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Keeping the kids busy

CEBU, Philippines - Okay, the summer break is most anticipated by kids for some relief from school pressure. But kids quickly recharge worn energies, and that much deserved “relief” may be achieved in just a few days of summer. Creative parents may let the kids’ learning process continue – at home, in a practical way.

Yes, kids may be taught to do certain chores during the summer break. They will not only learn a useful skill, but they may also get certain things done. Alyssa Craig writes an article at www.islearningcorner.com pointing out that summer can quickly become monotonous for kids as they struggle to find ways to fill their time.

Craig emphasizes that there are great ways you can put the kids to work that will them fill their time in a meaningful way and help them learn some great skills, including the value of hard work. Chores, she says, are a great way to not only teach kids skills they will need throughout life, but also to help them take pride in their own home and how they keep it. The following are Craig’s suggestions for the kids’ chores list this summer:

Care for Family Pets. Children of all ages can take part in taking care of the family pets. From feeding, bathing, brushing, walking, and simply playing with their animal, kids can learn how to help take care of someone else.

Lawn Work. This should be reserved for children who are a little older, who may be trained how to mow and trim the lawn. Parents shall show the kids some tricks for getting around sprinkler heads or tree roots. Avoiding these obstacles may seem intuitive to grownups, but kids might not be as adept in dealing with it as they are still inexperienced.

Pulling Weeds in the Garden. Having the family’s own garden is wonderful, as it is their access to fresh fruits and vegetables. However, maintaining a garden can be quite labor intensive. But the kids can be put to work in helping to take care of it.

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Dusting. Dust builds up quickly all over the house, especially as more people are home. A good dusting will also help with anyone suffering from allergies.

Wipe Down Baseboards. Kids may be given a rag and some cleaner and told to clean dirt, scuff marks, and whatever else the baseboards have collected over the months.

Wash the Family Car. By getting out the buckets, soap and sponges, the kids can go to town cleaning the family car. Kids of all ages can help with most of the car, though some areas should be left to adults. Parents only need to define the areas the kids may clean.

Clearing Junk in the Kids’ Own Rooms. Summer is a great opportunity to get rid of all the old school papers that the kids may have accumulated and clothes they have already outgrown.

Deep Clean Bathroom. The kids may be involved in pulling out everything from cupboards, drawers, shelves, etc. and wipe them all down. And they should not miss getting behind the toilet! This is also a great time to clean any mold that may be building on the ceiling or walls from humidity.

Organize an Area of the Home. It could be the garage, a room in the basement, the attic, the coat closet or the pantry. Each child can be assigned a space to organize, or they could be made to take care of an area each week to focus.

Clean Beds. The children shall be taught how to clean their own beds. Depending on their age, the kids can strip the bed and wash the sheets, put clean sheets on, bleach and wash mattress pads, vacuum the mattress, and wash pillows. Small children can simply learn how to straighten out their bed each morning.

Hand Scrub the Floor. Spray mops and brooms are great, but these are rarely able to do a complete deep cleaning job. There are likely corners that always get missed. After sweeping, have your child get down on hands and knees to really scrub the floors and get them shining.

Plan Family Meals and Help Prepare the Grocery List. Kids can also take part in the planning and preparation of meals throughout the summer. They may be tasked to choose family meals and help their parents prepare the grocery list for the meals. If the kids are older, they can also help with the actual grocery shopping and in actually preparing the meal.

Summer chores can help children to stay busy – and they learn the value of work and keep the house neat and clean. Another benefit is that they all have a good time doing things together! (FREEMAN)

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