When you turn day to day tasks into a game it can change it from being a source of stress and tantrums into fun, quality time with your kids.
Game for cleaning up toys:
Instead of yelling at your kids to clean up, make cleaning up a game.
You say, “I’m thinking of a secret item...who can pick it up first?”
They pick up toys and you say “ding ding ding” when someone cleans up the toy you are thinking of. The key is to wait until they have put that item away before revealing that it was the secret item. You can even take turns getting to pick the secret item until everything is picked up.
Playing games together helps us feel more connected.
Yelling at them to clean up obviously doesn't.
Game for putting away laundry:
My 5 year old has been really interested in learning how to count in different languages.
I will fold an item of clothing from the laundry and he will put it away on the shelf.
For each item that we fold and put away we count and see how high we can get.
"Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix"
"Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez"
Dance party for cleaning:
Make a super fun, upbeat playlist that includes lots of high energy songs. Make sure there are songs that every person likes and set it to random. Put on this playlist and declare a cleaning party. Clean as fast as you can for one song, then dance your heart out for the next song.
Play detective and spy for getting tasks done:
Designate a Spy and a Task Master. The Task Master will report to the spy saying "Myles Archibald, reporting for duty". The Spy gives them a quick task "I spy three dinosaurs that need help returning to their home" and the Task Master must complete the task. Switch roles after 5 tasks have been completed.
Turn chores into a lottery ticket game:
Make a grid of chores and cover them with homemade scratch-off paint (see tutorial here). Kids get to uncover their chore like a surprise lottery ticket! They can uncover another chore once they've completed the first chore.
Take a timelapse video of your kids cleaning and play it back to them in fast motion. They love seeing how quickly they cleaned the room!
Tell your kids that the cleaning fairy is coming in 30 minutes and he/she is going to inspect the house. Really build up the excitement for the visit from the fairy. If the kids do a great job the fairy may even leave a treat! Have your spouse dress up so the kids don't recognize them, or enlist the help of a neighbor or friend. Make sure the fairy puts on a big show so that the kids have a fun new memory and get excited for the next time the fairy comes to visit!
If you have any chore games that you play with your kids I would love to hear them! Please comment below!