How to Encourage Kids to Do Household Chores

Some tips to motivate the children to help clean up the house

Updated on December 21, 2017 10:12 am

Suqi Ng

Getting the house spic and span with children running around is never an easy task for parents. How about getting the children to help in keeping the house clean and tidy?

Here are some tips on inspiring your kids to take pride in doing household chores:

1. Set up a duty roster.

Setting up a duty roster helps keep kids focused on their chores and gives them a sense of fairness. Once this is up, make sure the kids stick to the roster. Motivation and encouragement are very important. Give lots of praises and appreciations after chores are done, no matter how well they are done. What matters is that the kids tried.

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2. Make them think it’s a game!

Let’s face it. It’s totally uncool to hear “Come and help mummy clean the toys!” This sentence is as repulsive to children as a spoonful of bitter medicine. Why not sugarcoat it and make them think cleaning up is actually a game? This works best for younger children.

When I want my three-year-old to help wash the toys, I pour all the Duplo Lego blocks and animal play sets into a basin of soapy water and announce, “Let’s see who can catch the most toys from this basin!”

Being a child, he gets bored of the task easily and wants to do something else. So don’t wash too many toys at once, and once the soapy water is drained and the toys rinsed, get your child to compete with you in Round 2, to see who can get the toys wiped dry the fastest.

3. Make them believe that they are important.

Some kids love games and competitions but it may not be appealing to all. My friend bought her little girl a toy cleaning set but she loves to play with the real one.

So when mummy is wiping the windows, she tells her girl that she feels dizzy and would love her girl to help. The child feels good about helping mummy because mummy isn’t feeling well and she believes that what she is doing is very important. Give them tasks they can complete with little support like wiping the windows or the table, keeping the toys, and pegging the clothes.

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4. Reward them.

If you have older children, rewards will work better than anything else. Rewards don’t have to be gifts all the time.

If your child has been going on forever about going for a family breakfast at McDonald's or watching the latest Disney movie, promise that if she completes the chores given to her in the week, you will bring her there on the weekend. That will also ensure quality time spent with the kids.

A reward can also simply be a freedom to choose. Once they have completed the chores for the week, they can buy a book of their choice, a game they like, or decide which restaurant to go for family dinner on Saturday.


An awesome entertainment room where the family can gather to watch a movie and takes turns to enjoy the massage chair. Apartment design by Insidelookz

5. Break down orders into simple steps.

Sometimes young children cannot understand “Clean up your room”; the totality of it overwhelms them. To help them get started, restate your instructions into several simple steps, like “Make your bed," "Put the dirty clothes into the laundry basket," and "Keep the lego blocks in this box.”


A neat and clean child’s bedroom with study desk. Design by Space Factor Pte Ltd

I hope these tips inspire you to get the children involved in household chores. Best to get them started as early as now!


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Cover photo courtesy of Mommy Edition

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