Household chores are piling up and your house looks more like the scene of a natural disaster than an organized oasis. You wish that you could convince your kid to help out, but he's too busy playing games or is glued to his cell phone. However, there's a quick cure to this problem: invent your own game. A competitive spirit and enjoyable atmosphere can help motivate your kid to clean up, whatever age he is.
Pick a Card, Any Card
Write down different job assignments that need to be completed on a daily basis. Include easy tasks and more difficult ones. Kids can then take turns picking cards. You can decide whether they get to read them first or pick at random. After the kids take a turn picking, parents can pick a card. This strategy shows that everyone plays a critical role in maintaining the home.
Before chore time, hide a small amount of money or other token items in the locations where the kids will be cleaning. Some options include loose change, scratch-off lottery tickets or coupons that give kids more privileges or a later bedtime for a one-time use. These treasures could be hidden under furniture, under canisters or on shelves that need to be dusted.
Beat the Clock
Kids love a challenge, so setting a clock or sand timer can motivate your kids to clean an area as fast as possible. Or ask each child to clean for an amount of time that's based on her age -- one minute for every year of age.
Showing your child some tangible sign of his progress may help motivate him to get through the work week. Make a small track on cardboard with even spaces. For each day that your child does his chores, allow him to advance a certain number of spaces. If he reaches the finish line by the end of the week, give him a reward.
Based off of the classical "Musical Chairs" game, Musical Chores offers a similar process that incorporates housecleaning tasks. Play some music and when the music stops, the kids move on to a new chore. Continue until all areas are cleaned up.
Dash for Trash
Give each child a waste basket or laundry basket. A timer provides a specific time in which kids will have to go through the home and remove items that are not where they are supposed to be. The person who gets more items back in their rightful location by the time the timer sounds wins.