Friday, March 24, 2017

5 Spring Easter Bunny Kids Craft Ideas

template by freepik.com

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page here.

Does your family have Spring fever? We do - bad! The weather just can't seem to make up its mind - warm(ish) one day and freezing the next, sunny and bright then gray and cloudy, snow then rain - this cycle is maddening, yet hopeful! Hope in knowing that real spring weather is on its way.

I actually saw a robin in the tree outside of our office window the other day. Now there is a true sign spring is almost here, right?! The next day it snowed (blah!) and I had to go brush off the snow that covered the bird feed in our bird feeder. I just felt bad for the robin. 

Well even if the weather outside isn't quite Spring(ish) at least we can bring some spring of our own inside. How you ask? Crafting of course! 

My kids love crafting and I enjoy watching their imaginations grow. Sometimes just doing a few spring themed crafts gives them a little break from that awful case of Spring fever they have. We also like crafts that use everyday household supplies, are quick/simple and give the kids room to use their imagination to really make it their own. 

I put together a list of 5 bunny themed crafts that have inspired us and I hope will inspire you and your family as well. Happy Spring Crafting!

5 Spring Bunny Kids Craft Ideas

1 - Foam Cup Bunnies 

crafts by amanda

2 - Plastic Spoon Bunny


by Krokotak

3 - Pipecleaner Bunny Whiskers

via a kailo chic life

4 - Plastic Easter Egg Bunny


via Tips Aholic

5 - Handprint Bunny


via Crafty Morning

I hope these cute, simple and SPRING filled bunny crafts have got your imagination and crafty side going! I know we are going to enjoy bringing spring inside through our spring crafting.

Have any spring crafts you just love and want to share? Please leave a comment or link to share.



Monday, March 20, 2017

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips To Keep Your House in Top Shape


This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer link for more information.


Happy 1st Day of Spring! (meteorologically speaking) For me, the start of spring always gives me a little extra energy knowing that warmer days and more sunshine is just around the corner! With the extra sunshine I also start noticing things - dust, dirt, cobwebs and fingerprints YIKES! 

I'm pretty good at keeping on top of the house cleaning but when the horizontal blinks look "velvety" from the accumulation of dust I know spring is here and that is one of my first spring cleaning jobs I love to tackle head on. 

Our house has 24 horizontal blinds! I'm grateful for all the windows and natural light but geesh 24 blinds is a lot to clean! 

I've put together the following list to help make your spring cleaning a little easier.

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

1 - Norwex Dusting Mitt

This little baby ROCKS and I have the blinds to prove it. I used to dread dusting blinds. I've tried almost every gadget available and none of them work as well as this microfiber dusting mitt - nothing! If you don't have one, get one. It makes dusting blinds so easy and fast. I dust a few rooms at a time, toss it into the laundry and it is ready to go once again. No more dangerous chemicals or a gazillion paper towels - just a simple mitt that you put on your hand to wipe away the dust.

2 - Magic Eraser Your Floorboards

It doesn't get any easier than this people - a bucket of soapy warm water, a splash of vinegar mixed in and your magic eraser is all you need to get the floorboards in your house clean and dust free. These poor things take a beating all winter long and need a good scrub. Let the magic eraser work its magic as the grime and streaks wipe right off. (Be careful not to scrub a painted surface too hard or the magic will be too strong and cause the paint to rub off)

3 - Use Dryer Sheets to Remove Buildup on Glass

We have this wonderful glass enclosure for our shower - I have a love/hate relationship with the darn thing. It looks amazing when it is free of the soap build up but not so good when clouded with that nasty scum. I found a simple and easy trick to keep the buildup at bay - a used fabric softener sheet plus a few drops of water will do the trick every time. Just wipe the soap scum away and toss the fabric softener sheet away. 

4 - Use A Broom As A Long Distance Duster

Those beautiful high ceilings and chandelier lights look so pretty until those early spring rays of sunshine put a spotlight on the dangling cobwebs and dust in places that are hard to reach. All you need to do is grab your broom, a hand towel (preferably a rag) and a big rubber band. Put the hand towel over the top of the broom head and secure it by stretching the rubber band around the broom head and towel. This should give you just enough distance to easily and quickly swipe away those pesky cobwebs. 

5 - Clean Your Window and Slider Tracks with Vinegar

As I mentioned before we have 24 windows with horizontal blinds which means I have 24 windows (plus some doors and a slider) that are mounted on a track of some sort. After I clean the layer of velvety dust from the blinds and wash the windows it is time to clean the track. Using vinegar and Q-tips is the easiest way to get this job done. For detail instructions and pictures visit Ask Anna Moseley.com. She gives great tips not only on cleaning the tracks but also how to get a streak free window. 

(please do not try to clean windows like this at home!!)

I wish you the best as you tackle your spring cleaning to-do list! If you have more tips to share I'd love to hear from you - please leave a comment with your tips and ideas.

Happy Spring!
Erin


Friday, March 17, 2017

3 Ways to Teach Your Children How To Forgive


At an early age kids are aware that when they do something wrong - like hit, bite or throw toys there is a consequence, maybe a timeout or a firm talking to and then we tell them to apologize to the child (or adult) they hurt. But are we missing something pretty important here as parents. What about the recipient child who was the victim of another child biting, hitting or yanking the toy out of their hands how do we teach them to respond to the apology?

As I've watched my kids apologize for their actions over the years I've noticed two or three different reactions they get from the person they are apologizing to:

1 - The victim smiles, looks awkward and doesn't know what to say
2 - The person they hurt is mad and doesn't want anything to do with them or their apology
3 - After being apologized to the person says "that's OK".

Sound familiar?

I'm sure your child has been victim to another child who gets mad and yanks a toy from their hands, or maybe someone breaks something of theirs -this is bound to happen to your kids just like it has happened to mine. Sibling rivalry sure can add fuel to this fire!

My youngest child is somewhat stubborn and since he is the youngest he spends a lot of time trying to keep up with his older siblings which can be frustrating for him. Sometimes in his frustrations, he does something naughty to his brother or sisters and I send him to our "time out step" to cool off and think about what he did. After a few minutes I spend time talking to him asking him if he knows why he is in timeout, how his behaviour affected the other person and finally if he feels sorry for what he did. If he feels sorry, we ask that he go apologize right away for what he did.

We work so hard teaching our kids to learn right from wrong, apologize and feel sorry for their actions but what about the flip side of this? How about the kid who is the victim - what should we teach them to do when someone is apologizing to them?

From early on my husband and I have taught the child who is being apologized to, to say "I forgive you". They may still be a little mad or upset but we still ask that they verbally say "I forgive you" to the one apologizing.

Learning to apologize doesn't come easy - in fact it is hard! You want to stay mad (it feels good when you are in pain)- you were hurt and don't you deserve to hold a grudge towards the person that hurt you?

We teach our kids that by staying mad and not forgiving you are in fact hurting yourself more. The burden or heaviness you feel inside when you refuse to forgive someone stays with you not the person apologizing! It doesn't "hurt them back" one bit. It just hurts you. 

The Bible has so many verses about forgiveness - we even have Ephesians 4:32 painted on an old fence I decorated and hung on our wall that says:

 So how do you teach your kids to forgive? We've used a few techniques in our house that have worked and I hope they will work for you.

1 - Model What Forgiveness Looks Like - if my husband or I are the "victims" to whatever naughty behaviour our child(ren) inflicted on us we make sure that right after their apology we get down eye to eye with them and thank them for the apology and then say "I forgive you for __________". 

2 - Require The Child To Say "I Forgive You" - if they have heard you as the parent say this to them or another person and have watched you model this then it should come as no surprise that they themselves should do the same thing and say "I forgive you" when being apologized to. 

For younger kids we make sure to reinforce the fact that doing something wrong/naughty is still wrong - forgiveness is not saying to the other person that what they did is "OK" - it isn't! Forgiveness is releasing yourself from the bitterness that can grow inside of you when you hold a grudge and choose not to forgive. 

It isn't a feeling it is a choice. 

We tell our kids that they can still feel mad or sad but they must choose to forgive. Those feelings are still real, especially if your child is upset - and it is OK to be upset but being able to separate our feelings from our own choice to forgive is powerful. 

3. Forgive - Even if Someone Refuses to Apologize - As adults we have all experienced times when someone does or says something hurtful and refuses to apologize for their actions/words, right? Forgiveness isn't conditional - you don't forgive only if someone apologizes to you. You choose to forgive even if the person who wronged you refuses to apologize. 

This is probably the most difficult thing to teach your children especially if they are young. Let me tell you a story that happened recently to show you an example of this (hang in there it is kind of long)!

 A few weeks ago my two boys (ages 7 & 4) were outside playing in a small playground next to a church where we attend a weekly bible study. This isn't our "home" church but the church is gracious enough to open up its facility to our group and allow the kids to play in their playground. My boys along with two other older boys (11 yrs & 13 yrs) were throwing snowballs at the slide to make it more slippery. I and the other kids' moms were just inside watching the boys play (and chatting of course!) when all of a sudden an elderly man who is the custodian for the building brushes past us, bursts through the doors we are standing by and begins yelling at the four boys. 

He is shouting, he is angry and our kids are terrified! 

He is accusing our kids of throwing snowballs at the windows and brick walls of the church. The boys, who are scared, sincerely apologize to this angry stranger, not quite sure what they did wrong. They explain that they were throwing the snow at the slide and if one accidentally hit the building it was not intentional. They all apologize, again.

By now I along with the other two moms are outside trying to understand what is going on and if our kids did in fact do something wrong. The custodian, in his anger begins to storm back into the building. I stop the man and ask if he could tell the boys that he forgives them since they did apologize. He replies sarcastically that he doesn't believe the apology is genuine and he doesn't want to forgive them. The boys hear all of this. The man heads back into the church.

At this point my two boys are crying and so I forget about the custodian and go to comfort my little guys. My heart is broken for them - the very thing we have been teaching them, to forgive, is not being modeled well - from and adult - at a CHURCH! (more teachable moments from this, right?!!)

Fortunately one of the other moms who is inside calms the custodian down, sends for her son (the oldest of the four) and explains to the custodian how sincere her son truly is and that all we are asking is for him to verbally say he forgives them. A less angry custodian shakes the 13 year old boys' hand and tells him that he does indeed forgive him. 

The problem here is that the other three boys who were involved do not hear these words at all. It is quite sad. 

Time for the teachable moment to start - this has given me the opportunity to teach my kids that even when someone refuses to apologize to you or does something wrong to you but doesn't apologize you still have a choice to forgive them. I ask my boys to choose to forgive the custodian - and they do. They may not understand all that just happened but they will remember that they chose to forgive this man even if they never speak with him or see him again. 

Learning to say "I forgive you" takes practice - for both parents and their kids but it is well worth it. I hope this advice is helpful to you as a parent and I hope your kids benefit from learning this advice as well. I'd love to hear how you teach your children about forgiveness - please leave me a comment below. 

Blessings,
Erin

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5 Easy St. Patrick's Day Recipes


My grandfather's family (on my dad's side) came to the United States in the mid 1800's during the Irish potato famine. They settled in Carson City, a small town in northern Michigan where they started a farm, built a house and became part of the community.

Years ago when I was a kid that side of my family had a reunion in the small town where our Irish ancestors first lived. The original farm house and land had been sold to an Amish family who continued to farm the land. The kind Amish family allowed us to wander the land, peek into the barns and just soak in the history. 

My favorite part was visiting the local cemetery where grandpa and his siblings pointed out headstones and names of past relatives. 

I'm not sure what percentage Irish I am (cause I'm really a "mutt") but with a last name like O'Brien it was a heritage that was truly embraced once a year on March 17! My mother (who isn't Irish at all) threw everything into celebrating that special day each year. As kids, we'd wake up to a fresh pile of green pancakes, green orange juice and anything else she could dye green and serve for breakfast! Dr. Seuss would have been proud of her green eggs and ham!

She also made these minty green sugar cookies that were shaped into shamrocks. Every year she would package plates of them for each of my sisters and I to bring to school to give to our teachers. This was fun and all in our early elementary years but by high school is was just plain embarrassing! She is still making these cookies today (and my kids love them too). 

Anyway, with St. Patrick's Day around the corner I thought I'd gather a few recipes that are simple yet have a traditional Irish flair to them and share this with you. 

#1. Irish Soda Bread


Since this bread doesn't have yeast as leavening these simple ingredients come together quickly to make a delicious bread that you can serve as a loaf or put in muffin tins to bake for individual serving sizes. The beauty of this bread is the "X" cut into the top of the raw dough prior to baking. It gives the bread such a unique look and it goes well with a hearty Irish stew. For a great recipe visit this site

#2 Irish Colcannon


Colcannon is traditionally made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), with milk or cream, butter, salt and pepper. You can also add other ingredients such as scallions, leeks, onions and chives. Colcannon is often eaten with boiled ham or Irish bacon. Click this link for a great recipe!

#3 Shepherd's Pie

This could be considered one of the BEST Irish comfort foods yet! Vegetables mixed in a seasoned gravy topped with mashed potatoes then baked until golden brown - Yum. Pure Yum. Originally called cottage pie, this simple recipe can be whipped up quickly and will definitely be a crowd or family pleaser dish. Check out this site for a simple yet tasty recipe.


#4 Skillet Roasted Lamb Loin




Simple and elegant is what this recipe is. Rub the loin with herbs + garlic + shallots, roll it and tie it up then sear it in a skillet. After you have a good sear put the loin in the oven to finish baking. The flavor of this tender meat is out of this world! You can get the complete recipe here.

#5 Irish Apple Cake

No meal is complete with out a dessert, am I right? Here is a simple Irish apple cake that can easily be paired with your after dinner coffee with a shot of Bailey's. For the delicious recipe click here.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! And may the luck of the Irish be with you throughout this year! Oh, and don't forget to wear your green on March 17 - or you just might get pinched. 

I'd love to hear how you and your family celebrate St. Patrick's Day - leave me a comment telling me how you make this day special.

Blessings,
Erin

Sunday, March 12, 2017

10 Fun Ideas To Enjoy March Madness As A Family


This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy here.


Our family has always been big college basketball fans. We love watching our favorite team (The Michigan State Spartans) as a family. The kids will even mark the games on our calendar to make sure we don't miss a televised game. - Gotta train them up right!

The season ends with the Big Ten Tournament and right after that is SELECTION SUNDAY! We actually DVR the show so we can watch it over, listening to the commentary before we start working on the brackets.  I know we are a little weird but we just love this time of year!

Now brackets in our house means open season for some trash talking. We put big stakes on these brackets and no one wants to lose. 

Over the last few years the winner with the best bracket has gotten  a huge Hershey candy bar, $10 bill, an article of clothing (my daughter won and picked a dress that she refers to as her basketball tournament dress) and an ice cream dessert date with a parent. 

As you can see we are serious here - we don't mess around. 

Since a majority of the first round games in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament take place during the day and our kids are home (because we home school) I allow the TV to be left on after lunch so we can catch updates on the scores. It's a blast hearing one of my kids shout out the score of a game they are closely watching because they selected a certain team to win on their bracket! 

The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament provides lots of fun learning opportunities and here are 10 ideas you could do with your kids to enjoy it as a family

10 Fun Ideas to Enjoy March Madness as a Family



#1 Fill Out A Bracket - 

Your kids could do their own or you could do one as a family. Kids can practice their handwriting skills as they write the names of the schools they select on the brackets. My son is a reluctant writer - except when it comes to filling out his bracket. He puts a lot of focus and effort into writing the school names correctly and NEATLY. If you are looking for a bracket online here is a great place to get one to print off. 

#2 Play Basketball Bingo

Maybe it is the first time your kids have been exposed to the game of basketball and you want to start teaching them the terminology of the game. The best way to do this is to get them engaged with a simple hands on game like bingo. There is a great website you can use to generate bingo cards for free using terms/words you want as the squares or use the pre-made ones on the website. Click here to go to the bingocardcreator.com website. 

#3 Put Up An Indoor Hoop


If we are going to watch basketball we ought to play a little here and there too to really get into the game. During the tournament we have several spots throughout our house where we put up hoops. My husband hung this hoop from the top of our stairway and regularly plays a pick-up game with the kids. You don't have to buy anything though - you could just put a piece of cardboard on the back of a trash can and use the trash can as the hoop. Kids will love tossing their trash through the "hoop"!



#4 Pick A Team To Learn About

You could incorporate a lot of learning through this fun activity. Encourage your kids to randomly pick a team, find where it is on a map and then look up the school online and read about it. For older students this could be a simple way to get them excited about college. Have them find out fun and interesting facts about a school - like why they have a certain type of mascot, history of the school, what the school is best known for, location, types of majors and pictures of campus.

#5 Skip Counting Practice

Since most of the scoring during a game is from 2 point shots you could really have fun teaching your kids how to skip count by 2's. After they master that skill have them skip count by 3's (3 pointers). I recommend cutting out circles from brown construction paper and putting the skip count numbers on them (2, 4, 6...). Then tape the circles in a pattern on your floor so the kids can jump from circle to circle saying the numbers.

#6 Adding & Subtracting Math Using Game Scores

Sometimes my kids ask when they will ever use the math they learn in school in real life - keeping score of a game is a good answer! Coming up with the difference between two teams scores, counting down time left on the clock and calculating shooting percentages all require the use of math. Based on your child's level of math you can discuss these math concepts during the games. For my oldest kids (grades 5th & 7th) we will be focused on calculating shooting percentages of various players and teams (shots made / attempted shots = shooting %). My younger children will be working on finding the difference (subtraction) between the teams scores. We will talk about inequalities as well - who has more points, who has fewer points.

#7 Sweet 16 - Sweets!

The tournament is know for the catchy titles of the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four. How about letting your child choose a special "sweet" to eat while watching the sweet sixteen games. You could make basketball shaped popcorn balls or rice krispie treats.

#8 Learn the Positions of Players On The Court

With so many games there are plenty of opportunities to teach the game to the kids including the various positions and what the difference is between offense and defense. This website has detailed instructions, picture of the court and the game rules for you to read and use as you explain it to your kids. See if they can point out what they learn while watching a live game!

#9 Play Basketball Games

Besides the actual game of basketball there are a lot of other fun basketball games you can play with your kids. Around the World, 2 on 2, P.I.G (or H.O.R.S.E),  and Knock Out are just a few but you can find more including the instructions here.

# 10 Throw a Championship Game Party

Even if your team didn't make it to the championship game you can still throw a party to enjoy the final game of the men's college basketball season. Have your kids help plan the party including the food, decorations and invitations. They could even show off their newly acquired basketball knowledge with your guests or play the games they learned about basketball!

The tournament is a great way to bust out of the cabin fever season and enjoy the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament! I'd love to hear how your family enjoys it - please leave a comment with your ideas.

Score!
Erin

Thursday, March 9, 2017

DIY - Make Your Own Seed Bombs


This page may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here

Easy DIY Seed Bombs

Last year our kids studied Botany through the Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany Young Explorers Series textbook. They (and I) learned SO much! Our favorite part about the Apologia science books are the student notebooks.

I taught all three school age kids from the same textbook (grades 1st, 4th & 6th) and it worked out just fine because of these awesome notebooks! My younger student used the Junior Notebooking level and my two older kids used the regular Student Notebook.

These notebooks are full of pictures, space to take notes, draw diagrams, document your lab work and even a Bible verse for copy work that fits with the lesson being taught.

One of the labs required the kids to plant flower seeds but we live in Michigan so growing flowers in January doesn't work very well. That's when I came up with the idea for seed bombs - seeds we could get ready to plant in a creative, fun way and then use when the spring came.

Our grocery store already has packets of seed on display - just tempting us to get planting but I just don't want trays of dirt and seeds laying on my counter tops in March - this is just a recipe for disaster with my 4 year old and his curiosity under foot.

Maybe you and your kids have a little spring fever but like us live in a place where winter is still lingering around - now is a good time to have some fun with your kids and make seed bombs! Here is how we did it:

Seed Bombs

Materials:

·       3-4 packages of various flower seeds
·         Recycled paper scraps such as newspaper, construction paper and  tissue paper - amount will vary depending on how many seed bombs you want to make so adjust accordingly (start with 4-6 sheets of scrap paper)
·         Bucket
·         Water
·         Blender
·         Strainer
·         Molds to press paper pulp into (empty cupcake tins work well)
·         Food coloring (optional)
·         Sponge


Instructions:
Tear the recycled paper scraps into small pieces until you have about 2 cups of paper pieces. You can make them colorful by using colored scraps of paper or a drop or two of food coloring. Put all of the scraps into your blender then add ¼ cup of water to the paper and 1-2 drops of food coloring. Pulse the paper and water together until the paper becomes a thick wet pulp not a soupy mixture. If it is too soupy add more paper pieces – if it is too dry add more water. 

Pour the wet paper pulp into the strainer over a bowl to catch the extra water. Let it drain for a few minutes gently pressing out water with your hands. 

Next pour 1 packet of seeds into the pulp mixture and mix. With your hands scoop out the paper pulp and squeeze the extra water out. 

Add a scoop or two of the paper/seed pulp into the mold. Press the sponge onto the seed bombs in the mold to absorb extra water. Press out as much water as you can with the sponge so that the seeds are not encouraged to begin germination.  Set the mold out to dry. 

Once the seed bomb is dry pop them out of the mold and store them in a dry dark place. If the seed bomb is kept dry the seeds will not germinate. They are now ready to be planted outside in spring weather or you can place them inside in a pot filled with potting soil and water regularly. 

More Great Ideas

You can use just about anything for a mold, we happened to use these silicone molds I had picked up for Valentine's Day. Once the seed bombs were dry they easily popped out of the molds. 

If you don't have a mold you could spread the seed/paper pulp mixture onto a edged baking sheet and roll it into a thin layer. Again you need to squeeze out at much water as possible. This will create seed bomb paper! 

My kids mixed the packets of seeds together so we had NO idea what kinds of flowers would grow form our bombs. They had a blast guessing as the flowers began to grow. One of the seed packets contained flowers that grew super tall (can't remember the kind) and were fun to see grow.

Easy DIY Seed Bombs

Seed Bomb Gifts

Seed bombs make great gifts too! With Easter and Mother's Day in the spring you could put the seed bombs in a cute little package with instructions on how to grow them. If you opt to make seed bomb paper you could cut it into any shape you want, attach it to the outside of a blank card, add a little ribbon and now you have a homemade card with gift included!

I'd love to see what you and your kids create! Please comment and share below.

Blessings,
Erin


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Age Appropriate Chores For Kids




So much GOOD can come from letting your kids do chores around the house!

As a mom to 4 kiddos I see chores as a teachable moment - they weren't born knowing how to wash dishes, vacuum or make their bed - they can learn these valuable skills from YOU!

Chores teach kids how to have a good work ethic, how to help serve others, a useful skill, and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Why would you want to keep them from learning such valuable lessons?

Daily Responsibilities 

In our family we start teaching with daily responsibilities and work our way towards chores. Daily responsibilities teach the child how to care for themselves - this is a simple hygiene routine. When I tell my kids to go do their 4 things, they know exactly what that means: hair, teeth/face, bed & dressed.

This routine starts when they are young - about 2 years old. (Too young? Nope!)

Of course a 2 year old will need help with their "4 things" but teaching them and getting them used to this is the point.

Jobs

Before I get to the list of chores there is one more "job" I expect my kids to do. These jobs aren't chores or daily responsibilities but are still jobs that I expect my kids to do (without being told as they get older). These jobs include putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, clearing their place after a meal, hanging up their wet towel after a bath/shower and putting away the stuff they got out when they are finished with it (crafts supplies, toys, games) - get the idea?

 I call this picking up after yourself. I don't really think picking up after yourself should be a chore but rather an expectation that a child knows he/she should do.

I'm trying to teach my kids that this is how you show respect to the other people living under the same roof as them.


OK, so what are chores?

Chores

Chores are tasks that need to be done on a regular basis so that our home - inside and out - is well maintained, clean and organized.

Before I get into a list of what I think are age appropriate chores let me give you a few ways to get your kids doing chores with minimal complaining and whining!

1. Do the chore with your child   

I've learned that if I start out doing the chores with my kids, side by side, talking, laughing, asking questions the time flys, the chore gets done and we both enjoy it. They also learn from my example and what my expectations are for the chore assigned. (No one wants to go back and re-clean a toilet!)

After you do this a few times and the kids catches on then cut them loose and let them do it by themselves.

2. Assign a Chore Partner

Sometimes I pair up the kids and we have a competition to see who can get their chores done the fastest (no cutting corners or slacking though). The winning team usually gets a little prize or treat to make it worth it.

3. Mix It Up

Kids thrive on routine but after awhile the same ole same chore just gets a little boring and that is when I know I need to mix it up a little. After a few weeks of assigning chores to each of my kids I like to re-assign them new ones.

I do however make it a point to ask them which chores they prefer and try to give them the ones they like doing.

4. Chore Trading

Kids love to barter! So why not let them barter with their chores. My kids get pretty creative so sometimes I make sure I witness the agreed upon barter so no one ends up crying "no fair" after the chores are traded.

My 7 year old son is an expert chore barterer - he knows which chores his older sisters hate and will trade one of his easy chores with them PLUS have them pay him $$ on top of the trade to do the chore they hate. This kid is going to make a $$ killing this summer!

5. Brag About How Well Your Kids Do Their Chores

Somewhere along the line my kids learned the art of eavesdropping...and they got GOOD at it. So to take advantage of their listening ears I've learned that telling family, friends or even my husband when they are within earshot what a good job one of them did on a chore boosts their ego and gives them a little pat on the back. Kids love compliments and recognition (who doesn't, right?)! 

OK, now onto the age appropriate chore list - are you ready? Some of these chores within the age categories may shock you but remember our children are not helpless - they are HELPERS!

 Age Appropriate Chores For Kids
click HERE for printable

Now I know this list is not all inclusive and there are probably chores at your house you could add or delete (maybe you live in a warm climate and don't get snow?). These are just to get you started! And please remember - Don't spare your kids from chores, they need to do them, it is for their own good! 

I'm a very visual person so keeping track of assigned chores can be a challenge for me - so I created this cool printable to help me stay on top of the chores and who I've assigned them to. As a thanks for reading my blog I'm including this printable for you for FREE! 

click HERE for printable version

Remember - teach your child how to do the chore first (might take a few practice trials) and then let them go do town! Have fun with chores & your kids!