Excuses usually abound when it’s time to do household chores. Ranging from chronic illness to physical ailments, no child gets excited about washing dishes or cleaning up their rooms. However, outdoor chores can become exciting activities as children splash in their bathing suits while washing the dog, jam to the radio as they garden, or dance along the sidewalk as they sweep. The key is to become inventive and turn an everyday task into an adventure instead of a chore, enticing them through fun, engaging activities.
Set up the Sprinkler
Let the kids have fun outside, running and jumping in and out of the sprinkler with the dog as you set up a self serve dog wash. Arrange all items needed for the pet wash into stations, starting first with the shampoo, bucket and a rag or sponge. Next should be a towel and a brush, and third, treats and a pull toy.
When the dog is good and wet, have your children massage in the shampoo, scratching the dog in his favorite places and laughing as he tries to wriggle free before they can rinse away the bubbles. When he is completely clean, give him a treat and let them have fun playing tug of war with his favorite pull toy.
Dance with the Leaves
Turn raking leaves into Dancing with the Stars by having your child use the rake as their dance partner. With each sweep of the handle, they can hop, skip and jump across the lawn as they gather leaves into piles while pretending to be their favorite TV star.
For even more fun, the tip of the rake’s handle can be used as a microphone, allowing them to sing and dance as they work. This game can also be played while sweeping the leaves and pine needles off of the sidewalk or driveway.
Enjoy the Garden
Play music while gardening. Whether watering plants, spreading dirt, pruning bushes or picking fruits and vegetables, your favorite tunes will make the time go quicker and the chore much more enjoyable. Fast-paced music is the best, urging your children to move quicker, sing louder and forget about the dullness of the activity at hand.
You can also turn weeding into a competition for your children in countless ways. For example, the child who has pulled the most weeds can be awarded with a prize — but be careful, this could lead to random pulling of greenery — or you can look for the prettiest/ugliest weed, the one with the most bulbs, etc., when all weeding is completed. It doesn’t matter. Just give them something else to focus on as they work in the garden.