If you’re anything like me, you know that sometimes, when it comes to housework, it’s just easier to do all of the chores yourself, instead of harping on the little ones over and over again to help out. While this may be true, it’s important that we don’t give in to this mindset all of the time. Doing household chores is actually very good for kids, so it’s important to get them to help out around the house as much as possible on a regular basis. So how do we get our kids to do chores without making it just as much of a chore for us? The best way to do this is to make it appealing to them - make it fun, make it entertaining, and make it rewarding! As a starting point, here are 7 creative ways to get those kids on their feet and actually WANTING to help out around the house.
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1. Chore Sticks
Source: Ell Olive & Co.
This method is like a pretend money system within your family. Your kids can earn chore sticks by doing chores, and then trade their sticks in for rewards - treats (toys, desserts), privileges (extra screen time, later bedtime), an allowance, or whatever else you decide to offer. All you have to do is create a list of chores for them to choose from, and have a jar or cup full of cute, decorated popsicle sticks to hand out when the chores are completed. Both the chores and rewards alike can be worth more or less sticks, so keep that in mind when planning this all out.
2. Chore Bucket
A chore bucket - or toy jail, as some people like to call it - is a fabulous way to teach kids to take responsibility for their actions, and to get them to start cleaning up after themselves instead of leaving messes around the house for you to clean up. Every time you find something of someone else’s where it doesn’t belong, just throw it in the chore bucket! All you need is a bucket with something witty written on it like, “I found this on the floor. To earn it back, you’ll have to do a chore. Do some extra to earn some cash, but if this is still here on Friday, it’s going in the trash!” In addition to the bucket, you’ll probably want to have a list of chores for them to choose from to earn their stuff back and make a little bit of cash if they choose to go the extra mile. Just be sure to put the bucket somewhere out of reach, so they can’t just grab their stuff back out, as this would obviously defeat the whole purpose.
3. Work for Pay
Source: Living Well Spending Less
This doesn’t mean you have to give your kids an allowance for every little thing that they do. While it is nice to reward kids for their hard work, it is also important to teach them responsibility and work ethic. In other words, it is their responsibility to take care of their own things - their own rooms, their own belongings, their own messes, etc. Only after they have taken care of these basic things, do they have the option to work for money, or an allowance, which teaches them work ethic. Simply get a bulletin board and across the top, write something along the lines of, “These chores may only be done after your every-day chores are already completed.” Then have individual chores with a set amount of money associated with each of them. Your kids can choose what chores they want to do, based on how much they are worth to them.
4. Chore Chart
A chore chart is exactly what it sounds like: a chart with your kids’ chores on it. Simple enough, right? The trick here, though, is to make it visually enticing for them. Use bright colors and fun fonts, add cute pictures if you want, and place it at eye level for them to refer to. Use dry erase markers or stickers to mark chores as completed, and consider offering a reward at the end of so many marks or stickers to make it even more enticing.
5. Wi-Fi Password
Source: 5 Minutes for Mom
I’m sure you’ve seen this one floating around social media. Probably because it’s absolutely genius, especially with older kids. The whole idea here is to get your kids to do their chores by withholding something from them that is important to them, i.e. the Wi-Fi password. Who says you can’t use bribery to get your kids to do what you want them to do?! Simply create a list of chores for them to do, and only when they are all finished, do they receive the Wi-Fi password. Obviously, you will need to change the password often in order to make this work regularly.
6. Punch Cards
The idea behind a punch card is similar to that of a rewards card in a sense. Your child gets a card with ten boxes drawn on the bottom of it, and every time a chore is completed - or their chores for the day are completed - they get a box hole punched. When the entire card is punched out, they get a reward!
7. Dance Party
Source: Home Tips for Women
This is probably the easiest way to make chores fun for the kids - and yourself, for that matter! It doesn’t require any planning or prepping like most of these other methods do, but it still makes the kids want to get up and help. Simply turn on some dance music and get to cleaning! You’ll be surprised by how much more gets done with some upbeat tunes - and with way less complaining and way more laughs, I might add! This will also help them to associate housework with fun, instead of with punishment or drudgery.
When deciding which method to use in your household, keep in mind that not all of these tactics will work the same for all families. It is important to consider your own family and your own kids, and choose the method that you think will work best in your situation.