8 Fun Ways To Motivate Kids To Do Chores

Emily Munden
Jan 24, 2024 By Emily Munden
Originally Published on Apr 28, 2020
Father teaching his son household chores, cleaning and washing floor and wiping dust with vacuum cleaner.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 5.4 Min

We're getting exhausted with constantly nagging and reminding and trying to bribe kids to do basic chores; it has ended up feeling like a chore in itself!

Doing chores is an amazing way to teach kids valuable life skills like how to cook and clean for themselves. Regular chores help kids to become responsible, build a strong work ethic and even fosters more respect for the hard work their parents put in every day that they otherwise would probably take for granted.

Unfortunately, though, it just isn't as easy as asking your kids to do something, and magically watching it get done. That's why we've come up with 8 fun new ways to get your kids jumping at the chance to help out. Chores have never been so easy!

Create Chore Cards

Chore cards are a great way to swap chores for small rewards. Using pieces of card, write each regular chore on one side, and the reward for doing it on the other. Kidadler's recommend offering screen time for each chore, which has the added bonus of allowing you to limit the amount of time they spend watching tv! Bigger chores can be rewarded with longer TV watching time, and easier chores with less time.

Kidadler Jasmine uses Lego dollars for cards. "The kids earn their Lego dollars which they can exchange for treats outside of mealtimes. They have big chores which earn more money or little chores which earn less. They can then work out their money, how much they have and what treats they want and how much they need to get it (maths!). Plus my house is kept clean and the kids are actually enjoying the cleaning and earning their treats!"

Make it a Challenge

Turning chores into a challenge offers your children a great sense of achievement. When nagging them to do the boring everyday tasks is getting exhausting, try coming up with a big project they can really get stuck into. This works especially well for teens and pre-teens, who can be more challenging to persuade to help out! Kidadler Lindsey says, "I set my son (who has just turned 11) a challenge during isolation as he loves making things and hates school work." She challenged her son to make some pallet furniture for the garden. Creating something gives your kids a sense of accomplishment and stops chores feeling like work. Why not set the task of re-organising your pantry,  painting a room, replanting a forgotten flower bed or baking a cake without any parents helping. These big tasks will keep them busy for hours, and teach valuable life skills. Start with a mini-tutorial or youtube video so they have a clear understanding of the task at hand so that you minimise the frustration of anything going wrong further down the line.

Play Pot Luck

Write down the tasks that need doing on separate pieces of paper, fold up and put into a pot or jar. As a family, take turns picking a task out of the pot until all the tasks are completed. This is a great one to do early on a Saturday morning before kids are allowed to play or watch tv. You can even give the Wifi password as a prize when all the tasks are completed. Working together as a family will make chores feel like a game and you can bet the chores will be done at lightning speed.

Give Them Independence

Kids respond well to tasks that feel grown-up, and choosing the right chores can be key to them running smoothly. Parents can choose things that are new to their kids to teach them a new skill. Chores like looking after a pet, taking responsibility for making their own breakfast in the morning or making their bed can be rewarding for both child and parent and give a sense of independence. Make sure you explain why adults do the tasks, and make it clear that you're trusting them with an important responsibility. Younger kids especially will love feeling like they've been given some grown-up responsibility and the results will amaze you.

Make a Tidying Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of common household items and set a five-minute timer. For the five minutes, get all family members to collect items on the list that aren't in their homes, and return them to their rightful spots. The winner is whoever manages to pick up and tidy away the most items. Little ones will find this great fun.

Work as a Team

Friendly young mother and little daughter cooking dessert at modern kitchen.

Household chores can be boring, but working together to do them can also be a fun way to bond as a family. If your kids are resisting helping out around the house, it's important to show them that everyone is playing a part. Build family chores time into your daily routine by setting a 10-minute timer after dinner and racing to tidy as much as possible in the time slot. Let each child take turns choosing the cleaning songs, crank up the volume and all muck in to get the cleaning done. You'll be astounded at how much gets done and also how invigorated you all feel afterwards.

Play 'Helper of the Week' Reward stickers for chores

A great way to reward kids for doing chores without money or screen time is using stickers. This works really well with younger kids, especially if you involve the whole family in the challenge. Write a list of chores that need done each week and stick it somewhere that can be seen clearly. Each family member is given a different sticker colour, and can stick their sticker on the chore once it's been done. At the end of the week, award a helper of the week in an awards ceremony with a drum roll. Your kids will be racing to do the dishes for the glory.

Make a Video Advert

Harness the magic of technology and set your kids the challenge of creating video adverts for different cleaning products around the house. For little ones, you can film while they demonstrate how to use your vacuum cleaner, and older kids can make tutorials on how to wash windows and properly clean dishes. Extroverted kids will love being centre of attention, and kids that are a little shyer will get a great confidence boost by taking charge and showing their expertise. Grandparents and aunties and uncles will love receiving the videos.

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Written by Emily Munden

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Emily Munden

An experienced Londoner, Emily loves to discover new and exciting places in the city, especially with her two younger brothers. She has a passion for fashion and design and is also involved in art charities that facilitate workshops for children with special needs and difficult home lives. Emily is a trained life coach and enjoys writing about general wellness, mindfulness, and healthy relationships.

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