Making household chores fun

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Making household chores fun

It is an age-old battle...getting kids to do household chores. Some parents have given up under the philosophy that children should be children for as long as they can and hold as little responsibility as possible. Others are diligently facing their giants every day in the battle of Getting-Sam-and-Johnny-to-unpack-the-dishwasher. It is no easy feat, I mean how do you compare washing a sink full of dirty dishes with the latest Xbox game? You can’t. Let’s face it, doing chores around the home is boring and kids don’t do boring very well. The gist of the matter is that chores are not exciting and they are not very stimulating...but they can be! With a little bit of imagination chore-time can become fun-time in your home.

Here are seven ways to make household chores fun:

  1. Make a quick list of everything you see lying around in the house. Tell the kids that you are doing a treasure hunt and give them the list of treasures to find. Set a timer for 5 minutes and see which one of the children can collect the most items on the list. The loser of the game has to put all the items back where they belong.

  2. Sometimes chores can be a bit overwhelming and children will drag their feet, prolonging the torture for hours on end. So, do a 10 minute clean-up after dinner. Challenge them with: “Let’s see if we can clean this whole house in 10 minutes. Ready, steady go.”

  3. After the 10 minute clean up, appoint one of the children as an inspector. Armed with a laundry basket a.k.a. the Clutter Jail this officer of the law will place items that are lying around in the basket. The owner can only retrieve the item by doing a chore. If your one shoe is in the basket you will have to choose a chore from a list as bail money for your shoe. Winners of previous games can get a “Get out of jail free” card and save it for when one of their items are in jail.

  4. When cleaning the bathroom, imagine with your kids that you are a team of Zoo caretakers. The penguin’s cage needs to be cleaned up, floors and counters wiped and toilets brushed. The Zoo inspector is coming this afternoon to inspect the facility. A polar bear might also have escaped so be on the look out!

  5. Imitating an animal always works very well with smaller kids. Each one gets to choose an animal and then work out how that animal - be it an ostrich or a panda - would pick up LEGO blocks or Barbie dolls.

  6. Set up a make belief mission. Here is an example: Dr Evil has planted a bomb in your room. The bomb will go off in 3 minutes and the only way to stop the bomb from exploding is to pick up all the clothes from the floor. Clean clothes in the laundry basket and dirty clothes in cupboard will immediately detonate the bomb. The countdown starts now.

  7. Children love spending time with you, so joining them in doing their chores will immediately make it more interesting and inviting to do. Tell them a story while you unpack the dishwasher.

Getting kids to do household chores does not have to be a battle. Make it fun and they’ll learn a lot of skills in the process.

Children should be encouraged to help around the house. Household chores can be a rewarding time for children when it is fun and promotes time together as a family. There are several ways to make household chores fun, a little bit of imagination and patience is all you need.

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