There has never been a better time for everyone to get involved in family household chores – especially now spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner.
And whilst it might not be on every toddler’s wish-list to tidy away toys or in teenagers’ plans to help peg out the washing, what these opportunities can provide are opportunities to spend time with one another – and learn key life skills!
However, if you still have unwilling volunteers to help around the house, some of these tips might help make cleaning a little more enticing – and achievable. After all, many hands do make light work.
1. Play games
The easiest way to get the children involved is to make chores fun. Now, we get that those last two words might not often go together, but there are ways to make it seem less like a ‘job around the house’ and more of an appealing family activity.
For those with younger children, create a challenge that requires them to match up colours or items of clothing as they dive into the washing. Socks are definitely made for a game of ‘pairs’ and soon, the mountain of laundry should become more manageable when sorting and putting away in the drawers.
Or how about putting a timer on things? For example, saying the fastest person to tidy their rooms wins a prize. And finally, treasure hunts can often provide a little sense of ‘escapism’ when tasking your children to look for things around the house or garden.
2. Avoid being vague when handing out instructions
If you have teenagers, it is perhaps less about ‘games’ and more about setting clear goals when you ask them to help with the house chores. The last thing you want to do is nag, so make it clear from the offset about what you want them to clean and tidy up.
For example, a specific sentence such as, ‘please put all your dirty clothes into the washing basket’ means it is not only a clear request, but it ensures your child knows exactly what they must do to help you.
Setting realistic goals for everyone to achieve helps to get things done, and you all get to enjoy the fruits of your labour in a nice, clean home afterwards!
3. Offer incentives
Everyone loves a reward for doing something well at any age, right? Well, this is the perfect time to do just that!
Offering something in return after the kids have helped you with cleaning tasks – whether dusting down the kitchen tops or vacuuming the hallway – can often help to motivate them.
Incentives do not always have to revolve around money either – although older children might prefer pocket money over treats, so bear that in mind. But for younger children, how about suggesting that if they tidy their rooms, they get to choose their favourite meal for that night, or get to place a star on their reward chart?
4. Get the atmosphere right
Does your family enjoy listening to music? Then fire up the volume and help set the mood with an inspiring soundtrack for the big clean.
You could even get together and complete your own cleaning playlist where everyone selects their favourite song. Alternatively, there are plenty to choose from via Spotify and other music apps. All we would recommend is that you make sure it is both long enough and upbeat – to keep everyone motivated!
5. Give everyone responsibilities
Plants require a lot of attention, so how about getting green-fingered and tasking each person in the house to take care of one each? Instilling trust that they can keep their Phalaenopsis Orchid or Bromeliad encourages all ages to tend to them, watering them when needed.
Responsibilities can be assigned regardless of the other daily chores too. Whether that is giving everyone age-appropriate jobs for the day to complete – such as emptying the dishwasher, hanging up clothes or tidying specific rooms. You will be surprised by how ‘grown-up’ tasks can truly drive children to help out more.
Finally, do not forget to provide positive feedback throughout. Inspiring children to keep supporting you through cleaning can help to boost confidence and maintain motivation. Doing jobs together can provide an additional way for families spend time with one another and offer life skills that will help your children when they move into their own homes.