Motivating for Chores

Part of motivation for chores for our buggies will be visual.  But today we’re going to talk about a verbal way to motivate them.

When we were younger, my mother used to have us sing a song when it was time to pick up our toys.  I use the same exact method today.  I don’t remember exactly where she got the song from, but it works.  It makes little buggies excited to clean, because they are cleaning to the song:

The Clean Up Song

Clean up clean up

Everybody everywhere

Clean up clean up

Everybody do their share


We repeat this song until we’re done picking up our toys, clothes, or whatever it is that is being cleaned up.  Not only do hesitant children start cleaning, they do it together, and they do it happily.  It is now a game that goes with a song.

Another thing we do for cleaning up, is have a race.  The winner gets to pick a movie, the first bath toy, or really whatever works.  Sometimes we use stickers to bribe them along as well.  We explain how we are going to work things out, what happens if they do what they are asked, and what happens if they do not.  Naturally, sometimes we all have bad days, so they do learn that they will receive repercussions if they do not do as they are told.

What about things that can’t be rushed?

Things that cannot be rushed would be like brushing your teeth.  If you speak to your dentist, they will give you many tips.  One thing we had gotten from our dentist was a sand timer.  The kind you flip, and when the sand collects at the bottom, you’re done brushing your teeth.  You could use a calming bottle, or any other fun looking timing device.

My favorite tool for brushing our teeth actually came from a Dora the Explorer book.  It is to the tune of the alphabet song, which pretty much everyone knows.

Scrub and Brush

Scrub and brush and scrub and brush

Hum a song so I don’t rush

Brush my teeth so they might shine

You brush yours and I’ll brush mine

Scrub and bush and scrub and brush

Hum a song so I don’t rush.

Repeat it twice and you’re done.  And, they love it.   They sing it around the house and everything.  They ask if their teeth are nice and shiny.  And those that still need you to do it for them are more pliable when you sing the song, meaning, they let you actually spend more time allowing you to get the toothbrush into their mouths.

Just to point out, quickly, I did not write either song, and I do not take credit for doing so.  I have, however, taken cue from this and created my own songs to help move stubborn children along.  Just this morning, Do and Belly Bug didn’t want to listen and put their shoes and socks on, so instead of yelling (which I really had the urge to do), so I made up a song:

Socks and shoes and socks and shoes

On my feet so I don’t bruise

Don’t hit my little toe, that hurts

Hopefully there’s no blood that squirts

Socks and shoes and socks and shoes

On my feet so I don’t bruise

Okay, okay, I know you’ve already noticed the blood part.  However, when you make things up like this it has to flow song wise as well as kid wise.  So, of course, Belly was just tickled about the blood part.  Don’t ask, because I really have no clue why she finds it funny, but she does.  Even more important part, it worked.  I sang a couple of times, and low and behold, they had socks and shoes on.  They are still singing the song right now.  We sing this repeatedly, and sing it to the tune of the alphabet song as well.

What are some examples of your motivational tools for your buggies?


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