Chores that were once a boring term at home can be turned into a fun activity! It’s important that parents encourage kids to do age appropriate chores. Start small and improve on it. From kids assisting parents in putting away toys, cleaning up bits and pieces around the house, to bigger chores like doing their own beds or doing the laundry as they grow older. This makes them more responsible and is all part of raising independent kids.
Alex Farley is a working mom from London who loves to write parenting related articles and is very interested in home organization and cleaning. She explains how to teach kids to clean up the fun way and not so “chore-like” way!
How to teach kids to clean up the fun way
I do not know a person who would not want an extra pair of hands for the chores around the household. Throughout the years, I came to the conclusion that it is not such a bad idea to get the kids used to help you around. We should definitely not underestimate their powers because they can help us more than we actually know. Our kids can develop skills that will help them throughout their lives and if they can help us, too, why not? Benefit from the tips outlined below and hopefully, you will succeed in making the cleaning fun for your children and will even want to help you more.
1. Set a timer
My mother used to use this ‘trick’ with me when I was a kid. As we all in our family are kind of sports lovers, she knew that this method would lead to success. She used to set a timer and challenged me to get a particular chore done before time runs out. “Can you vacuum the carpet
in your room in under 5 minutes? Ready. Steady. Go.” I should admit that this always worked without any failure. You can first try with something more simple like “Can you put all your toys away in 2 minutes.”
2. Make them compete
If the kid room is overtaken by tons of toys and you have at least two kids, here is what you should try to do. Provide each kid with a box (or a bucket) and set the timer (time depends on how many toys are there). The aim of the game is to see which kid collects more toys. I am sure that your kids would love it. You will be fascinated by how quick a room can be put in order.
3. Avoid long and boring cleaning sessions
Kids get bored very quickly and they are definitely not going to love a full day of doing the chores. Instead, try a couple of 20-minute sessions during the week. Children should understand that cleaning is not a tiresome necessity but a habit. Create a cleaning schedule and enlist all the tasks that need to be done, and make it part of their daily routine. They need to know that each and every member of the family is involved. Otherwise, they will think that you use the cleaning as a weapon against them and will grow up thinking that cleaning is a punishment.
4. Shell game/ Hide and seek
Hide coins, candies, and sweets in, on and under knick-knacks. Tell your children that they can only find them if they dust properly. The other condition is that they can get to enjoy them after they are done with cleaning.
5. Reward them
Make clear what your children will receive after they complete the task. It should be something worth it.
6. Play some music
Everything is better with music in the background. Play some cheerful and catchy music and turn it on high volume. Every kid wants to have fun, don’t you think? You may let your children listen to music of his or her choice only while cleaning. So it is a win-win situation.
7. Encourage them
If your teenager kid loves preparing the dinner, let him or her improve the cooking skills. If your other kid finds loading and unloading the dishwasher enjoyable, encourage him or her to do it more regularly. Even if you have to buy new utensils or set of dishware, your children are building lifelong skills. Make it all work with what you have.
There you have it! Simple advice that can be a big part of bringing up responsible kids, and happier families. Having a daily routine will make mommy and kiddie life so much easier and here is a free printable to help you with that!
What to reward kids?
When it comes to rewarding kids, I normally stick to something they enjoy, and yet a healthy idea. My kids love oranges and blueberries. They can finish a whole punnet of berries in a flash. So when it comes to rewarding it is always a few berries or an orange. Of course, my kids are still toddlers, but if your kids are a lot bigger think of something that might be more suitable to their age. Maybe an activity they might enjoy, like swimming, tennis, or any outdoor activity. You can also try a big reward, like a family picnic, bowling, the beach or a day out fishing. Spending time with family is also important, these kinds of rewards also improve family bonding. So try and be creative and bring out the fun side of cleaning up and help them along the way.
If you found this informative or have any ideas to share leave it in the comments section below!