Making Dinner Chores Fun For Kids


As  parents it’s our job to teach kids to learn life skills. Yes, even boring chores. That’s also one thing as foster parents we are called to do. These kids either came from a home where they had to take care of themselves, were never taught how, or maybe they came from a home where their parents did everything for them. But here are some ways we are teaching our 3 foster daughter how to do everyday chores with a twist of fun.

*Side note: When I was a Girl Scout Camp Counselor we had our girls do the same tip of chores after every meal. I would love to say I am smart enough to create these ideas on my own. But it’s all thanks to the Girl Scouts.

“What’s for dinner?” A phrase that parents hear daily from their kids. Instead of letting them watch TV or play have them get involved in the process. This can also help with picky eaters.

(I’m terrible at drawing straight lines on a board.)

I created this chart and assigned each child a different task each night of the week. Once again life skills that everyone needs to know. This way there is no arguing about who does what. They know every night around dinner time this is their job. Kids take these seriously. They get a feeling of satisfaction too when they help out with these chores.

Setting the table: This chore includes setting the table with plates, utensils, napkins, glasses and anything else needs for dinner. For example, if you’re having bakes potatoes for dinner and need butter or other toppings. Then they put that on the table too.

Helping with Dinner: Depending on the child’s age you may want to pick an easy job where they are not chopping veggies or cooking over a hot stove. But if they are old enough you can teach them. If they are a little younger then help them mix, pour or shake. Don’t be afraid to teach them how to prep the meal. Even talking about what foods they are eating, where they came from or how they help our bodies grow. Don’t forget to have them wash their hands before helping. You can also give them a cool apron they get to wear.

Getting Drinks: I was struggling with a third chore but I thought this would be a good one. This person is responsible for making sure everyone has a full glass. So when you sit down at the table everything is ready to go.

Cleaning up after dinner

When I was at Girl Scout camp we had this plastic cup with popsicle sticks inside. So after every meal we would all draw a stick that would list our chore. Everyone would work together to clean up and in about 5 minutes the tables were clean and we were outside singing songs.

Make sure to put these in a plastic cup not a clear one. Otherwise the kids will try to pick their favorite chore. Another tip is to only let the parents hold the cup. So you let them pick but you still have control. That way there are no arguments on who gets to hold the cup. (Yes, that happens a lot.)

Every person has to do their job. If someone gets done early — instead of letting them go off and play — ask them to help the others finish their chores. Adults you should draw a chore too. This helps you guys all work together as a team. You can teach along the way and lead by example. That way you aren’t making them clean everything but you’re also not the only one picking up after everyone else.

Other things you can do is turn on some music. Don’t be afraid to dance or sing into a broom. Have fun and use this time to grow closer as a family.

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