Do your kids have some spare time during school break? How about getting them involved in helping you get some stuff done around the house?
Older kids may groan at the idea of helping with household chores, but you can still make many tasks fun. Lots of younger kids are so eager to please that they’ll insist on helping with chores that are way beyond their capabilities. When this happens, you can think of something for them to do that seems helpful to them but might just be busywork.
Here’s a list of suggestions for things that might be on your to-do list that you could turn into kid-friendly activities.
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My older daughter was about 10 or 11 when she gave me a bit of a hand when I repainted our porch and deck. She couldn’t do it for a very long time, though. Older kids and teens are better suited to longer stretches of painting and might even enjoy it.
Make sure they wear old clothes since paint probably won’t come out. This includes shoes and socks. Paint tends to drip and splatter, and you probably won’t get to it before it permanently stains.
Set Up a Home Security Camera System
Thinking about setting up a home security camera system? This is something even a smaller child can help with.
My 6-year-old helped with removing the system from its packaging and inserting batteries. She also helped with moving around in the camera view while I adjusted each camera to get the right angle.
Sorting and Purging
You probably won’t get very far if you ask your kids, especially younger ones, to help sort their toys and clothes into “keep” and “donate” boxes. They’ll want to keep everything, and along the way, they’ll discover items they’ve forgotten about and now want to play with.
Your own stuff is another matter. They can help you go through the garage and your closets and put things in the right boxes. Tech savvy teens could even help you list items for sale in eBay or Craigslist.
My 6-year-old actually likes cleaning windows. You can buy non-toxic formulas like Method Glass and Surface Cleaner and teach even a young child to spray and wipe.
They probably won’t do an expert job, but it’s better than leaving the chore to stay on your to-do list for the rest of eternity. I’ll admit that my to-do list is so long that cleaning windows rarely makes the cut.
Vacuuming the Dryer
I highly recommend vacuuming your clothes dryer before it starts making obnoxious noises like mine did. I wish I’d thought to get my kids’ help with this task.
They’re way better suited to sticking their whole bodies into a dryer to vacuum out the back of it than I am. They’d also feel a whole lot less uncomfortable squeezing themselves into the area behind a dryer. The dryer was unplugged, so there was no risk of anyone getting shocked.
Helping With Lawn Maintenance
I recently had to replace my lawn trimmer and purchased a Black & Decker LST300. I showed my 12-year-old daughter how to use it, and it took very little time for her to get the hang of it.
My younger daughter, who still wants to help with everything, will trim weeds her way – with a pair of scissors. She’s not quite adept enough at weed pulling for me to trust her with yanking weeds from the landscaping, but that would be a great job for older kids and teens. Kids of all ages can help with watering plants, trees and landscaping.
If it’s one thing both my girls love, it’s planting flowers in the landscaping, something that can instantly transform your home’s frontage and improve its curb appeal. Let kids select a few flowers in the garden section of Walmart or a home improvement store like Home Depot.
Help them select the appropriate places for their flowers, then monitor them as they dig holes. They might also need a bit of help to carefully pull out the flower and transplant it into the landscaping. Later, they’ll be more likely to enjoy watering plants that they actually put in the ground, too.
If you don’t have a butterfly bush, I recommend considering one. Your kids will not only love helping to plant it, but it’ll also attract beautiful butterflies! Plus, in my experience, it’ll grow like crazy in a short period of time.
Although vacuuming my mattress didn’t accomplish much, experts consistently recommend it. If you’d like to give it a try, vacuuming mattresses is a chore that kids of most ages can help with.
You’ll probably have to give them a bit of a hand or at least get them started. Most school-aged kids can probably run the furniture attachment of a vacuum back and forth over a mattress.
Trimming Trees and Shrubs
I use a set of manual hedge trimmer shears, which are probably safe for teens to use with supervision. I have to be careful when my younger daughter is trimming weeds with her scissors to make sure she doesn’t go after the trees and shrubs with them.
Making it Homemade!
You’d be amazed at the things you can make instead of buy. Younger kids in particular love to mix things and might enjoy grating laundry soap. Making homemade concoctions not only saves money, but can give kids the chance to help the family by making products everyone will use.
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