Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t want to pass as a crazy mother, but believe it or not, my kids ask me for the bottle of cleaner to wash the stains off the floor. Do you really think I’m about to deceive them by not giving them what they want? You should know me better!
Having kids participate to simple daily household chores is also helping them in the long run. It is said that by appointing a few simple tasks to kids, you will help them become more responsible, more autonomous while improving their time management skills. It’s a great way to give them some responsibilities while crossing out a few items on our to-do list!
Here is a non exhaustive list of chores to give to your kids. Of course, these tasks vary with age (I wouldn’t ask my 2 and a half year old son to make his bed, obviously!) I also give you a few simple tricks that seem to work with my two kids.
- Put away toys: A classic so often neglected! When your living room looks more like a day-care center than a space to relax, it’s time to take out the storage trays and start the scavenger hunt! The one who manages to pick up the most items becomes the pirate champion!
- Clean small furniture: “Wow, Mommy, your rubber gloves are so pretty!” Two pairs of oversize coloured rubber gloves for my little ones, two spray bottles filled with a blend of water, vinegar and lemon… I now have my two very own little scrubbers! Night tables, side tables, kitchen table: they have a go at every pieces of furniture!
- Folding clothes: My 5 year old daughter loves this task, especially when she has to fold her own clothes or her little brother’s (easier, hence motivating). She is in charge of folding (and putting away) pants, underwear, PJs, and the amusing task of pairing up the socks. And yes, I have to admit, she does a better job at folding towels than I do!
- Set up the table: As we prepare the meal, why not ask the kids to set up the table. Place mats, utensils, glasses, milk, salt, pepper, etc. Anything goes! Sure, it will take a little more time than if you were to do it, but that way you can concentrate on your meal!
Here are a few other ideas:
- Clean and/or dry the dishes (for older kids)
- Empty the dishwasher (start with utensils)
- Make their bed
- Pick up their clothes in the hamper
The important thing is to start by giving simple tasks and making them “fun”, that way your kid will stay motivated and will finish what he or she has to do. Of course, you have to congratulate them once they finish, and show them how proud you are!