Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sensory Chores

In our house there is always a lot to be done. Sometimes it is a chore to get my kids to do chores and it seems it is not worth the fight but I have had to teach myself to think differently. I am teaching myself to see the task I must do must help them deal with a sensory input they're needing. So here are some tasks that even the smallest child can help with:
  • Pushing, pulling or carrying a basket full of clean or dirty laundry to the laundry room or a bedroom.
  • Putting books away
  • Taking out the trash
  • Washing or rinsing off dishes
  • Vacuuming
  • Sweeping
  • Cleaning off mats and rugs by shaking them outside
  • Cleaning the carpet with tape wrapped sticky side out on their shoes or feet to pick up dirties.
  • Making dinner
  • Helping you clean out cupboards you can't reach into due to the angle.
  • Mop the floor
  • Wash windows
  • Stuffing clothes into the washer or dryer
  • Pulling clothes out of the washer or dryer
  • Hanging upside down to clean underneath the bed or couches
  • Cleaning out the car
  • Clean out the sink or tub (without chemicals)
  • Rearrange the furniture in the house
You can have a child do these activities in as many ways as you can think or even have them get to their next task in a different way than normal. We have done cartwheels as well as summersalts or forward rolls to get to destinations.
Remember many times when you're dealing with a sensory seeker they need lots of input. I have one friend who was going nuts because her son was moving furniture all over her house. Luckily mine just moves, flips, and climbs up his mattress and leaves most other furniture pieces alone.
Also don't expect them to love doing a chore especially if you make it out to be a chore or a punishment. If you're tired you might be surprised at how easily it could be to tell them, 'You know what, mommy is really tired and I could use some help. I am asking you because I know you have strong muscles but could you please push this basket of clothes to my bedroom so I can fold it' and they comply because of the recognition of one of their qualities.

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