Housework is nobody’s favorite way to spend time, but it’s got to be done. Giving your kids age-appropriate ways to get involved is helpful to them as well as you. Chores develop fine and large motor skills and support brain development, so start them early! Here are six ways to make it fun.

Right Size Supplies

Have kid-sized cleaning tools, like a small broom and rubber gloves to fit little hands so that your child can work alongside you. Having their own supplies makes each task feel more special. Seeing that they’re doing exactly what you’re doing is exciting, especially to younger kids.

You’re Hired!

If your kids are interested in the working world, give them jobs! The Chief Table Setter puts out plates, silverware, glasses and can decorate the table as they like. The Recycling Director makes sure everyone recycles and empties the bin when it’s full. You can even give reviews on performance and provide opportunities to try new jobs at regular intervals.

Punch for a Prize

Create punch cards, just like the loyalty cards at your favorite stores and restaurants. When your child completed a chore, he gets his card punched. Once the card is filled, he gets a prize! A container of dollar store toys, coupons for TV or electronics time or $5 ice cream gift cards are ideal picks.

Game It

Just like Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar goes a long way to getting kids involved with housekeeping. Make a game out of the everyday chores. Set up laundry bins marked for darks, whites and colors and let the kids dunk their way to done by playing basketball with their dirty clothes. Hide colorful buttons or coins around a room to be dusted, especially in places that often get skipped. They’re finished when they find them all!

Jar of Surprises

The next time your kid says, “I’m bored,” be prepared. Fill a jar, bowl, or basket with activity suggestions. Put one suggestion each on slips of paper, tickets, or craft sticks. Include a mix of fun ideas (write new lyrics to a song you like) and chores (clean your bathroom counter.) About half the time, you’ll get a house task checked off the list.

Cleanest Dance Party Ever

Choose some tunes, set a timer, and get ready for a 10-minute clean up dance party! The goal: quickly put away items that have been left around all day (this works best before bedtime wind down.) The twist: everyone dances while they’re on pick-up patrol. It’s impossible not to have a good time and you’ll end the evening with clutter contained.

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