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5 Tips for Making Chores a Special Occasion

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Spring has sprung, which to my kids means more outside play and fun time. To me, it means that, but also spring cleaning. As much as I’d love for our life to be all fun and games, when you have a household there are certain things that just have to get done. We are slowly but surely learning the lesson that when we all pitch in and do things together, it gets done faster and we can have more play time.

I grew up in a very chore oriented household. Living on a small farm, there were outdoor chores and indoor chores to be done each day, without exception. It wasn’t always fun, but that didn’t matter… it simply had to be done.

Although playing outside will always win out over doing chores, you can get your kids involved in chores by making them more fun.   Today I’m sharing 5 ways our family tries to make chores, well… less of a chore.

5 Ways to Make Chores More Fun for Your Kids

 

Let Them Cook With You

Obviously since I am a “foodie”, getting my kids involved in dinner prep is an obvious way to share in the chore. It is definitley not easy to cook with kids, and it often times makes dinner prep take longer, but their sense of accomplishment after being a significant part of dinner far outweighs the challenging aspects of having them help. Above, Ella took on the job of rolling out the homemade pasta dough for Garlic Butter Egg Noodles.

Switch Things Up Each Week

Just like adults, kids get bored doing the same chores week after week. We solve that problem by putting our usual list of chores (empty the dishwasher, set the table, take out the trash, etc) into a bucket that they can draw from each week. Each child is responsible to complete the chores they draw for that specific week. Then, the next week we do it all over again!

Bag It Up

Each week I give my kids 2 plastic grocery sacks. Their job, during the week, is to come back to me with one bag full of trash and one bag full of items to donate. If both bags are full by the end of the week, they get a special reward (stay up 30 minutes later, choose what’s for dessert one night etc). They love the challenge and I love the extra clutter being removed from our house.

Set a Timer

I learned a tip from FlyLady a long time ago and that is to set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can get done. We do this often in our house and it really gets the kids moving. Set a timer and focus on a specific room in your house. Move as fast as you can to get as much as you can done in 15 minutes!

Dance and Sing

Playing some of their favorite songs while doing chores makes everything a lot more fun. Singing and dancing and working hard can all go together, and combining those things certainly makes chore time more fun!

What are some of the ways you involve your family in spring cleaning and chore time? 

Disclosure: I’m incredibly honored to be partnering with Hallmark in 2012 as part of their “Life Is a Special Occasion” campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.



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Comments

  1. You are amazingly awesome, Kristen. We have not really set up a chore schedule in our house yet, but you have motivated me to give these ideas a try.

    • It took us awhile to figure the whole chore thing out too… and we are still fine tuning it. It’s hard when you have kids with different skill levels. Eventually you will get to a point where everyone is someone equal in ability and they can all pitch in :)

  2. I just bookmarked this post! Love all these creative chore ideas. I need all the help I can get :)

  3. The timer is by far my favorite tip. When I just tell the kids to go do X, they never seem to accomplish anything, or they move at a snail’s pace. However, if we say, “Let’s clean the basement. I’ll give you 15 minutes on the timer!” Then suddenly the whole attitude changes for the task.

  4. GREAT post, Kristen.

  5. These tips don’t just work for kids. I do the 15 minute timer thing and keep a bag hanging on the back of the door of my closet to toss in donate-able items. It is so handy to toss something in after you have put in on for the 3rd time and taken it off because it just wasn’t right for you. Of course, music is a must during my power cleaning times. :-)

  6. Great tips Kristen.

    Some how as my girls got older and I’m now working at home, all the chores seem to fall on me again………maybe I can implement some of these ideas with a 24 and 15 year old! lol

  7. The bag it up idea is so smart! What a great way to motivate your kids.

  8. I like em all. Especially the “bag it” idea. Although I may increase it to 3 bags. We’ve got lots to get rid of. Lots.

  9. You are smart! love this.

  10. These are such great ideas, Kristen! Our kids have been assigned to the same chores for awhile and I see their enthusiasm dwindling each week. I am going to switch to the “pick a new chore each week” idea. And the “bag it up” idea – love it!

  11. We do a system that I call “The Family Clean Up”. When things get out of hand, we all pitch in and within a few minutes the house is presentable. There are of course some rules and motivators. See all the details here: http://bit.ly/sb1bPf

  12. Love the timer idea!

  13. Clearly I need to have kids. Cleaning would be a lot less of a chore if I could farm it out to them!

    • They only get to be useful at a certain age… usually at the age where helping with chores isn’t fun to them anymore. Toddlers and young kids are so anxious to help out, but having them help is so much more work. Tweens and teens are finally old enough to help out without a lot of supervision, but then getting them to help is a battle because they have better things to do ;)

  14. I like the ” bag it ” and “pick a new chore each week” idea..

    my nephews enjoy.. doing household chores..

  15. What a great idea to ask them to fill a bag for donating each week! Wow…I might just have to steal that. We love the timer strategy too, though most times, I just count to 60 and see how much she can clean up in that minute.

    • You’d think they’d run out of things to get rid of each week, but it has yet to happen. It’s amazing the crap they bring home each day :)

  16. Before we leave the house, we often have a “2 minute drill”. I set the timer on the microwave for 2 minutes, and challenge Ben and Maggie to get everything picked up in the living room before it goes off. They love doing it, almost always get it all done, and when we come home, the living room is neat. Win-win-win!

  17. Multi tasking for my nephews are great..

    They always read your blog..
    Thanks for sharing..

  18. Kristen, I love these ideas. We have a chore chart and the kids love crossing things off.

  19. your photos are just so charming! btw- you should stop over to my blog and enter the chobani giveaway!

  20. These are some good ideas! We are already doing the 15 minute thing, but I am going to have to try the bag and the drawing tasks from a bucket. (I just bought some more Popsicle sticks.) I think I will make them draw a task every time they ask to play on the computer. I had been making them earn computer time by reading a book or some other task, but I love the idea of randomly drawing one!
    ~Jamie

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