Chores Made Fun: A Parents' Guide
One of the biggest struggles parents can have with their children is in getting their chores done, getting them ready for bed, ready for school and on-time for life in general!
The Star System & Rewards
A common response of those asked was a star chart system. The idea is simple, a board or chart marks each child with their own column, a range of chores and days of the week. Completing each chore on time gets you a gold star. If you get all gold stars for one week, you get a reward.
“For our family, the reward is having the first bounce on our Springfree trampoline,” says David,
“We really encourage one-at-a-time bouncing, and who gets to go first in any given week is the person with the most gold stars. If they both get all gold stars, they get an extra-special treat – like a special outing, or ice cream for all!
The Getting Ready For Bed Game
“My youngest sister Laura is 8 years younger than me,” says Louise,
“I used to play a fun ‘getting ready for bed game’ with Laura, where we would sing this song and I’d make a sound, which would determine what we would do next. It went a little something like this:
“What are we going to do today? What are we going to do? If your bird (toy) sings tweet tweet, you have to brush your teeth, if your teddy bear says ‘hello Laura’ you clap your hands, if your monkey goes ‘oh ah ah’ you jump into bed, and that’s how you play the game”
“I’d then make one of her toys ‘make the sound’ and suddenly everything was a game, and getting ready for bed was fun. I’d just throw in a few ‘spin around’ moves or similar, and she wouldn’t even notice the means behind it all!”
“My son, like most boys, hates eating his veggies,” says Barrie,
“But we introduced the idea of ‘dinner wars’, and created this elaborate story that the vegetables were waging war with us on our plates. The carrots were the perpetrators, and they would throw ‘pea bombs’ onto our forks. The only way to defeat them – you guessed it – eat the pesky carrots and their ammo.”
We heard a similar suggestion from Sonia; “my kids love when I decorate their plates with funny faced vegetables.”
“Dancing to your chores and ‘whistling while you work’ is super fun,” Carlie told us, “put on some upbeat music, make it fun and get energised when you get to work and it’ll be easy!”
This top tip from Kate we hadn’t heard before, “One day we had been watching Cinderella, and later I needed the girls to clean their rooms. They started pretending they were Cinderella, and were laughing away as they were cleaning, with tea towels draped over their heads! Since then, I’ve encouraged dress-ups for cleaning – we get them swinging the broom like witches as they sweep, or playing ‘Fairy Godmother’ as they ‘turn their mess into a palace’. It can take longer, but there are lots of giggles, and there’s no complaining and groaning to get the job done!”
Timers and Races
“For our family, it’s all down to organisation, and then following through. But we sometimes use timers and races to make it fun!” – A great suggestion from Lee.
Especially for kids around the ages of 9 and up, pocket money for chores well done is a tool many parents like to use.
“I like to give my kids $1 per day to clean the leaves off of our trampoline. It’s pretty spotless most of the time, and my kids love learning how to earn,” says Brad.
“I have one avid spender and one avid saver,” says Paula, “I think it’s a good way to teach them how to save their money too, and appreciate that some things take hard work to get.”
And we love this suggestion from Ben, “Get them involved in the veggie garden, if the kids take responsibility for a plant each, they can really enjoy watching it grow, and it’s time spent outside together. Watering the garden can also be part of their outside play routines – jump on the trampoline, kick a ball around, and care for their new plants.”
Do you have any fun tips to make chores fun? We’d love to hear them!