Kids Helping With Family Chores

When my husband and I had our third child, it became apparent that we needed our older children to help with our daily routine and with chores around the house. We found that it's a lot more fun if we can find a creative way of getting them to want to help. So we invented a game where my kids pretend to be something like a truck or a "forklift" around the house and help me put away toys and clean laundry.
They go around making truck noises and think they're playing a game, when they're actually helping me out quite a bit. This is so much better than having to "nag" them to help. Our kids are very into doing adult things and want to do what they see me and my husband doing. So we just gradually accumulated tools that can help them do those things safely.

We have a child-sized wheelbarrow outside so they can help us with gardening. Inside we have some child-sized brooms and dustpans. When I have things to cook, I try to get them to help by chopping up vegetables with knives that won't cut their fingers. They help me give the baby a bath, they rinse and I wash. They clear and set the table with plastic dishes that they can manage by themselves. They help sweep the floors and clean up their own mess.

I have learned that although I could "make" my kids cooperate, it's much more pleasant for us all if I spend a little thought and instead, make them WANT to be helpful in our family life.