Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In Every Job that Must be Done, There is an Element of Fun

Not yet strong enough to mow the lawn...
If all goes according to plan, our summer vacation will revolve around lots of fun field trips, activities, and travel. But just because we're focused on fun and relaxation doesn't mean we're shirking our responsibilities. The kids will take swimming lessons (I consider teaching my kids to swim - or paying someone else to teach my kids, since neither appreciates my many years of swim team and water safety instruction experience - one of my parental responsibilities), the kids and I will visit the gym every weekday morning and the four of us will exercise as a family on the weekends, the kids and I will spend time every day reading aloud to each other and quietly to ourselves, and we'll all pitch in to keep the house and yard in decent shape.

Here are the jobs six-year-old Will and four-year-old Hallie will be responsible for this summer:

  • Get dressed, brush hair, and brush teeth
  • Make beds
  • Tidy up bedrooms

  • Tidy up bedrooms and playroom
  • Shower and brush teeth
  • Lay out clothes/swimsuit and pack swimming bags for the following day
Starting them early is key.

  • Clean up dishes, counter/table, and floor after meals
  • Pick up backyard/outdoor toys as necessary
  • Keep Wii accessories and games picked up and put away (I've already threatened to confiscate any accessories and/or games I find on the floor)
  • Vacuum bedrooms and playroom weekly
  • Gather trash weekly
  • Shake out rugs weekly
  • Water the garden daily and pick ripened vegetables as necessary
  • Help fold laundry (socks, underwear, swimsuits, napkins, and dishtowels - I'm super anal about how I fold laundry so those are the only things I'll let them fold at this point)

Jobs Disguised as Fun
  • Wash the car (they'll wear their swimsuits and have fun with the hose)
  • Wash the patio furniture (swimsuits and the hose round two)
  • Clean the showers (again with the swimsuits, and this time they'll each be in possession of their own squirt bottle of gentle shower cleaner)
  • Sort through - into keep, sell/donate, and toss piles - and organize playroom toys (we'll use the money we "make" from selling toys to Once Upon a Child to go to Dairy Queen)

What else should a six-year-old and a four-year-old be responsible for around the house? What kinds of jobs do your kids take care of on a regular basis? What kinds of jobs do you disguise as fun? 

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