Why is it that kids love pretending to do chores, but the second they’re old enough to actually help around the house, they have no interest? (No really, we’re asking if anybody has a good answer). Kids love to cook and clean with pretend appliances, so we’ve got some good ideas about how to make doing chores more fun. One of the best ways to get your kids to help around the house is to make chores more fun. Today, we’ve got 11 ways you can turn common household chores into games that your kids will surely enjoy.
Turn Sorting the Laundry into a Memory Matching Game
Memory matching games are great for kids of all ages and have tons of replay value. You can turn sorting laundry into a memory matching game for your kids by having them sort the laundry by color, organize clean clothes by who they belong to, or by separating them into which room in the house they belong. Try using a different colored laundry basket or hamper for each person in your house, and encourage your kids to come up with their own ways of sorting the laundry. Younger kids can play their own version of this game using the First Washer-Dryer. Bonus points: they can’t accidentally lose one of your socks playing with the First Washer-Dryer.
Play Broom Hockey
If your kids love sports (especially if they love hockey), try turning sweeping the floors into an indoor version of hockey. Set up a goal (A.K.A. your dustpan) on the floor for your kids to sweep into. Keep score by awarding points for every dust bunny your kids sweep up.
Rake it to the Next Level
If your yard is full of leaves (it is fall after all), grab a rake for each person in your family and see who can rake the most leaves up in five minutes. Once everyone is done, you can try weighing the leaves or judging the size of the piles to determine who wins. Of course, everybody wins because they can jump into their leaf pile before you pile the leaves in your compost bin.
Have a Recycling Relay Race
Add a unique twist to taking out the garbage, recycling, and yard waste by turning it into a relay race for the whole family. The rules are simple: nobody can move while they’re holding onto a bag of recycling, garbage, or yard waste. To succeed, your family will have to create a line and pass the bag along from the garbage can in your kitchen, for example, to the bins outside. When your kids aren’t holding onto a bag, they have to run from the back of the relay line to the front to continue the chain. Activities like relay races encourage your kids to cooperate and come up with creative solutions to problems.
Race to Clean the Dishes
On your mark, get set, scrub! Make doing the dishes into a race by challenging your kids to clean them as fast as they can. Break out the kitchen timer or your phone and see how long it takes your kids to wash, dry, and put away the dishes every day. Post your kids best times on the fridge (or their First Fridge) so they can try to break their record time when they’re doing the dishes every night. Pro tip: use the First Sink & Stove for younger kids to avoid any accidental damage to your nice plates and silverware.
Cleanup Time: the Musical
If your kids tend to leave toys all over their bedroom or the living room (or, let’s be honest, the whole house), pick a specific cleanup song and challenge your kids to put away all of their toys before the song is done. For older kids, you can let them choose their own song, or make a specific playlist that If it’s helpful, give your kids a checklist of their toys, or label each toy’s spot in their toybox.
Play Dust Busters
Kids love to try and do things better than their parents can. Try turning dusting into a game of ‘Can You Dust Better Than Me?’ where the goal is for your kids to find a spot you missed while dusting the house. This encourages your kids to try to think outside the box. Kids have a unique advantage in Dust Busters because they’re lower to the ground and able to see the world from a different point of view. Give your kids a gold star (or a little extra screen time) for each dusty spot they find that you missed.
Play ‘The Floor is Lava’ While Making the Bed
Update the classic ‘Floor is Lava’ game by challenging your kids to make their bed without stepping on the floor. They can try to make the bed while standing on it, set up pillows or blankets as stepping stones around the bed, or try any other solutions they have to avoid touching the floor in their bedroom while they make their bed. Bonus points if your kids have to change their sheets too.
Make Cleaning Out the Fridge into a Scavenger Hunt
If your kids are learning to read or know how to read the date, you can make cleaning out the fridge and freezer into a scavenger hunt of sorts. Have them look for the date on all the bottles and tubs in your fridge and get rid of anything that’s expired. Just maybe don’t let them open the lids first, or have them do a scavenger hunt with the First Fridge instead (which we can personally guarantee doesn’t have anything smelly in it).
Make Dinnertime into Rhyme Time
Add a little creativity and thinking to making food for your pets by having your kids sing what they’re doing in rhyme while they do it. So as they mix their dogs food, they might sing something like: “In the bowl, I mix some kibble, cause my dog loves to nibble” (Apologies, we weren’t poetry majors in college).
Musical Counter Cleaning
If your kids love playing Musical Chairs, try turning wiping down the counters, appliances (make sure they wipe down their First Oven too), and other surfaces in your house into your own version of it. Mix a kid-safe cleaning solution of vinegar & water so your kids have something that’s perfect for wiping down surfaces around the house. Then, put on a song and have everyone start cleaning. When the music stops, everyone has to stop cleaning. If someone keeps moving after the music stops, they’re ‘out’ for this round (but hopefully keep cleaning). Whoever wins each round gets to pick the next song.
We hope your kids enjoy these games as much as you enjoy them helping out with chores! Make sure you snap some photos or your kids while they play, and don’t forget to tag us when you post (@OfficialLittleTikes on Instagram, @LittleTikes everywhere else on social media)!
At Little Tikes, we don’t just make toys, we make play. Looking for more great active play ideas? Check out www.LittleTikes.com for all our latest play tips & tricks!