Getting kids to do chores is almost as tough as getting them to eat their vegetables. Why does it have to be this way? We’re glad you asked!
Most kids don’t want to do chores because there is no personal gain or fun in the activities. What happens if you introduce a motivation for them? Spruce up the tasks by creating a fun game for the kids that results in a prize or reward. This turns the monotonous task of a chore into something creative and gratifying.
Here are a few unique ways to turn chores into games:
Laundry “Go Fish”
It won’t get the whole laundry basket taken care of, but it is a great way to instill the responsibility of chores in young children. Take a basket of clean socks and divide them among the players, leaving a pile to draw from. When all of the socks are paired together, the player with the most pairs wins!
Is your family into investigation and mystery? Each week, rotate being “Inspector D. Clutter.” As the Inspector’s job, your child walks around the house with a laundry basket and puts stray belongings in “jail.” To set an item free, the owner of said item (including mom and dad!) has to complete a chore. This is a great way to declutter the house and accomplish the chore list!
Make it a Competition
Kids can be incredibly competitive. Simply time the tasks and see who gets done first.
If you’re an athletic family or one that enjoys sports, play on your children’s fantasies of being a famous basketball star by making their task a sport.
Do your kids leave all their toys and paperwork everywhere? A fun way to simply collect and contain the mess is to create a scavenger hunt! Make a list of some of the most used everyday items (backpack, sneakers, books, etc.). Set a timer and count down together “3…2…1…Go!” The winner is the child who picks up the most and returns the items to their rightful spots.
Pro tip: Have some sort of reward or prize for the kids at the end of the competitions/games. For younger kids, maybe it’s a cookie or an applesauce cup. With teens and older children, maybe they get a half hour longer on the TV or can have a friend over after school that week. These will keep them motivated to do their tasks faster and still put effort into them.
Research shows that assigning chores to your kids helps them in the long run. Assigning a set of chores to your children will help build redeeming qualities such as higher self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. Chores can also teach kids life skills and instill independence. You will be able to send your kids off to college knowing they are capable of cooking, cleaning, and fully taking care of themselves.
Find out what chores are appropriate by age from one of our previous blogs.
WORDS BY SARAH RICHARDS