10 Ways to Make Chores Fun for Kids

No one likes to do chores, especially kids.  It’s painful to hear them whine that they don’t want to clean their room or that they don’t know how to make their bed.  How can you get your kids to get into a good habit of doing their chores and not fussing about it?  It’s like anything else; if it’s not painful they won’t hate it.  Check out 10 ways to make chores fun for kids.

  1. Crank up the tunes: Music makes everything seem like a party doesn’t it?  Put on music that your kids like and let them dance around while they are doing their chores.  If you do it every day it will become routine and a fun time of the day they will look forward to instead of dread.
  2. Set the timer: Setting a timer lets the kids know that they won’t have to clean forever.  In a kid’s mind an hour is forever.  Keep it to short bursts of time.  Explain what needs to be done and then set the timer for 15 minutes.  If the kids see that you are working too during the 15 minutes they won’t feel like it’s so much of a chore, but just something that needs to get done in the next 15 minutes.  It’s truly amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes.  Even as an adult setting a timer works to get you motivated to work because you know that you get to stop in 15 minutes.  Everyone can clean for 15 minutes a day.
  3. Make it a contest: Let your kids know that whoever does the best job of cleaning their room wins a prize.  It’s up to you if you tell them what the prize is or not.  I would think it would depend upon what the prize is.  If it’s just a piece of candy that may not motivate an older child, but if it’s a trip to the movie, then you might motivate everyone to give it their all.  The winner of the contest gets to pick the movie.
  4. Make it a treasure hunt: Tell them what things you would like them to do and let them know that you have hidden a $5 bill some place and that whoever finds it first gets to keep it.  You can do this for each of your kids or hide it in a common area of the house where it could be found by any of the kids.  I would recommend making it some place difficult like on the vacuum cleaner or the furniture polish.  You need to let your kids know what your expectations are when they clean their room.  Let them know that you will be checking under the bed and in the closet to make sure they didn’t just throw everything in there.
  5. Make it a game: Give them multiple steps to the game, but make sure that they are getting a lot done at the same time.  Present each child with a laundry basket and send them around the house picking up all of the things that belong to them and have them carry or push the basket back to their room when they are done and put everything away.  Then they have to come out and do some dance dusting.  Make up a song or turn on the radio and have everyone grab a dust rag and dance while they dust at least three things.  Then they have to go back to their rooms and make sure that everything in there is put away and the first one done wins their choice of household chore that they have to do.  Do you want to clean the toilet or take the trash out?  See where I’m going with this?
  6. Change it up: If your kids have done the same chores for months it may be time to change things up a bit.  Teaching a child a new task is often fun for both you and the child.  They will feel more grown up when they get promoted to a new task.  Doing the same chores tends to get old so if you do an apple cart upset and switch chores the kids might feel better about doing them.
  7. Chore Wars online: There’s an online game called Chore Wars and it allows you to get credit for the stuff you do around the house.  Each time you do a task you can go online to the game and input the chore and you will get experience points that you can use in the game.  Make sure that your kids are actually doing the chores they are saying they are online otherwise it doesn’t really motivate them to clean.
  8. Make a chart: This can be a chart or a list.  Even as an adult I feel a sense of accomplishment when I cross stuff off of my to do list.  It works the same way for kids.  If you create a chart on your computer and print it off you can have your child put a sticker next to the chore they have completed each day.  If it’s a To Do list you can put it on a dry erase board and then when they complete the task they can go erase it from the board.
  9. Let them earn privileges: Work out a trade with your children, work for fun.  This will work no matter the age.  If you take out the trash without being asked you can to play on the computer for 30 minutes.  When you clean your room you may play with your handheld game for an hour.  Try to make the difficulty of the task match up with the size of the privilege.  This will work with teens earning their cell phone or Facebook time as well.
  10. Make it a family affair: It’s never any fun to be the only one working and watching everyone else relaxing or having fun.  That breeds resentment and that isn’t fun.  If you can break up the tasks so that everyone is doing something different then you can get more done faster and it’s a lot more fun.

 

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