How to Make Chores Fun for Your Kids

Cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, and drying dishes is nobody’s idea of a perfect afternoon, but most parents would choose it over begging and bribing their kids to help around the house. Not to mention dealing with the whining and complaining as the chores are being done! Does getting your kids to do chores really have to be this painful? Of course not! Here are six great ideas to make chores fun for your kids!

Create fun chore charts for the family:

Chore charts let kids know exactly what they need to do each day, and give them the assurance that once the chores are done, they won’t have any ‘work’ left for the rest of the day. Plus, there is undeniable satisfaction in being able to tick off chores as they are finished. Add excitement to the whole process by making your chore charts unusual and fun. They don’t even have to be ‘charts’ at all!

  • Try writing the tasks down on plastic balls and putting them into different holders depending on who did them.
  • Another fun idea is to write the tasks on laminated strips of paper that are pinned together to create stick figures as the chores are done.

Make chore charts for every member of the family so that kids know they are not the only ones with responsibilities around the house.

Put it to a tune: If music and singing can make a long road trip short, it can make chores fun as well. Create funny and silly songs about the chores as you help younger kids with their tasks. Don’t worry about being able to hold a tune or finding good rhyming words – your child isn’t likely to care about either, and you’re more likely to have fun if you’re just being playful and silly. For older kids, put on some much-loved music and crank up the volume. They can sing along, dance to the music, anything at all as long as the chores are being done.

Make it a competition: Have the kids compete against each other to finish cleaning their rooms in the shortest time, or to be the first to bring their plate and fork to the kitchen sink and wash them.  This is sure to have your kids clambering to finish their tasks, but it can also lead to sloppy work. Make sure your expectations are clearly spelled out. A checklist of the tasks that make up ‘cleaning your room’ will ensure that that there are no disputes afterward. You may also want to put additional rules in place, like the first to the sink is the first to wash his/her dishes. The reward can be related to family activities, like letting the winner decide which movie to go out for next, or which game to play on family game night.

Personalize their supplies: Take your kids to pick out their very own supplies for the chores they are assigned regularly. Buy them buckets, sponges and watering cans of their own choice and allow them to further personalize their supplies any way they wish. This will give them a sense of ownership of the task, and will make them look forward to using their very own supplies to get it done.

Let them choose their own chores: Doing the same chores day after day may get a little boring for kids. Think of different ways to let them choose which chores they will do every day/week. You can have a master list of chores and allow your kids to divide them among themselves. Another option is to assign each task a score based on its difficulty level, and ask your child to choose which ones he will do each day, as long as the total ‘score’ is 10 (or any other age-appropriate target score).

Have an assigned ‘chore time’ for the entire family: Being the only one doing work is bound to be frustrating for anyone. Make sure everyone in the family has their own fair share of household chores, and have everyone work on their chores at the same time of the day, as far as possible. Then crank up the music, throw in some competition, bring out the personalized supplies and you never know, this family activity may just become the most anticipated part of every day!


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