Dish Tag – a Housework Game

With Earthschooling, volunteering, a business to run, more than ten pets, three kids and a home to keep going, I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and get things done with less stress.

“Dish Tag” has helped me so much I wanted to share it with all of you to perhaps help your homeschool days go more smoothly, too.

I wish I could take credit for this but this brilliant and fun idea came from my 15-year-old daughter who got tired of the dishes never being done on time. She thought up a game to make it fun, create good-will between us all (instead of nagging and complaining) and that is actually effective in getting the dishes done quickly on a daily basis. I was amazed at how quickly things “turned around” in our house after just three days using her idea. We were no longer upset at each other – we were actually laughing and making jokes about dishes and having fun. Doing the dishes became a game instead of a hated task and best of all, the dishes are most always DONE and I’m not the one doing them most of the time.

This is the “dishes game”:

1. Post a list of the people participating on the fridge (see picture)

2. Put a marker (magnet) next to the person who’s “turn” it is.

3. When that person “does the dishes” they move the marker to the next person.

4. When the next person “does the dishes” they move the marker to the person after them and so on…

The game is to see how fast you can move the marker. If you are clever you will check the fridge a few times a day to see if it is your turn and will quickly do the two cups and a bowl that are by the sink so you can move the marker to the next person. The next person may see a glass there, wash that and move it to the next person and so on. If you are clever and alert you never have more than a few dishes – even after a big meal. The funny part comes when someone gets “stuck” with more than a few. Like the time I went to bed early and said I would “do them in the morning” and ended up getting stuck with two days worth! Or the time we all quickly went through our turns and it ended up with Mosi again. She had thought she was so clever to do two cups and a fork and move the marker but it rotated back to her too quickly and she ended up with the dinner dishes.

The only rule is that you can’t create one dish just so you can do it and move the marker. And if there is a dinner party or guests we usually help each other out.

Try it. We are having a lot of fun and the dishes are getting done finally without stressing me out!


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