Wednesday 3 April 2019

FAMILY: Encouraging Children to Help with Chores around the House

FAMILY: Encouraging Children to Help with Chores around the House
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'Chores' isn't a word that generally brings joy to anyone, but they are necessary and can be made fun for children to get involved in too. As someone who works from home and looks after Isabella and Poppy I spend a lot of time trying to keep the house looking even slightly presentable. Soon after having Poppy I realised that trying to keep a pristine house all of the time was simply an impossible task, but we have a good little routine going now and we all work as a team to get the jobs done. Even since Isabella was small I have always encouraged her to help tidy up after herself, so it has been instilled in her from a very young age. The way I explain it to her is that although I didn't make the mess, we will work as a team to tidy it away. Up until recently Poppy was more of a mess-maker than a helpful contributor to tidying up, but she is now 22 months and is now able to help too. Tidying up and keeping the house in order is a constant battle for all parents I think, so I thought I'd share some of the ways my children love to help around the house.
As previously mentioned, one of the first chores Isabella and now Poppy helps with is tidying up their toys/books after they've finished playing with them. We tend to do this three times throughout the day - tidy Isabella's room after we're all ready and dressed in the morning, tidy up the living room before lunch and then again before bedtime. That way we aren't constantly tidying up, but at the same time the house doesn't get really messy either. I find that if they have too many toys/puzzles/games/books out at once then they become a tripping hazard, especially for Poppy. We have designated homes for all of their toys, so they both know exactly where their toys needed to be tidied away and when we work as a team we get it done really quickly. Sometimes we'll sing a song to make it more fun, have a race or put a song on and see if we can get it done before it finishes. Isabella has always been such a good little helper and understands that if she wants to play with her toys then she's got to be prepared to put them away too. 
Another job Isabella has been doing from a young age and now it is second nature to her is to help put away the clean dishes in the kitchen. Now we're not talking crockery for safety reasons, but when I'm unpacking the dishwasher I'll make a stack of their plastic cups, bowls and plates ready for her to put into their cupboard. Poppy isn't quite old enough to do this one yet (she can't reach the kitchen surface), but she is already eager to copy her big sister. Once she is old/tall enough they will share that chore between them. 
The kitchen is the room in our house we spend possibly the most time, whether that is cooking, cleaning, drawing at the table, messy play or eating meals. This means that there are a fair few chores to get done within the kitchen on a daily basis, many of which Isabella and sometimes Poppy will help with. As I solo parent during the week (click here for my top hack for solo parenting days) it has been really important for our family that I have established a good routine when it comes to working as a team around the house. I've also always found that having a kitchen waste bin that is easily accessible and a good height has really helped with the number of jobs that the children can help with around the kitchen. Brabantia have a stunning range of kitchen waste bins available with a range of openings, including touch, pedal, flipbin, push, slide, sort & go, flame guard and built-in bins. I've found that the touch kitchen waste bins are the easiest for Isabella to access independently when putting wipes in the bin/scraping her plate after meals and I especially like this Brabantia Touch Bin 30L in Metallic Mint:
One of the final chores/jobs both Isabella and Poppy help with on a daily basis is putting away their coats and shoes after we have returned from a day/trip out. They know how to put their shoes away neatly and their coats in the basket we have next to the front door. Obviously making the jobs accessible to children is essential in encouraging them to help because if it is a constantly battle of 'I can't reach' or 'I don't know what to do' then that's no fun for anyone. We have a basket at a low level in which the children put their coats, hats, scarves, gloves, sunglasses etc., depending on the time of year. Isabella also often takes it upon herself to help Poppy take her shoes off, which is something she has done without me asking as she just absolutely adores her big sister role. 

If you have little ones, do they help around the house? Do you remember doing chores as a child?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. These are great suggestions. I try to get my three kids to help but they can be very reluctant - perhaps we need more structure!

  2. My kids are bigger now and can easily get on with things and do chores, but I got them involved from an early age, I think it is important to do so. Mich x

  3. Pickle is brilliant at helping 'Miss' at school but at home it is a different matter!! I do try to get teen son to help though. Kaz

  4. It's lovely when children help with chores at home. When little man was a toddler we start sing a song "This is the way we tidy up" whenever it was time to tidy up his toys. Lilinha

  5. We have introduced a trophy into our house for the kids with the tidiest bedroom - it is not a failsafe but it helps!!

  6. i think it's really important to get children to help around the house and see the home as a collaborative space and everyone needs to chip in to do what they can, no matter of age

    Laura x

  7. Great suggestions here.. I also recommend you start them at a young age..It's important for everyone in the household to help out.


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