If you ask anyone if they think chores are fun, 9 out of 10 times the answer will be a resounding “NO”! This is no exception for children. Chores are a necessary part of a functional and healthy home.
Not only is it a necessary activity, it also teaches our children about being responsible and caring for those around us, two lessons we love to develop here at The Nest Schools! Specifically, we go over cleaning up after ourselves after play and cleaning our toys in our Art of Living Enrichment Program. Neat, right? (Pun intended!)
So, chores are necessary and teach responsibility, but how do we make it more enjoyable for the whole family?
- Chore Chart
This is a known tool to use to keep track of which child is responsible for which chore! With a Google search, you can find numerous fun, printable chore charts to print off and hang around common spaces of the home. You also have the option of making this chart from scratch if you have Excel or Word!
It can include any activities that improve cleanliness and structure around the home, such as sweeping, picking up toys, cleaning sticky surfaces, cleaning rooms, etc.! Make it as fun and colorful as possible to inspire joy when using it – the more we like something, the more we use it, right?
2. Play Some Fun Music
Music makes the scene and can be a game changer to cleaning the home! Put on some fun music and see who has the best moves as they complete their chores. Why sweep the kitchen when you can sweep and do the tango with the broom as you complete your task? Music inspires movement, especially upbeat music. There are great playlists you can make with your child(ren) to inspire some cleaning and chore-busting inspiration, as well.
3. Make Chores a Game
Everyone loves a fun game, especially children. Turn as many games as you can into a friendly competition. This could look like seeing who can clean their rooms the fastest, dividing clothes piles in half and seeing who can fold the best, creating a tic-tac-toe board or Connect Four game and each move can only be made after a chore is completed. This can create fun core memories for the whole family and silliness will follow! You can also hide small treasures around the house, so as your family cleans, they collect them. One great example of this is to purchase a fun object, like a funny-looking dinosaur toy, and have a weekly competition to see who finds it while doing chores first.
4. Offer a Reward System
Positive reinforcement is a time-old method and worth the try! Both children and adults love rewards. A reward system doesn’t always look like tangible ‘gifts’, but it can look like a simple pat on the back and a “good job on your chore this week”! Of course, it could also mean a reward system that involves a “big” decision, such as your child choosing the family movie that week or even something as simple as choosing a dessert for the whole family one day of that week. Whatever it is, make sure your child will work towards it and truly appreciate what they have earned.
5. Make it a Group Activity
Most importantly, it is great to make chores a group effort, rather than putting the weight of all chores on one individual in the home. It can be a great time to teach teamwork and listening skills, while creating the perfect opportunity to squeeze in some extra bonding time together as a family. Not only will making chores a group effort teach teamwork skills, but it will touch base on other skills such as patience, coordination, leadership, strength, and much more. Make it fun together!
At The Nest Schools, we value instilling children with a love of caring for others and the environment around them, which includes maintaining cleanliness and safety through “chores”. Through our Art of Living program, we discuss the fulfillment that comes with being a responsible member of a loving community, contributing to greater causes than ourselves, and to be a better family member and neighbor to others, even our own pets.
Whether you are just teaching your child about chores and responsibilities for the first time or reinventing the wheel to make housework fun, we hope that these tips and tricks make these often-mundane activities a wonderful time for your family.