It’s important to teach kids, even at a very young age that helping out around the house is a necessary contribution. That said, chores don’t have to be a bore or something to dread. You can show your children that housework and working as a family team can be enjoyable and rewarding. Here are 3 ways to teach kids to participate in chores that will give them invaluable tools they’ll use for a lifetime.
Sure, kids love taking out their toys and leaving them wherever they wind up, but putting them away is another story. Even toddlers can learn to put away toys after they are done playing with them. Make tidying up fun by creating a toy chest that can become part of playtime. You can turn a small laundry basket into a “home” or “bed” for stuffed animals by placing a tiny pillow and blanket inside for the stuffed animals to snuggle with. You can even leave one larger stuffed animal inside the “home” and when it’s time to put the toys away, you can tell your child that the animals need to go back with their “mommy” (the larger stuffed toy). This way, your child will find the clean up to be part of playtime! This lesson will follow your child as they get older and need to keep their room mess-free.
Help with the Table and Dishes
Depending on your child’s age, there is always something to do when it comes time to set or clean the table or do the dishes. Little children can help set the table by handing out napkins and plates (if you are using paper plates). Older kids can set the entire table and help with loading the dishwasher or drying dishes. You can turn setting the table into a creative activity for the kids by allowing them to design seating cards to match your dining set. The kids will look forward to setting a pretty table. You can teach the kids teamwork by creating a dish “assembly line” where each person has a specific task, where the first child washes the items, one kid dries the plates, the next kid puts it into the cabinet, etc. Learning how to set a table and properly care for dishware are useful chores that the kids will need to use later in life. If they realize it can be fun, they’ll look forward to doing it on their own as they get older. One day, they’ll be inviting you to dinner!
Helping with Pets
Lots of kids beg their parents for a new cat or dog (or another family pet), but there’s more to owning a pet than the love your kids will readily supply. It takes a lot of discipline and care to have a furry, feathered or finned addition to the family. It’s a great opportunity to teach your kids how to care for a pet by assuring they help in the well-being, feeding, walking, grooming, etc. the pet will surely need. Depending upon your child’s age, there is definitely something they can do to help in the care of the pet. Small kids can help with scooping food into the pet’s bowl and making sure the water is fresh. Older kids can walk the pet. Kids can take turns cleaning up after the pet, grooming duties, etc. Caring for a pet is not only beneficial for the pet, but it will teach your child to have compassion and tenderness, and that pets are not playthings – they are living beings that need to be treated as well as they’d treat humans.
What chores do your kids do? How do you make it fun? Let us know what your household is like. For more information like this, please visit All My Children blogs.
By: Melissa A. Kay