Monday, April 21, 2008

Theme of the Week Challenge

I'm choosing this week's theme challenge partly out of my own personal selfishness. I want some help in this area! Here is the theme: Helping With Chores.

You can be as creative as you please with this theme; things I am personally hoping for are examples of chores that are age appropriate for any age group (what have you successfully enlisted your two year old to do? your four year old? your six year old?). I would also like ideas that have helped make chores (or anything, really) work better in your household. For example, when I ask my nearly five year old to get dressed in the morning, I can ask six times and it still won't happen. However, I have noticed in the last week that if I ask him if he can get himself dressed in under two minutes starting NOW, he can get dressed faster than I ever imagined possible.

So here's your chance to experiment, try and fail, try and succeed, and come up with anything that will help your children either be more excited to do chores, or at least be willing to do chores (can you think of a different word for chores that doesn't sound so, well, chorish?). I'm also kind of tired of picking up after my kids. What have you done to successfully encourage your children to clean up after themselves? Any ideas, thoughts, "helping" charts, or even tangents that only partially have to do with this theme are welcome!


Matt, Ella, and Jane said...

This is what my sister does.

The baskets on the stairs she talks about are cute little baskets that sit on the side of her stairs going up and each has a different name on it. Throughout the day if she finds something that doesn't belong she sticks it in the basket. Then, the idea is to give the kids 15 minutes to take their basket and put everything in it where it goes. If it's completed they get a sticker on their chart.

For cleaning bedrooms she has started doing it first thing on Saturday morning. It has to be done before they can go outside, play, watch TV, etc.

Hope you get an idea or two!

millerjk said...

I can comment on 4 year old loves to clean.
I lay our whole family's clothing out for the next day each night before I go to bed (it might be because I am a bit type A, but it makes our mornings go so much smoother). She is now in charge of laying her own clothes out...and she loves fighting to get her dressed in the morning.
She has to put all her laundry in the dirty clothes.
She has to make her bed...okay she just pulls up the blanket, but it is a start.
She loves to help dust so I will spray and she wipes everything down. I follow behind her, because she is not thorough, but she is learning.
She loves to mop so after hubby or I mop, she gets to mop again.
She has to clear her dishes after eating to the sink or counter. Even her 18 month old brother walks his plate (plastic) into the kitchen and his sippy cup when he is done drinking. Too cute!
I figure if we can teach her, and eventually her brother(s) at a young age, it will be much easier when we have them take over some of these chores.
Hope you get ideas...

millerjk said...

Oh, and don't forget cleaning up toys.

Any toys left out after clean up time are fair game for mom or dad to dispose of as deemed just. Sometimes we just put them away because a little brother has helped get them back out, sometimes they go away for a time, quite a few have been put away for future garage sale. It is a great way to thin out toys and teach the importantance of clean up!

Deneal said...

Wonderful ideas! I'm gong to take some of those and put them into action right away. Thanks moms!

Jon and Megan said...

My sister has a cute bag and put the choirs that need to be done in there just written down on a piece of paper. Whatever they draw is what they do, Seems to work for her making a game of sorts out of it. Then some days just for the motivational umph she will put only good things in there. (ie Trip for a treat ect) and they when they draw they have alittle yipee for you moment and start again the next day back to helping with chores.

Jamie said...

I let my 2 and 3 year olds clean the toilet and the mirror. They also love cleaning the front room window - which is huge and has millions of fingerprints.
I only let the spray water and wash with a microfiber cloth. I don't let them use chemicals.
For the toilet, they scrub and then tell me when to add the cleaner (Don Aslett style, if you know that cleaning method)
They are also good at helping put dishes away - at least the stuff they can reach.

Good ideas from everyone else... thanks.

jennifer said...

My three year old loves to use a small mini-broom to help me sweep the floor. He thinks it was made for him.
I have decided to take baby steps in training him with laundry (he knows how to fold washcloths, where to put his dirty clothes, and he enjoys taking wet laundry from my hands and throwing it into the dryer), setting the table (he is in charge of the silverware), and dusting(I spray, he wipes).

I've also "threatened" to claim any toys that are left on the floor--at the end of the day if he doesn't feel they are important enough to pick up and put away, then I can throw them in a trash bag and find a boy who will take care of them. (this usually gets the response I'm looking for!)

Another thing that has helped in training him to enjoy chores is to put on some loud fun music and make it a fun time where everybody works together. Someday, I'll wean myself out of the equation and expect him to consistently do chores himself. But for now, I feel like I'm spending good time with him and it's enjoyable because my house is getting cleaner and he is learning how to do it...
I like everybody's ideas--this is a great theme!

Darcy said...

We have four baskets: two for Colton, two for Daylin.
One of Colton's baskets has a label stating "Socks, Unders, Pajamas." The other basket has a label stating "Shirts, Shorts, Pants." Daylin's two baskets have the same labels.
When the mountain of laundry gets delivered to the couch, they dig through it and sort their clothes into the baskets. Then, it's easier to tackle folding on a smaller scale.
I never put graphics of the clothes items on there, but that would help with younger, non-reader kids. I would still put the words, though, because eventually they'll "read" them by association to the clothes.