The boys have full access to the house with the exception of baby locks on our door knobs which allows us to close off certain rooms. One happy consequence to our new set up is the boys can follow me around as I do chores and I’ve been involving them in the process. They know how to put wet clothes into the dryer and dirty clothes into the washer, they can drag a laundry hamper from the laundry room to the bedroom, they can throw trash away, help with taking clean dishes out of the dish washer and they practice dusting and vacuuming. It’s kind of comical because everything takes longer with their “help” but they really enjoy it and like being Mommy or Daddy’s helper.
Last night we had some chores to catch up on and during dinner I was listing off things I wanted to get done. When it came time for dessert (CHOCOLATE BUNNNNNIES!!!!) I decided I’d make a to do list while the boys ate. As I got up to get paper I had an idea and changed course and grabbed a crayon and came back to the table.
We made a checklist as a family of the chores to get done. I drew a little picture next to each item and asked the boys what they wanted on the list too.
We needed to take out the compost, trashes, check the mail, clean up the boys books that had traveled around the whole house, clean up the packing paper mess and then the boys picked some activities too. Graham wanted the trampoline to come downstairs so he could listen to Eye of the Tiger and jump, Miles wanted to “build the alphabet”with his hammer and take a bath so he could float. So those things went on the list too.
We made check boxes and talked about how we had to do the chores to get to do the fun stuff and then we put the paper on the fridge at their height.
Joel shuffled them around from task to task while I worked on some of the behind the scenes things (cleaning up dinner, doing the dishes, gathering trash to take out). We made a fun game of it, the boys helped take out the compost and then they all ran back into the house to learn how to check the check box. It was pretty cute seeing them jumping up and down at the fridge pointing and guessing which check box was ready to be checked.
It was a great way to involve the boys in the maintenance of the house, a good way for us to get some chores done before the boys were in bed and a good lesson on doing the things that need to be done so you can do somethings you really want to do.