While our kids may have plenty of school work to keep them busy at home right now, it’s also a great time to give them some more responsibility around the house. (Not to mention this will also hopefully lighten your load too, mama!) This is also a good chance to talk to them about how they can help in our community.
Ways your kids can help out around the house:
- Get your kids involved with the cooking. Obviously, this will vary based on their ages, but even the little ones can help out. Show them how to do things like making their own sandwiches and washing the fruits and veggies. You can also have them help you look up recipes to make!
- If they’re not already putting away their own laundry, now’s a good time to start. For the little ones it might just be matching socks, but they can even help their big siblings (or you!) by sorting piles and putting things into drawers.
- If you have an older child, task them with emptying the dishwasher. My little one isn’t tall enough to reach the cabinets, but she does help her sister with stacking the kids’ plates and cups (when she feels like it of course!)
- Have them put old socks on their hands and dust around the windowsills.
- Sweeping the floors is an easy one, once you show them how. We can’t promise the kids won’t be riding the brooms after a few minutes or knocking into walls, but it’s worth a try!
- When the weather’s nice, have them put on bathing suits and wash the cars! When they’re done, just hose them off outside and bath time is taken care of!
- If you have been thinking about starting a garden, this is a perfect time and a great way to get the kids involved!
- Have your kiddos go through their bookshelves and take out books they have duplicates of or don’t read anymore. If you have one, neighborhood shared libraries are a great place for these books or put them into a donation pile to drop off after everything passes.
- If your kitchen table is the catch-all for everything like it is in my house, put the kids in charge of clearing it and putting everything away before dinner.
- If you have more than one child (and depending on their ages) put the older one “in charge” of the younger one so you can get some other things done around the house. My kids are five years apart and this usually works pretty well. I also tell them they need to work out any fighting or bickering on their own.
- Been wanting to get that playroom organized? No better time than now! Make organizing fun for your kids. Turn on some upbeat music, and tell them you’re setting a timer to see how much can get done in that time. Schedule fun breaks, and if you’re not against it, bribery always works well in my house!
- For your little ones, have them arrange things in your house by size (largest to smallest and vice versa). Start with something easy (and non-breakable) like plastic Tupperware, but they could also do it with books, toys, or anything you want! I know my toddler has certain things of hers that she loves to put in a particular order, so why not make it something useful for you too?!
There are also some fun and helpful things your kids can do that are not chore-related. Here are a few ideas:
- Have them write letters to relatives and friends.
- If you’re doing a daily walk around the neighborhood like we are, have the kids bring some plastic bags to pick up trash they see on the sidewalks.
- Have them write letters and draw pictures for people in nursing homes. Make sure to call the nursing home before you send anything just out of extra precaution. You can also take pictures of the drawings or cards they make and email them to the nursing home so they can share them however they feel safest.
- Let them video chat with classmates. My daughter is really missing her friends and doing these video chats has made her so happy! Here’s a great tutorial for how to set up a virtual playdate on Zoom, or you can just use FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, or Skype. This is also a great chance to video chat with grandparents and other relatives.
- Do a scavenger hunt around the house. This could also serve as a chore AND something fun if the things they have to find are things you want them to clean up anyway!
- Have them cut out and decorate a heart to put on your door or mailbox to show healthcare workers that their neighbors are rooting for them as they go to work to care for their community.
- If your child is old enough, talk to them, in terms they can understand, about some of the things community members are doing to help our local businesses and healthcare workers. One is “Feed Our Heroes” where funds are being raised to deliver meals from local restaurants to ER doctors and nurses in Charleston. Maybe your child will want to contribute with money they have saved or an allowance that they get.
- Have them make a video or pictures for local healthcare workers or their teachers thanking them for all of their hard work.
This list is just a start for ways your kids can help around the house and in the community. While keeping up with school work is important, think of this time as a way to teach some real-life, hands-on lessons.