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6 Ways to Add in Extra Chores for Your Children This Summer. Help your children learn to do new chores during summer months.
I am a big believer in chores. My list of reasons for having my children do chores is long, but some key highlights include I want them to learn responsibility, I find it helps them be more mindful of the way they contribute to messes, and I simply could not do everything alone and still be present in their lives.
During the school year, I feel like the list of chores my children do is rather light. Regular expectations they have are pretty much centered around them taking care of their own messes. They help with sorting and folding laundry and put their own laundry away. They keep their rooms clean, dusted, and vacuumed. They pick up after themselves. They clean bathrooms. We will add extra responsibilities here and there as time allows, but I try to balance their time out of school so they have time for free play among their other tasks.
The summer months are where it is at for adding in the chores. Kids are home all day every day and can easily get bored. Them being home all day every day means they add a lot more mess to the house. There are also added outdoor chores, like yard work and gardening, that don’t exist in the school year. Out of necessity, I add chores to their list because again, I want to be able to be present in their lives and not so busy keeping things in order. I find summer a great time to focus on teaching new skills all around, including cleaning skills.
During summer, I make sure there is a chore required every day. This is a great way to keep kids contributing to the home. Chores are required to be done before playing or going off with friends. I am not legalistic about that; if something comes up that is rare, I will let them head out first thing and do the chore later that day or even the next day. But for going out and playing in the neighborhood, responsibilities must be met. Chores need to be done before we will even talk about having friends over or turning on technology.
As you are busy making your summer schedule, don’t be afraid to add in extra chores to each day that your child doesn’t currently contribute on. Here are some ideas to add in chores:
- Have your child be in charge of keeping a certain area of the house clean. This is often referred to as “Zone” cleaning. It could be the family room, the stairs and hallway (our stuff gets piled up at the top of the stairs to take downstairs!), or the entry way. You could also have this be a “you are in charge of dusting the house” and give a specific job rather than a specific room.
- Have your child help you with tasks. A great one is meal prep. If your child isn’t old enough to take on a chore, she can still be involved in the chore by being your helper.
- Have your child take on some outdoor chores. Weeding, watering plants, and picking up clippings are all great tasks.
- Have your child take over simple chores a parent may be doing. We typically have the children take over dishes during the summer. Giving your child tasks he is capable of opens up the parents to have more free time to do things as a family during the days and evenings of summer.
- Have your child learn a new skill. Teach your child how to cook a certain meal and have him make it throughout the summer. Have your child learn how to do laundry or run the vacuum. This is a great time to look at chore lists and see what your child should be adding to her resume.
- Make sure your child has a job every single day. Even if the job is small, make it part of your daily routine that chores happen.
Chores are not easy to implement or enforce. Many days are downright frustrating and you wonder how worth it this really is. You can do it faster, better, and with less nagging. I am here to tell you it is worth it! All of the pain is worth it! The day will come you will look back and be so glad you pushed through and put effort into making sure your child participated in chores. Don’t feel bad about there being chores on summer break. You are teaching responsibility, building character, and developing life skills.
Related Posts on Chores and Summer on this Blog
- Why A Solid Chore Schedule Can Save Your Sanity this Summer
- 5 Steps To Teaching Your Children to Do Chores
- 12 Chores Your Toddler Can Do
- 9 Chores Your Three Year Old Can Do
- 10 Chores for 4 Year Olds
- 10 Chores You Five Year Old Can Do
- How To Get the Most Out of Summer and Still Live a Normal Life
- Summer Planning and Preparation
- Teaching New Skills During Summer
- In Action: Planning the Summer Schedule