Get your kids to help you out around the house with a fun game!
As Mary Poppins famously said, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Sometimes, being a mom involves being coy and finding ways to convince your kids to help out around the house. When chore charts and schedules don’t quite cut it anymore, playing a simple bingo game with your kids could pose just the right challenge and potential for rewards to encourage your kids to take a more hands-on approach to doing chores.
As Doctor Brunner notes, doing chores can be not just fun, but also empowering for children, allowing them to build a greater sense of “inner discipline” and learn that things like respect, trust, and privileges are earned, and not simply granted. Empowering Parents says that the easiest way to get children to start doing chores is to make them more interesting. Instead of allowing your children to think that they have to choose between having fun and doing chores, help them reconcile both ideas and form a mentality that says that chores can be fun too.
It might seem like bingo is hardly the game to play here, and honestly, it is — if you’re talking about regular bingo. Over the years though, many different kinds of bingo have popped up all over the place. The University of California has made a game out of incorporating healthy habits into everyday life by creating Healthy BINGO, and even British supermarket Iceland Foods has released its own quirky version in Iceland Bingo. Bingo is pretty versatile, and it lends itself to various causes with ease.
Chore Bingo lets your children take control of the chores they want to do, and it also rewards them for it! Of course, a lot of discussion has surrounded providing incentives for chores, but as Brian Gresko of Babble.com notes, simple rewards for consistently accomplishing responsibilities are a great way to entice your children into doing chores.
How to play
The first thing to do is create a Chore Bingo card for each of your kids. Create a card with a 4×4 grid on it, and write down a chore in each box of the grid. Make sure to vary the difficulty of the chores! Write down everything from making their beds to doing the dishes to moving the lawn. You can leave the middle box empty, as with traditional bingo cards, or you could sneak in a really difficult chore in the middle box to make the game a bit harder. Here are three sample Chore Bingo cards that you can use with your children:
Hand the cards out to your kids and tell them to approach you after completing each chore. Cross out the chore on the card, and once a child has completed a pattern, be it horizontal, vertical or diagonal, reward him or her with a small prize. Have them vary their routines by switching to different chores to create different patterns, or reward them more if they complete more difficult tasks in one row.
The important thing to remember is to make this more of a game. Don’t think of the card as a chore list — rather, look at it as though it’s an Achievement list or Quest Log in a game, and that with cumulative responsibility, they can reap great rewards.