I am all about giving kids chores, responsibility and encouraging them to feel pride in the house, or with their belongings. Ever since my kids were walking, they have been helping with chores. Believe it or not, when they were younger, they were much more eager to help. Everything was fun and new for them back then. Now, occasionally, getting them to hang up their bag needs reminding and comes with a groan!
Kids often do best with short duration chores, or even a timed task. Rather than have the kids do a task like “clean your room”, which is a forever chore, suggest instead they clean their desk, or make their bed – at least they can start to practice all the little bitty tasks that go into actually tidying and cleaning a room.
In other years I have created chore jars or task lists, but none of them have really stuck. Sometimes even what I think is an easy chore for a kid to do turns into a much larger clean up task for me. Just what I need, right?
This year, to keep things a bit simpler I am trying to come up with 5 minute chores (or at least that’s what the kids will hear – so maybe they will get them done quickly without much fighting!)
This is how it will work:
Each kid will have 2 tasks to do every day. One task will come from the “Put away” list, the other will be from the “Tidy up” list. Below, I have put together some examples. (By the way, this kind of simplified list also works for me! I would just have to pick 2-3 from each list – but it’s totally customizable to your own chores!!)
To create the “Put away” list, I literally spent some time each day for a week walking around the house looking for categories of items that were left out. I stepped on some Lego and decided this is the easiest way to come up with the random categories! Create your own categories for the random stuff that you are stepping around, or tidying up yourself! The multiple items can be separated to give more tasks or for more kids.
- Boardgames/Card games
- Lego/Barbies/Basically any one type of toy or set of toys
- Clothes/Dress up clothes
To create the “Tidy up” list I used the same time that I was walking around coming up with the “Put away” list, but I paid closer attention to table tops and floors. The areas below may not apply to you, so be sure to come up with areas that will make sense to your kids.
- Specific rooms of the house, like toys out of the kitchen, or family room etc
- Front hall – especially with back to school! My kids dump and run as their regular behaviour! Despite my best efforts!!
- Upstairs hallway
Over the next few weeks I will find more categories that I missed I am sure! But at least each job is simple and easy for kids to complete quickly!
Now try making your own lists, whether it’s for the kids, or for yourself!