I am a HUGE believer in teaching even the youngest of children to do chores and help out around the house. I think that if we teach our children from an early age that EVERYONE pitches in around the house, that not only do we teach valuable lessons like responsibility, but that we avoid arguments about housework as the children get older.
I’m going to be all Mary Poppins for a moment, and express that I think that “in any job there is to be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and SNAP, the job’s a game!” Making chores fun helps keep a child’s interest up, and minimizes any fussing or resistance. The game I am going to share with you today is something my kids actually ASK to do. (And it works!)
What You’ll Need:
Goal:To help a child thoroughly clean a room in the house (and have fun while doing it!)
1. Hide 10 buttons around a given room in the house.
- If my kids are dusting/cleaning a bathroom, I hide the buttons in spots where they need to spray/wipe.
- If we are using the buttons to help them clean their bedroom, I put a button on ten messy areas in the room.
2. The kids work through the room, trying to find each of the 10 buttons.
- Each time a child finds a button, they know they need to either spray/wipe that area, or clean up that area appropriately.
- When we are using the buttons to dust/clean, some places I hide the buttons are: under the centerpiece on the coffee table, behind the plant on the end table, at the base of the lamp, etc.
- When we are using the buttons to clean a bedroom, some places I hide the buttons are: on an un-made bed, on a pile of clothes to be put in a hamper, a pile of books to be shelved, etc.
3. The kids work until they have found all of the buttons, and cleaned each of the areas where they found a button. At the end of the game, they must show me all ten buttons, and let me check through the room to make sure they are done.
This game is great because you know they are hitting all of the areas they need to clean up, as you control where the buttons go! You can make sure they are dusting behind the knick-knacks, because you put a button there! You can know they will organize their stuffed animals, because you hid a button in their midst.
The kids love working to find the buttons, and the little treasure hunt of sorts, takes their mind off the fact that they are cleaning a room!
This game works great for young kids. My kids who are almost 6 and almost 4 love to play this game. At the end of the game, if the kids bring you all ten buttons, and have done a great job, you can feel free to give them a small prize. Things like a roll of smarties or another small wrapped candy work great for my kids. Have fun and get your kids busy helping!!
I wrote a post awhile ago on getting kids to help around the house that you might find useful. Check it out! The “Chore Store” : A New Take on the Chore Chart
You might also LOVE, Getting Your Children Involved in Household Chores (And Getting Them to Like It Too!)
I also have a whole section on cleaning on the website! If you’d like to check it out for some great hints/tricks for yourself, click HERE!!
This idea is fabulous!! Getting our kids to clean their rooms is a constant struggle and I think that part of the problem is that they just don’t “see” the mess. I definitely want to implement this with my kids.
Hi Bekki! What a fun idea! My sister Becky (who not only shares your name but is also a pastor’s wife and a chore-enhancing mom) and I do this game with the kids in our ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY literature workshop, because that’s what the mom in the story did to make dusting fun too! If you’d us to share our LitWits Kit for that book (or any other) let us know and we’ll send you a free coupon — we can tell you’re the kind of mom who’d be totally into the fun things we do with great books to help lessons stick. Like this one! 🙂 No obligation, just wanted to share with a kindred spirit.
Hi Bekki — just submitted a longish commenbt, and got the pop-up that it was already submitted. Hmmm! Would you please let me know if you received it? Thank you! Jenny Walicek
Just approved it. We’re on a road-trip and internet is in and out. Thank you! =)