Let's face it: Getting our kids to help out around the house often feels like more work than the actual task itself. In our home, we've tried a number of strategies to build chores into our daily lives, and yet there are still so many jobs left undone. Rather than nag and nag and nag, we've come up with an idea to help conquer that growing to-do list in a more alluring way: A Family Job Fair.
An important note: This activity was intended for education and FUN in our house. My children are both task-oriented and highly motivated individuals, so this has worked well for us thus far, even while making participation completely optional. Turns out, they both like the compensation and special bonuses.
As with any strategy, we know this will not last forever, but we'll run with it while it does!
When it comes to picking jobs for your in-home job fair, select tasks that go above and beyond any normal household chores. To add a flair of professionalism, I created "Now Hiring" flyers with full job descriptions including experience requirements, 3-5 tasks, compensation, and bonus eligibility.
Here are some jobs we're testing in our home this month:
- Mail Carrier ~ This individual will understand the basic operations of sending and delivering mail in accordance with the US Postal Service.
- Waste Collector ~ This individual will understand the basic operations of waste disposal and recycling in accordance with Waste Management.
- Librarian ~ This individual will understand the basic operations of reserving, distributing, and organizing books at home and through the library's online reservation system.
- Pet Attendant ~ This individual will understand the basic operations of caring for a pet.
Save yourself some time with our pre-filled templates (directly below) or get a head start by using our fill-in-the-blank templates (at the bottom of this article).
To print the documents below, right-click on the images and select "open image in new tab."
Something important to consider is how many jobs you'll offer. Something that worked well for my family was having more jobs than the number of kids in our house so as to give each child the opportunity to really think critically about their selection.
Over the years, I've learned that when my children choose a task for themselves, they're more likely to follow through.
In the real world, it's essential to have a resume when applying for jobs. Thus, we've made our own (very simple) age-appropriate resumes for our kids to fill out in anticipation of our family job fair. Your kids can create them from scratch or save time with our free printable option shown below.
To print the document below, right-click on the image and select "open image in new tab."
The Job Fair:
Now's the fun part! Here's what we did to set up our family job fair.
- Post the job listings on the wall with a piece of tape.
- Get out the sticky notes. Have each applicant write his/her name on the sticky note and "apply" to a job by sticking the note on the job of choice. Then, he or she leaves a completed resume in a stack on the counter.
- At the end of the day, review the sticky notes and resumes to determine eligibility.
- Congratulate the new employees and send them on their way to get started.
- Optional: Write up a contract or consider adding an interview process.
- Repeat weekly, monthly, annual, etc. -- whenever works best for your family!
Blank printable to help you create your own Family Job Fair:
Create your own job listings with this fill-in-the-blank file. To print the document below, right-click on the images and select "open image in new tab."