Saturday, 4 April 2015




I hear myself repeating the same thing to my children over and over in fact I sound like my parents many years ago! "No I'm too busy" or "I have to finish this first I'll be over in a minute". I was starting to feel like I was always too busy to play and always saying "In a minute" they were turning into my catchphrases! I was getting fed up with myself let alone the kids. So I decided to implement some new rules in our house to help lesson the burden of the daily housework and give me more play time with the kids.


I had a quite honest talk with my kiddos and explained that with so many people in our house (2 adults, 3 school age children, 1 toddler and a house rabbit to be exact) that if we all pulled together and got our house nice and clean quickly that we would have more time in the day for fun stuff. I was braced for the "It's not fairs" and "that's boring" but they never came in fact they simply excepted it. Okay so what next?

The jobs!!!

  • Washing the dishes - We tend to do this in pairs. One washing and one drying. I will fill the sink and add the washing up liquid and place the items I would like them to wash beside the sink. I will keep back the items I will wash myself like baking trays and knives etc. I usually ask my girls 9 & 7 years to this twice a week and saved this for the days when I wouldn't need to rush them. They have since got quite quick at it. YAY!

  • Emptying the food left overs into the bin after meal times - This is my pet hate when they leave their plate with left overs on the table. My children will take their plate to the kitchen, empty any left overs into the bin and put their plate away ready for washing. My children 5,7,10 years will do this every meal time. And it just makes washing that bit easier.

  • Filling/ emptying the dish washer - We don't have a dishwasher but I would imagine it would be fairly simple for the kids to empty their left overs into the bin and place their plate, bowl, cups or whatever they have used into the machine with supervision.

  • Vacuuming - This is one job my children really enjoy. I will plug the hoover in for them and get all set up ready. They also love to do the shake n' vac (yes I still use it). I might ask one of my children to vacuum one room each around once or twice a week.  

  • Polishing - This is one you can all do at the same time. All grab a duster each and a few squirts of polish and off you go. You'll be surprised how quickly this can get done. We'll do this once a week. My kids also for some bizarre reason really enjoy cleaning the skirting boards... go figure!

  • Sweeping - A quick sweep now and again maybe in the kitchen or under the table. This is super quick daily job and I tend to choose my 4 year old for this as it nice and easy for him and he feels involved.

  • Tidying toys - Now kids bedrooms get super messy super quickly which is fine it's their own playing space. I will give the bedrooms a thorough clean myself roughly weekly/fortnightly but I will ask the kids to put they're own toys back into the toy boxes themselves daily. Because standing on a Lego block with bare feet really really hurts!

  • Wipe down the table - Super quick job and a nice one for the smaller children. You can give them a soapy cloth or an anti-bacterial wipe and they will have loads of fun cleaning the table and showing you what a great job they have done when they are finished.

  • Making the beds - Another really nice and quick job to simply make the bed daily to keep the bedrooms looking tidy. My girls have been doing this for a while now but my 4 year old boy has just starting doing this too. I don't mean putting the whole bed together just a quick tidy each day after sleeping in it. Straightening out the duvet, plumping pillows or tidying the insane amount of teddies they have at the bottom.

  • Helping put the laundry away - Now this is a job for older children. My 9 year old daughter will easily do this for me and my 7 year old daughter will try and put a few bits away with a little help. I will give them a small pile each to put away. My oldest daughter will be able to hang clothes on hangers and put them in the wardrobe with a stall. My youngest will easily put PJ'S and underwear into the drawers. Every little bit helps.

  • Matching up the socks - Matching is actually quite a good game to play with any age children. Important thing is make it fun! " Can you see any matching pairs?" , " Can you sort them into colours?"  , " which one's look the same?"

These are a few examples of some of the bits and bobs I might have my children help me with round the house. Now it might seem like quite a list but remember these tasks are broken down over the week. One or two jobs a day is plenty for most school age children. You'll be surprised how much time it frees up to do other things.


  • Limit how many jobs you give your children otherwise it's actually not fun any more and they'll stop wanting to help.

  • Reward your child's hard work!! Make a chart, give them a sticker. Let them choose an activity as reward.

  • Make it fun, make it a game... have a race!!

  • Always supervise them.

  • If it's the first time they have done this particular task show them how you would like them to do it first so they can see how it should be done.

  • My kids like to listen to their favourite song for example when they are matching socks or doing the dishes we will sing along to some songs to fun it up.

  • Keep the tasks age relevant.

  • Don't rush them, let them do the job properly at their speed.

  • Don't expect perfection. They're children!!

I think also since my children have become more actively involved in keeping the house tidy they genuinely seem to make less mess and they are more mindful of how much work it can be to tidy something up. We have more play and fun time and the best bit is it takes very little time and they really don't mind doing it!!

Thanks for reading and hopefully you may have picked up some ideas or maybe just confirmed what you already know. x

Do your kids help around the house yet?

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