Summer brings its own messes and extra chores. So, I was craving an engaging way for the kids to be aware of all they can do to help out because summer break is for parents, too!
I’m not big on rewarding kids for doing what’s expected and I’d never want my kids to help around the house with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude. However, I also know that simple rewards are a part of everyday life. Like how my chocolate stash in the laundry room motivates me to stay on top of the laundry. We just needed a way to shake up the dullness of the same old chores around here while adding on summer chores like weeding and watering.
Summer seemed to be begging for a new, fresh take on chores.
Enter Summer Job Bingo!
I call them jobs because “chore” sounds like something awful you have to endure. Meanwhile, a job is something you can take pride in doing well. Our Summer Job Bingo has been a big hit with my six and eight-year-olds.
Want to try it? Here’s how:
- Edit this printable bingo card to make it specific to your home. (Clipart is included to assist new readers.) When it opens in Google Docs, click on File in the upper left-hand corner and choose Make a Copy from the drop-down menu. Save your own copy. Now it’s ready to edit!
- Feel free to put any jobs you really need to do every day (like “empty the dishwasher”) on the bingo card more than once.
- The thinking emoji in the free space is for any job your child sees that needs to be done. I love this one and have been surprised by what my kids ask to do!
- Include your kids in helping you come up with the jobs AND prizes. Remember that Summer Job Bingo is something to do WITH your kids, not TO them.
Prizes were easy to come up with when your kids help. As a result, mine couldn’t wait to get started. We just came up with things we wanted to make sure we did anyway this summer like one-on-one time, have frozen treats, or staying up later. For more substantial prizes like a new book or eating out, it just took saving up a few bingos to earn. Check out our prize list attached to the printable bingo card for ideas. You can edit ours or make your own.
How it works:
- After you have edited the bingo card to fit your family’s chores, print a bingo card for each child.
- Place each card in a clear plastic sheet protector so your children can use dry-erase markers on it.
- Before a child does any job alone, do it together the first time so you can teach them how to do the job. Thank them and compliment them on their work. With encouragement and gratitude, they will become willing helpers. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, kids included! Of course, it can take some time to make sure your children are competent at each job, but it will absolutely be worth it when they are able to do them without you.
- Each child is encouraged to do two jobs each weekday, but they can do more.
- Once the job is done with honest effort, even if it’s not done perfectly, they can cross it out.
- When they get a bingo, they can choose a “one bingo” prize and erase the bingo.
- When saving for multiple bingo prizes, they can put a tally mark at the top of the page when they complete a bingo and then erase that line. If one of those squares connects to the next bingo they are working toward, I tell them that they may keep it. I do ask that they double-check to see if that job needs to be done again when they reach the next bingo. So far, this seems to be working for everyone.
Grab your lemonade and put up your feet, mama! You are on summer break, too!
Summer job bingo might be just what you need to have more time to relax while helping your kids to learn to take pride in a job well done.
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