While our kids do love each other, every mum has seen evidence of sibling rivalry or jealousy, and we’ve all heard a variation of “I’m never talking to you again!” shouted through the walls at some point.
So how do we keep the peace? How about some simple chores for kids which your children can work together to complete, having fun at the same time? Working as a team to get the job done, your kids will learn more about their individual and combined strengths, and you’ll have a bit of help getting the house tidy – what could be better?
Here are five great ways to turn household chores into exciting games:
When it comes to assigning chores to your children, one of the most important things you need to make sure of is that everyone is doing an equal amount of work. Even when chores are fun, children are very sensitive about fairness, so either make sure all chores are done as a team, or keep a list of who does what to see that there is balance.
Are your kids’ rooms so cluttered that you can barely see the floor? Then it’s time to tidy up. One of the best household chores for children is tidying their rooms, as it’s safe and easy, and it doesn’t involve using any cleaning products. Unfortunately, it can also be pretty boring for kids, so it needs a bit of role play to liven it up. Choose one sibling to be the shopkeeper, and one to be the customer. The customer’s role is to ask for a specific item to ‘buy’, while the shopkeeper’s role is to find that item amongst the other contents of the messy ‘shop’. Once found, the customer can place the item back where it belongs. Encourage your kids to swap roles regularly to keep it interesting.
If your kids have a tendency to throw their dirty clothes on the floor, rather than in the laundry basket, why not transform picking them up into a fun game of basketball? It has all the fun of the real sport, without the risk of breaking a window. Place the laundry basket at one end of the room, and place a marker at the other end players have to stand behind to throw from. Determine a goal for your kids – such as six hoops – and challenge them to throw their dirty laundry into the basket. If they work together as a team and reach the target, you can reward them with a treat, such as a star on their chore chart, or a trip to the park.
3) Scavenger Hunt
We’re all guilty of cluttering sometimes, but kids can be excellent helpers when you’re struggling to get everything cleared up. Make a list of items in your home that need to be put away, and use them to create scavenger hunt clues for your kids. If you’ve got a newspaper lying around, for example, an easy clue could be “Folded sheets of paper delivered each morning” while older kids might appreciate the challenge of “I am black and white and read all over!” Kids will need to work together to decrypt the clues, before retrieving the items and putting them in the right place. If you’re looking for easy chores for kids at home that will keep them entertained for hours, then this is a fantastic little game.
4) Race Against the Clock
In a race to fold all the clean laundry, four hands (or more) are definitely better than two, so your kids will love working together to beat the timer. Challenge your kids to fold all the clothes within a certain timeframe, encouraging them to work as a team. Figure out a plan of action beforehand to really maximise their chances of succeeding, such as one sibling focusing on socks and shirts, and the other focusing on trousers and underwear. The great thing about this is that you can note down their time, and try to get them to beat their record each time they play the game.
5) Sing Song Chores
This is a great game for creative children to show off their artistic abilities. First, ask your kids to choose a chore, based on a selection (keep this to ‘safe’ chores – nothing involving chemicals or sharp objects, for example), and then give them 10 minutes to work together to create a song based on that chore – you can help out if they’re struggling. Once the song has been perfected, get your kids to work together to complete the chore whilst singing their new song – this not only helps to boost their creativity, but it’ll give them something fun to dance along to as they work.
Household chores for kids can actually be really fun – with a little imagination, you can transform even the most boring of tasks into an exciting game that encourages them to work together, appreciating each other’s strengths and skills. There’s nothing like teamwork for family bonding – and you’ll have a tidier, more peaceful home as a result!