Most parents would love their children to help out more around the house. I know I would. I realized a while ago that for my children to help me around the house, I needed to make it easier for them to be able to help me. Here are 10 ways to help your children help around the house.
1. If you want your children to keep their shoes neat and tidy, you need to set up a neat and tidy place for shoes. Different things work for different households. We tried all sorts of buckets and racks but our shoes were still messy until I bought a shoe storage cubbie from Amazon. It looks great near our front door, keeps the shoes contained without them looking messy, and my children now know exactly where their shoes are. It took a little reminding in the beginning to break their old habits, but now putting their shoes in the storage cubbie is second nature to them. Putting it near the entrance that your children enter most often is a great visual reminder. We keep a bin with their socks in one of the cubbies so they don’t have to remember to bring socks downstairs with them in the morning.
2. Keep kid friendly cups, plates, utensils, etc. in reach of children so they can grab them as needed and be able to help with putting them away, too.
3. Keep a kid friendly bucket of cleaning supplies handy for your kids to grab and help you out. Ours has some microfiber cloths (for dusting and wiping up dirt), a water spray bottle with a little vinegar (to spray surfaces and loosen dirt), some paper towel (for cleaning and drying messes), and a dustpan and brush set.
4. Want a better chance at getting your kids to actually refill the toilet paper holder? Get one that is easy to use. The type that requires pushing the ends into the base can be hard for little hands. We have one like the Moen Toilet Paper Holder above that you can grab on Amazon. It is open on the side so the roll easily slides on.
5. Tired of school work, important papers from school, mail, and more being lost? Get a simple basket to designate as where all important papers go. Have your kids empty their backpacks as soon as they get home from school and put all papers for you in the basket. Now you’ll always know where they are. I also put mail for my husband, mailed coupons I want to keep, etc. in ours and keep it right by the door so it is easy to stay organized. I bought ours on clearance at Michael’s for a few dollars. You can probably find a plastic one at any dollar store.
6. It is much easier for children to keep their rooms clean and organized if everything has a place. If children don’t know where something goes, they aren’t going to put it away. Make it easier for them by purchasing bins, plastic drawers, cabinets, or whatever works in your child’s room and have a designated place for everything. One drawer for dolls, one drawer for figures, one drawer for art supplies, and so on. For younger children label each bin with pictures of what goes inside to help them remember. Remind them to only take one or two types of toys out at a time for easier clean up. Make cleaning up a game. My girls do a 5 minute pick up at my house. I set a timer and they try to clean everything up in 5 minutes. If kept up with, it shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes for them to put things away. Of course there are times when their rooms look like a hurricane came through and it takes them longer. But having designated spots for items helps a lot.
7. Have your children help sort, fold, and put laundry away. Try purchasing several inexpensive baskets. Have your children put socks in one, underwear in one, and pajamas in one. Everything else gets laid out and hung up or folded by older children. Have your children pick a basket to be in charge of sorting, folding, and putting away. Have children set aside the outfits they are going to wear to school everyday for the week as they are putting them away so they won’t have to worry each morning. Make doing laundry a family event. The work gets done much faster and it is much more fun doing it together.
8. Keep plastic, kid-friendly knives around so your children can help you prepare dinner buy cutting up fruits, veggies, and more. We don’t have a lot of counter space so we purchased a rolling breakfast cart with bar stools and a drop down side leaf that my girls sit at when they are helping me. I stand on one side and they each have their own spot to sit at and help me with dinner. They are much more adventurous with trying new foods if they helped prepare them.
9. Kids love playing with water so why not recruit them to help wash the dishes? I purchased cute sponges at the dollar store that my children love using. They are shaped like a frog, a ladybug, and other cute shapes that they like. They like using their special sponges. You could also cut regular sponges in fun shapes, too. I make sure to remove anything sharp from the sink before I let them wash the dishes to keep their hands safe. Our sink has a pull down sprayer but I would really love to have Pfister’s Elevate 1-Handle, Pull-Down Faucet pictured above. It can be lowered for when my children use the sink and then raised with the touch of a button for when I need to fill a pot or fill a bucket. A Mommy can dream!
I will be having a giveaway soon where the winner will get their choice of any Pfister faucet so keep an eye out!
10. Teach children about nature, plants, and where food comes from by starting a family garden. Purchase inexpensive gardening tools and have your children help plant their favorite fruits and vegetables. Let them help you choose what to plant. Encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables. My girls don’t normally like tomatoes and peppers but since we’re growing them in our garden, they are excited to try them again. Give each child a group of plants that they are responsible for watering and taking care of. Purchase inexpensive watering cans for each child and let them decorate their own.
What things have you done at home to help your children help you?