11 Ways to Make Chores Fun for Kids

Just because it is chores doesn’t mean your child has to hate it. Find ways to get ideas for how to make it fun for your kids. Get 11 different ideas for how to make it fun and also learn about the many benefits of having kids do chores.

Mom and daughter doing chores

Cleaning and chores do not need to be boring in order to be an effective teaching tool for children.

Sometimes we feel like in order for chores to really teach our kids, it needs to be serious business.

But it does not! It can actually be fun! It can be fun for your kids and fun for you!

How to Make Chores Fun

There is nothing wrong with making chore time an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Here are some ideas to make cleaning fun:

  1. Music: Turn on some music to keep you moving! Sing and dance as you clean. You can break for a dance party every once in a while as you clean.
  2. Podcasts: Turn on a podcast or audiobook that will hold your interest as you clean. This can take your mind off of the household chores while you do them.
  3. Adventure: Turn it into an adventure. Dress up in your adventure clothes, find the messes, and attack them with your sponges and cleaners. We like to go on “treasure hunts” after a holiday. For example, we will go on a treasure hunt for our all of our Christmas decorations after Christmas is over. We find the decorations and bring them back to a designated spot. If something is too high to reach, the kids tell us where it is. This helps cut back on those missed decorations you find the day after you put the boxes away!
  4. Timer: Set a timer or stopwatch and see if your child can beat it. There was a period of time that I would ask McKenna how long she thought a certain chore would take her to complete. She would give me a number and I would set the timer and see if she could match or beat it. She loves to compete and this made chores more exciting for her and gave her extra motivation.
  5. Imagination: My friend shared this. She and her girls pretend they are Cinderella and clean the house. When they are done cleaning, they dress up in their princess dresses and have a princess party. So find some way to use your imagination to make it fun.
  6. Chore Incentives: You can do chore cards, chore jars, sticker charts, chore chart, lists…whatever keeps everyone motivated. Mix it up from time to time. Nothing will stay motivational forever–you need to change what you do every so often. A chore jar might be working great right now, but in a couple of months, you will want to try something else like a chore chart.
  7. Rewards: Along the same lines of incentives, you can have a fun reward that everyone is working for. Maybe you will do a family activity once chores are done. Maybe you will have a movie night or a fun treat once chores are done.
  8. Mix Up Chore Lists: Routine is great, but sometimes routine gets boring. Chores can be more exciting if the jobs you are in charge of alternate. Maybe one week your oldest child will dust the family room and your middle child will vacuum it. Then next week they trade. At our house, we trade which bathroom we clean each month. We are still each cleaning a bathroom, but it is a different bathroom and can keep things a little more interesting than it would be otherwise.
  9. Contest: Have a contest to see who can complete their chores first. The tricky thing about this one is that you want everyone to do a good job at their chores, and a contest of “who finishes first” can lead people to cut corners, so you would need a rule that the chores have to be completely done. The winner can decide how to spend family time or get a small treat.
  10. Scavenger Hunt: You can set up a scavenger hunt while chores are being done. Maybe you do something as simple as hide pennies or candy that can be found as the dust or clean up clutter. You might make it really elaborate and they find out what chore to do as they complete the scavenger hunt. There are a lot of ways to make this fun.
  11. Focus on the Serving: “Thank you for cleaning that! That is such nice service you are doing!” Use positive talk to thank your child for helping with the family chores. Even if something is “your job,” it is nice to be thanked for it.

Benefits of Doing Chores

Doing chores around the house does so much more for a child than simply teaching a child how to work.

Honestly, if all my child learned from chores was work ethic, that would be enough for me. People I admire in life are hard workers and learned how to work hard in their youth. There is so much value in work ethic.

But there is even more than that!

It will help your child be better citizens and most importantly better spouses and parents. I have in the back of my head a great gift I want to give to my future daughter-in-law–I want to give her the gift of a husband who is helpful in the home and is a hard worker. My mother-in-law gave that to me and I love it!

Work helps our mental development. It helps our character development.

It helps to get kids talking to you. One of the best ways for me to get a child talking about his feelings is to work beside him for an extended period of time. At first, he talks about surface topics, but as time passes, he is soon talking about matters of his heart. Washing dishes together is a great way to get conversation flowing.

And on a more simple level, chores help children develop fine and gross motor skills. They help with colors (like when sorting laundry). You can work on matching as you pair clean socks. You can work in shapes and counting. 

When everyone helps around the house, the load is easier on mom. She isn’t left to do everything alone, which is a benefit to the whole family.

Kids also learn personal responsibility as they are required to clean up after themselves and pick up their own toys.

There is so much value to work! But remember that it is okay to keep work fun.

Related Posts

For help knowing what chores your child can do based on her age and get some printable chore cards and chore charts, get my chore cards!

Chore Cards and Chore Chart for 5 year olds
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This post originally appeared on the Children’s Learning Activities blog and first appeared on this blog in April 2011.

4 thoughts on “11 Ways to Make Chores Fun for Kids”

  1. Thanks for this! I have four kids, 8, 6, 4,and 2, and recently found myself crazy and with a messy house. And realized, I don't let the kids help me, I'm a bit OCD maybe? But of course after me doing everything for this long, the kids were somewhat reluctant to start helping and working. I find two things are essential: Showing them how to do things and do them well, and rewards of some kind. Sometimes a word of encouragement or praise is enough, but we also use a chart where they can earn money for getting so many good marks, and for my son, he can earn rounds in his video game that he loves 😀 Also found that they work much more willingly if EVERYONE is working, not just them…which is the way we all are. And the plus? My life is calmer, more relaxed, and I'm finding more time to do fun things with them! Yay!

  2. Hi,My little one is 10 mo and has been doing everything faster than normal. I have a couple of things I can't seem to wrap my head around and need your help. Malachi is on a 4hour schedule with 2 naps a day. He is awake by 7:30 and down for bed by 7:30 below is his most days routine.I think his feeding time are supposed to line up with our eating times but how and when? The breakfast and lunch times line up great but dinner is not until 5:30. Do I feed his bottle to him when he wakes up and the other food at dinner with our food? I'm trying to transition the baby food out. Which is my other question. How do you make sure they have a full feeding when you stop the baby food?I have given him scramble egg and toast one morning and he didn't eat it all maybe half. He was really cranky come about 9 o'clock. I think didn't get enough food to make it to 9:30 or 10. He normally stays up till 10 or at least 9:45. He had enough sleep the night before and everything else was same oh same oh. Maybe I'm not giving him enough time to eat everything? He does seem to want to stop before he is full because he is tired of chewing and feeding himself. He has never been very excited about food unless its in the morning or at night. After his bottle though he would not complain about not getting real food until he is whinny because he didn't get a full feeding. Now I'm rambling.How do I get him off baby food? How do I only feed him real food when we eat?7:30 wake up, 8oz. bottle 3T cereal half tub fruit9:30 or 10 nap11:30 or 12 wake up, 6oz. bottle whole tub of veggie whole tub of fruit2 nap4 wake up, 6oz. bottle 2T cereal, half tub veggie, half tub fruit5:30 is when we eat as a family he eats some of what we are having or little snacks7:15 bottle 8oz.7:30 bedThanks for your help. I love your blog and tell all my BW friends about you.

  3. Thanks for sharing ME! That is exactly why I go through the pain of teaching toddlers to work–so it will hopefully make life with them easier when they are older 🙂


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