Household chores can be, well, a chore. Even more so for kids. Yet teaching the littlest members of your household to clean up after themselves and lend a helping hand around the house is a valuable skill that will help them become more responsible and take pride in a job well done.
Still, the process of getting kids involved without whining, complaining, and stalling is no easy task for most parents. Here are some tips to help make chores a little less dreadful and a little more fun – for you and your kids alike.
- Set a timer or stopwatch. Turn cleaning up into a fun game of speed. “Let’s see how fast you can put all your blocks away!” If your kids are on the younger side, encourage them by helping them get started.
- Clean to the music. Everything is more fun with a little music in the background. Make it more fun by doing different dance moves for different chores. Perhaps your child can be a “dusting ballerina” or the two of you can do the “toy-pick-up tango”. Don’t be afraid to get silly!
- Create a “Mission: Possible”. Your child’s mission, should they choose to accept it, is to pick up their room and make their beds before the bomb explodes (the timer goes off). Be sure to allow a realistic amount of time for the job and age of the child.
- Layer in small breaks. As children become older and more capable of tackling more difficult and time-consuming chores, remember to allow for quick breaks so they don’t burn out. For example, after they finish sweeping the kitchen and vacuuming the family room, they can head outside or hop on their game device for 10 minutes.
- Make a chore chart but switch things up regularly. Keep boredom at bay by swapping out the tasks. Johnny empties the dishwasher this week, Suzy does it next week. And don’t forget to ask your kids to provide input on the chore chart. Perhaps one of them enjoys a task more or is better at it than another.
- Tell a story. During monotonous chores like folding laundry, break up the boredom with a fictional story or one from your childhood. Or create a story together! You start off with “Once upon a time, there was a race-car driver who…” Your child adds a piece, then you add one, and so on until the job is done.
- Play make-believe. Create a fictional scenario with your child that turns clean-up time into an adventure. Perhaps you’re archeologists looking for dinosaur bones, or detectives solving the crime of the missing toy.
- Be patient and lead by example. Remember, your children learn by watching you. So, if you go in with a positive attitude, they will mimic that behavior. Set age and personality appropriate expectations for each child; they may not like having to clean up before moving on to the next fun thing, but the faster they do, the faster they can go to the park, have ice cream, or watch their favorite show.
Here’s a helpful cleaning tip for you. If any family member suffers from allergies, you can ease their misery at least somewhat by switching to a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, one that doesn’t spit out almost as much dust as it sucks in. Here at Air Professionals, we have numerous other ways to rid your home of dust, dirt and other allergens. Give us a call and we’ll tell you more.