 1964 when she sang ‘in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun… you find the fun and snap! The job’s a game’. Perhaps it’s time we all took a leaf out of Mary’s book and made even the most boring of household chores a fun, exciting activity.