I remember liking raking. I couldn’t wait for the leaves to fall so my sisters and I could start raking. So you must be thinking, “Which hypnotist did your parents use and how much does he charge?” I’m not sure if it was something my parents said, but in my family, raking was correlated with one key idea: competition.
There are dozens of ways to make raking an exciting competition (which can often excite kids into enjoying things that they might otherwise find boring). To name a few:
- See who can rake the fastest. Divide up the yard into sections and see who can rake their section clean first. What method is more efficient, raking down a line, or raking up circles?
- See who can make the taller pile. Self explanatory.
- See who can fit the most leaves in one bag. Have a parent declare the winner. For the record, adding anything to the bag other than leaves results in disqualification.
- See who can bag the fastest. Given three piles of equal size, my sisters and I would race to see who could get it all in the bag the fastest. I stand by the fact that tipping the bag over and shoving the leaves in from the side is the fastest method.
If you only have one child, then I guess you’ll be doing a lot of raking. Just kidding! An easy solution is to just pit parents against children instead. Or, if family competitions usually end in tears, then you may need to come up with some other ideas. Actually, raking can be great family time. Work as a team to make one giant pile. No jumping until after it is complete! Have some hot apple cider as a reward when you’re done.
I actually did a lot of raking with my neighborhood friends. One of my friends once said she couldn’t hang out until she finished raking her lawn, so I raced over to help her get the job done. If your child has been complaining about having to rake leaves, suggest that he or she invites a friend over to help. It may seem weird to have your child’s friend come over and rake, but for some kids, raking a pile of leaves is equivalent to building a snowman; it’s fun! If you really feel uncomfortable having a guest doing a “chore,” then you could consider offering some monetary incentive to both your children and their friends (after checking with their parents, of course).Money works, but it should really only be used when all else has failed.