We know chores and cleaning are not our children’s favorite activity. Making a mess is usually way more fun than cleaning it up. Time to spice things up and get your family motivated to help with the chores around the house. Here are seven ways to make things a bit more fun.
Have a clean-up song
No doubt many children enjoy music and just about anything is more fun when you can sing and dance while doing it. The beauty of a clean-up song is that, for little ones, it cues them as to what they should be doing and for older ones, sets a time limit to do it in. Pick a song you and your child love and make it a game to try and finish cleaning or picking up toys within the duration of a song. Each time, you can compete with yourselves to get more done and sing and dance while you do it.
Make it a race
Races are fun! Play beat the clock and see who can finish first. Create a fun competition. This is especially good for competitive siblings who will be motivated to clean and tidy up the fastest. Work on improving your time.
Do it wrong so they can correct you
This one works well in my house. My daughter loves to correct me when she knows what to do. She also thinks it’s funny when Mommy is silly and messes up obvious tasks. I always mean to occasionally put shoes on the wrong feet! Whoops!! This works for cleaning up as well as for self – help skills like putting on shoes, coats, brushing teeth and hand washing. Make a mess up purposely funny and your child can offer the assistance to complete the task. Sometimes I’ll pick up a toy or two and ask my daughter if it goes in a super silly spot, like blocks on my head, or pretend dishes in her book bag. She’ll usually laugh and call me silly, then I’ll ask her to show me and continue on as she offers her help to place items in their right spots. She loves when she can show me the right way to do a task.
Offer an incentive
Offering an incentive is also fun! Maybe if they pick up all their toys or place their dirty clothes in the laundry when you ask, they get five extra minutes watching their favorite show or reading their favorite book. Hey, this works on me too. When the reward is sweet, I am all in to get the job done quickly!
When working on household chores, they can become a little boring. However, when you add an element of silly, you just might find you and your child enjoy the task. Maybe pick up toys roaring like a lion or jumping like a kangaroo. Fly like a bird or dance like a ballerina as you put clothes away. Challenge them to clean in their silliest way. If you have siblings, each child can take a turn calling out what animal, or action the next task will be completed doing.
Make up a story
Playing pretend is a staple of childhood. Use that to your advantage. Start out by telling a story. Maybe about a princess in a castle who needs to leave for the ball and can’t find her shoes because the castle is a mess. Ask your child to help the princess find her shoes by cleaning up the castle. Maybe you are astronauts exploring the moon gathering rocks (toys) and putting them in their rightful place. Maybe you are miners who need to clean off rocks (dishes) to reveal the beautiful diamonds. Set the table for a fun imaginative fancy dinner with their favorite character. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Have your children help you make up their own pretend stories, take turns with siblings.
Depending on the chore your child can pretend to be in character. You can have them be the baker, cleaning up after making masterpiece cupcakes, work in a restaurant and wash the dishes, or work in a fancy hotel, having to make all the beds for the next guest. Fun role play of real life jobs to get things done. They can pretend to be the teacher making sure their classroom (playroom) is ready for the next day, or be the dentist brushing their teeth. The children have a chance to pretend play their roles making their chores a little more entertaining!
Anything you can do to make chores more fun is a win in my book! Here’s to having some fun with our littles and getting some work done around the house!