Spring Yard Clean Up: Turning Chores Into a Game

May 17th, 2013 posted by Rebecca Brea

Spring Yard Clean Up: Turning Chores Into a Game by Rebecca Brea for FamilyCorner.com

Spring is here and that means it’s time to pay some attention to the backyard and get it ready for the coming summer. Winter’s weather probably wreaked havoc on your backyard oasis, and helping to clean up all those downed branches, leftover leaves and other debris is a good way to get winter-weary kids off the couch and into the fresh air. While outdoor chores may not seem too appealing to most kids (how can a rake compare with an Xbox 360?), a little planning can help turn what seems like backyard drudgery into a lot of fun.

Gardening gear: Make sure little hands are protected with gardening gloves (big hands, too!). Little ones love having kid-sized versions of grown-up tools; teach them the fun of caring for the garden early on with their own gardening gear. Clear a space in the shed or garage where they can store their things when the job is done.

Decorate lawn & leaf bags first: Encourage kids to unleash their inner Monet by decorating lawn and leaf bags the night before clean-up day. They can draw their favorite flowers or plants, or imagine the yard as they would like it to look, and then fill up their bags with all those sticks, twigs, branches, and leftover leaves. Whoever gets their bag the fullest wins a small prize or treat!

Spring Yard Clean Up: Turning Chores Into a Game

Pick out plants: Have a contest to see who can get their garden beds looking blue-ribbon ready. Take the kids to the garden store to choose their own small plants that they can put into the ground and care for themselves once the garden beds are all cleaned up. Older kids can help the younger ones clear last year’s growth, remove weeds and cut back any perennials to make way for the new growth. Have some ribbons or other prizes ready for the awards ceremony once the task is complete.

Social media fun: In this age of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, even cleaning up the back yard can become a social media event! Have the kids snap some pictures (or shoot some video) of the yard before, during, and after, documenting all of their hard work. Older kids can help the younger ones snazz up their photos or videos with editing apps and post to parent-approved social media sites so even grandma can pile on the praise. Have fun and hold a little screening party complete with red carpet and popcorn to view the backyard transformation process.

The color of money: Prying that game controller out of your tween’s (or teen’s) hot, sweaty hand is no easy feat for any parent, but that lawn sure isn’t going to mow itself! If the lure of cash isn’t enough to woo them from the Wii, turn off the game console and invite a friend over to help, with the promise of pizza and a Mario Kart marathon once the job is done. Have them inspect the lawn for any holes that need filling in, check lawn furniture for damage and ensure that play equipment is in good working order (under adult supervision).

With some help from the kids, getting the backyard summer-ready can be a fun and satisfying project for everyone. Break out the cupcakes and lemonade for some well-deserved family time in your new surroundings and have everyone take pride in a job well done!

More you might like:

Spring Cleaning
Autumn Garden Chores
Choosing the Right Chores for Kids
5 Spring Backyard Maintenance Tips – She Knows
Cupcake Liner String Lights – Family Chic

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Rebecca Brea (9 Posts)

Rebecca began reading blogs to connect, learn from and share information with other moms about the parenting experience. This was a natural extension of her participation on community message boards during her struggle with infertility in the late 90s. Rebecca says “As I laughed, was moved by, and recognized myself in so many great blogs, I realized I had been ‘blogging’ in one form or another for most of my life – in diaries, notes on calendars and scrapbooks – so I decided to start one of my own.” Mom Meets Blog peeks in on this later-in-life mom with a fantastic son who’s faced his own challenges and is currently navigating tweendom, karate, middle school, and piano lessons, a workaholic husband overseeing a busy family business, and her role in managing it all - motherhood, midlife and a blog.

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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