Kids of all ages can do chores, and summertime is the best time to teach them. You have more time at home and the incentives for doing chores can be much easier and more effective than any other time of the year. Here are just some ideas for teaching kids about chores and what chores they can do to earn privileges this summer.
Room cleaning. It’s a simple concept- if you make the mess, you clean it. Your room is your space and it’s your responsibility to keep it neat. Start by showing younger kids how to put toys and shoes away. For older kids, teach them how to put their clothing away and make their beds. For teens, they should be able to clean the room completely. You can provide “to-do” lists in written or picture form, and even teach basic requests, like “Let’s pick up toys” for younger kids.
Putting things away. In other rooms, teach kids that everything has its place. While you dust or vacuum, have kids place things back where they belong. Books go on the shelf. Magazines go in a rack. Pillows go on the couch, and so on. This will show kids how easy it is to keep a room clean while you can observe how well they do the chores.
Age appropriate chores and charts– Make sure the chores you choose fit your child’s age, competency, and size. You cannot expect a three year old to vacuum the house. You also cannot expect a shorter or smaller child to dust shelves if he or she cannot reach. If you want kids to help with chores, make it easy for them do chores.
Make it fun. Chores don’t have t be boring. Put on music, play a game, or sing silly songs about the chores. Teach kids that you can have fun as you clean, so they don’t look at chores as a boring thing their mom or dad makes them do.
Give them a reason– Let them know why they should help, and also show them what they will gain by helping. For younger kids, a visual is needed. For example, if you are giving them a treat, show them the treat. If you are taking them to the park, show them a picture of the park. This will help them understand that they will get something for cleaning up. For older kids, you can list their reward on a chart and have them refer to it often to remind them of their incentives. You can even do something like a marble jar (filling a jar with marbles as chores are done) or a sticker chart. That way, you only reward them once they’ve done the chore often.