Helper Jobs

Over two years ago, when Rob was away a lot because of his internship, I was getting frustrated with keeping up with housework. So I had a family home evening activity with Hunter and Emma about the problem. Hunter was 6 and Emma was almost 4 so I thought they were ready to pitch in. But what could I do that would motivate them and help them understand why I was asking them to help? Family night was just the three of us because Rob was still at the firm and we were back home. We sang “When we’re Helping we’re Happy” and then for the lesson I gathered up six big pillows. I had each of them take a turn trying to carry the pillows from one side of the room to the other. With a stack of six bed pillows, of course they couldn’t do it but they sure tried. Then I gave each of us two pillows and we tried it again. It was easy this time. We did the activity again with the names of jobs taped onto each pillow. Things like clearing the table, doing dishes, picking up toys… We did six pillows and then two each and then we talked about how much easier it was to only have two jobs to do, than 6. I told them that mommy and daddy can’t do everything on their own, so it was important that everyone helps out. Since there were just two of them I came up with two basic jobs. These are what we now call “Helper Jobs” and we do them every night after dinner. One is to set the table for dinner, and then clear it, put away the food, and clean up the table and floor when we’re done. The second is to tidy up the living room and play room. That generally means clearing off the floor and the furniture and putting things where they belong. We rotate these jobs now every other day, and it won’t be too long before we add another one to the mix when Hannah is ready to join in!


  1. Heather M.
    Jul 18, 2006

    I have been trying to figure out how I can explain it to my kids too, so I will definitely be giving this lesson next FHE. And we have chores here too, but ours aren’t as organized or as well laid out as yours, and I think it would help both myself and the kids if it were. Amy, you’re a super genius! Thankyou!

  2. Heidi
    Jul 19, 2006

    What a GREAT idea. I loveit. This is such a great way to teach.