Family & Social Child Developement
Making Household Chores Fun For Your Child
We’ve spoken about the importance of chores when it comes to raising children to be independent and confident. Making chores a part of your child’s routine can help them learn organisation, time management and teach them to take responsibility. If we closely observe our kids, we will observe that they are naturally inclined to help with household chores. Haven’t we all seen them ask for the broom or grab the mop or want to use the hose pipe to water plants? While the intent might be to have fun, we can channel this interest and energy into getting chores done.
But getting your child to cooperate with completing chores may not always be as easy. Most of all, insisting on completing chores to be entitled to certain rewards or privileges might also make them detest chores while increasing the value of the rewards more than it should. If we’ve learnt anything about getting children to be on our side or for them to know that we are on theirs, then it’s that making something more enjoyable and playful surely helps.
So let’s think of practical and simple ways to make chores more fun for your little ones
Make cleaning up a treasure hunt
When it’s time to put away toys, hide one of their toys in their room. When you ask them to put away toys, let them know you’re curious to see who finds the missing toy while clearing up. Watch them work as fast as lightening
Offer choices once in a while
Some chores just are more fun than others. As adults, we don’t feel like attending to the laundry some days and allow the dishes to pile up in the sink. On some days, allow them to pick what they’d like to help with. What’s a fun chore your child enjoys? Okay, I’ll go first. It’s watering the plants, feeding and walking the dog.
This is a simple and effective investment. Buy a few coloured toy bins for children to put away toys. You can guide children to use a different coloured bin for each type of toy. Blocks go in one, cars in the other, stationery and craft in one and one for puzzles and boards. It’s simple, fun, time-saving and kid-friendly.
Chores can be games too
Is your kid making a fuss to put away those building blocks or puzzles? Make it a game. Kids love anything that feels like a game. “Let’s see how many red blocks you can get in the box in one minute” “mommy will put in the wooden blocks, you can put in the cars, who’s going to finish first?” And if all else fails, turn on the music. Who says you can’t have a dance party AND do chores? Tried and tested. Works every single time
Use a timer
There’s something kids find very exciting about hearing and seeing a timer go off. If they’ve been putting off a chore, set a 5-10 minute timer for them to complete it. “Let’s see if you can get that done before the timer rings”.
Use child-friendly equipment
There are a lot of child-friendly gadgets that are available now. From kid-sized mops and brooms to laundry hampers with cartoon characters, to kid-friendly knives and peelers they can use to whip up a salad, to attractive printable chore charts you can get off Pinterest. You don’t have to buy them all but if they make sense to you and allow your child to participate more in household activities, they can be a good investment.
Allow them to take responsibility
If there is something kids want, universally, it is to be like the “grown-ups”. Allowing them sufficient freedom and independence in completing a chore allows them to experience responsibility and take charge. This will work better than hovering around them, insisting on perfection. Instead, let your kids know how “special” the task is, and that you trust them with it, they are more likely to respond with eager enthusiasm. One thing that always works in our home is telling my child that no one else can do that job better than them.
Use a chore jar
Write simple chores, one on each small of paper, fold and put in a chore jar. Depending on their age and skill, let your child pick a chore or two each day. Not only will they enjoy the element of surprise but if parents pick up something too, it can become a fun family activity. You can keep a separate jar of larger chores for weekends when the whole family might have more time to work on them.
Make a chore chart with rewards
Draw up a list of chores for each child in the house, that they can tick off or put a sticker on when they get it done. At the end of the week, the child with the most number of ticks or stickers can get a 'helper of the week' badge.
With a little effort and change in perspective, we can change the way chores get done in our family. It’s these little things that’ll help our kids grow into independent, organised and responsible adults. We might as well start them young.
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