Grab a timer and getting ready for some fast-paced chore assignments!! That's what we are doing RIGHT NOW! I am on a "nursing sit-down". Here's how it works:
First, set the rules. Enforce the "Yes Ma'am Chart" in my previous post (I will link it later). Tell them what you want them to do. Decide on a time frame. We are doing 5 minute time frames. It is hustle, hustle, hustle (that means for this game they can run and do it super fast). You can use chore cards or call out their "assignments".
Second, use some fun things... We have a megaphone. You could make them "salute" while using their cheerful Yes Ma'am responses. Remember this is about getting them to have fun while cleaning. Do not make it awful for your little soldiers!
Third, get started! I am gonna tell you what we did to give you an idea. This game was about getting some help, but not perfection. Set your expectations low. I set the timer for 5 minutes and said, "Report for duty! Clean up all the toys in the dining room and return them too their appropriate place." When the timer went off I said, "Great job! Now take a five minute break and play. When the timer goes off you need to come back here and report for duty, again." So, when they came back (all the while I am announcing, "Report for duty!") I changed it up by sending them to our main living area and gathering shoes that needed to be put away. They took the 5 minute break. Came back and I had them remove toys from the kitchen. They took a 5 minute break. Came back and I requested that they stack up books that they had knocked off a table this morning (about 20), then I called them in to put whites from the washer into the dryer. They love to do this and even climb in my washer and pass the laundry to each other assembly line style to the dryer. Then, I had a load of towels ready for them to put in the washer. In case you are wondering, I kept working right through their breaks and and helped them during their "duty" time. I also pointed this out that I was continuing to work and that I appreciated their help.
Fourth, suprise them with a reward. My girls did not know there was a reward... and I did not plan one, but I was so pleased that I wanted to do something special for them. I painted their nails... fingers and toes!! I despise doing it, but it makes them happy. Shame on me for not liking it, but I am not a girly-girl and it takes more patience than I have most days to paint little wiggly fingers and toes that usually get messed up more than once. We did manage to not have any spills this time!!
Another point I feel I need to make is that we have NOT done our school today, YET! We will break for lunch and then, start schooling. Another point... Caden did drag some more toys back in the kitchen while we were nail painting. Like I said before, this is not about perfection. It is more about training them to serve... to be joyful and helpful at the same time. Hope this helps you.... even if you break it into to 15 minute sections or whatever. The five minute makes it wild and very fast-paced, but accomplishes a lot in a short time.... while they did some physical exercise. You may find it difficult to keep up with the pace yourself! :) Try it and let me know what you think! It is no real "grand thing", but it worked for us today. It may not everyday, but I am gonna try it. If they get burn-out I will change up what we do. I was thinking that you could tie it in with unit studies, too. I am gonna think on that... Like play the police officer game and do the same as above. We could have "office day" where we focus on straightening our books and papers.... I know I am strange, but it is all for the cause....