Ugh, chores. No one wants to do them. Not adults… and certainly not kids.
So, let’s make it playful and fun!
Huh, you don’t think parenting is fun?
Well, you can turn around frustrating moments with music, games, and a positive attitude.
Music energizes any task.
And games make chores more fun.
For instance, when my kids and I returned home from a memorable trip, they would dump their things in the living room and run into their rooms. Unpacking was the last thing they wanted to do. What a mess! Everyone’s luggage, bags, backpacks, and stuff were scattered all over the floor.
So much for a nice trip.
I got tired of nagging and yelling at my kids to help. It was going nowhere, and I kept getting more and more annoyed.
Time for a more playful approach.
By creating games to deal with challenging situations, you make parenting more fun, you empower your children, and your family spends quality time connecting.
How to Make Chores Fun
With a little imagination, you can become a playful parent like Mary Poppins. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and—SNAP!—the job’s a game!” Kids love to play, so being playful makes anything better.
This blog post outlines how to turn an unpleasant task into a fun activity. Here’s how my kids and I raced to music while unpacking after a trip, but you can apply this technique to anything. The idea is to have a positive attitude and make it playful.
1. Gather the Team Together
Woo-hoo! It’s time to smile and joyfully announce the game. That’s right, a positive attitude is contagious and sets the tone. Go ahead, assemble your team into the living room with all the luggage and carry-on bags.
On your way, grab the laundry baskets. Yup, laundry baskets. You’ll see why in a second.
2. Listen to Music
Choose your family’s favorite music to liven up the mood. There’s nothing like upbeat songs to improve any task.
Even better, choose fast-tempo songs to make everyone move faster.
3. Play a Guessing Game
With music ready, gather the family into a huddle. It’s time to guess.
Gee, how many songs until we finish unpacking?
Assume each song probably lasts about three minutes. Yes! Another opportunity to include real-world math in a playful way. Three songs is about nine minutes (3 x 3). Four songs is approximately twelve minutes (3 x 4).
Once everyone guesses, turn on the music and start moving.
4. Organize and Categorize
Go, team, go! Give each person a laundry basket. If you don’t have enough, take turns and focus on one suitcase at a time.
As you empty each bag, organize items into categories based on where things go in the house. Transfer the clean, folded clothes into a laundry basket. Place bathroom stuff in a designated pile on the floor. Dirty clothes in another area. Water bottles and leftover snack food someplace else.
5. Delivery Time
It’s time to delegate the delivery tasks. Who puts away the bathroom things? And what about tossing the dirty clothes into the laundry bins? (This was always my basketball-loving son’s favorite task.)
Slide the filled laundry basket down the hall to the appropriate rooms. If there are stairs and your children are young, you might want to carry the laundry basket for them.
Bam, your kids place their clothes in the drawers and run back with the empty laundry basket. Now the next person transfers, delivers, and puts away their clothes.
Keep putting everything away until there’s nothing left and the floor is empty. Because you organized items by rooms, there will be less back and forth running all over the house.
Done! How many songs?
- You turned an unpleasant task into playful fun.
- Your kids stopped complaining and had fun helping.
- Your suitcases are unpacked, and your house is neat.
- You spent quality time as a family connecting.
This playful approach helped me, especially as a stressed-out single parent. It can help you too.
Put the Fun in Parenting
I share this playful approach in an entertaining, easy to read book, written for busy parents. Parenting—Let’s Make a Game of It is a collection of light-hearted stories showing how to turn everyday frustrating moments into fun learning experiences. And the book’s down-to-earth tone leaves you feeling encouraged.
The results? You’ll make parenting more fun. You’ll empower your kids. And your family will spend more time connecting.
Want to read a sample story? Time to read: less than 5 minutes. Impact: timeless.
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin Drink— See how a playful game can encourage your child to cooperate.
- The Secret Magical Breath—Learn how to teach your child mindful breathing.
“I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you are looking for easily -digestible, immediately-implementable parenting tips! The anecdotes in this book help me approach routine outings with a new sense of fun and family teamwork (instead of battling against my kids or begging/bribing for compliance).”
–Library Loving Mommy, book blogger
If you’re interested, you can find my book on Amazon and read the 5-star glowing reviews.
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