Tips for Getting Your Kids to Help with Cleaning
Guest post by Naomi Shaw
Spring cleaning is on the horizon and you know that a little help can go a long way. How can you possibly lighten such a daunting load? It's time to try a team approach this spring. Many hands make light work, so how do you get the kids to pitch in when it's time to spring-clean the house?
Why should you convince your kids to help?
Having your kids work with you as a team will teach them useful cleaning skills and, most importantly, encourage them to have a positive attitude towards household chores.
So, how do you get them to help?
Take the time to teach
This innovative mother, cleaning guru, and smart taskmaster stresses the value of patience when you’re teaching kids how to clean.
- Teaching your kids the cleaning process may double the amount of time it normally takes you.
- Allowing your child to make mistakes is oftentimes the quickest way for them to learn. Try not to micromanage, but make sure they’re not surrounded by cleaning hazards.
- Having the patience to teach will pay off later on when they can do chores without your assistance.
Turn on the music
Upbeat music and a game of wax museum, where the kids have to freeze in place every time the music stops, is a sure way to make cleaning a fun activity.
- Whether you’re sweeping the living room floor or putting toys in their proper place, this simple game can turn any mundane task into a frenzy of giggles.
Take out your voice and give them a choice
Kids have a very powerful ability to tune out the voice of authority, especially when it comes to tedious household chores.
- Instead of verbally dictating these tasks, write down a list of chores that need to be done and let the kids choose which ones they want to do.
- Make the chores seem fun by spicing up the labels. Instead of writing “dust mopping,” write “mop dancing” or “mop monster.”
Glide for bunnies
Turn the usual dust mopping chore into a gliding and sliding fun activity for kids.
- Using old socks or rags, have the kids mop up dust bunnies with their feet.
- Add more excitement by letting them use all fours while pretending to be a “cleaning monster.” Rawr!
Play the detective game
Clean out your fridge of expired items and dub your child the “date detective.”
- Teach your child how to read expiration dates by having him search through the fridge for expired items.
- Have him or her dispose of the food properly and sort the containers into the proper categories: recycling, compost, or trash.
Follow your little leader
Whoever has the apron and the spray bottle is the leader!
- The king or queen of cleaning must walk through the house and dust certain spots or arrange specific objects neatly, while the others must follow suit.
- Make sure your child is using a non-toxic cleaning solution, as sometimes using a spray bottle can be a little too much fun.
- Play this well-known marching song to get them in the mood for marching around the house.
Now you can clean the house more quickly, teach your kids the value of hard work and independence and have a blast, all at the same time. Happy spring cleaning!
Naomi Shaw is stay-at-home mom in Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for 7 years, she works full-time as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about DIY crafts and mommy tips providing insight, advice, and more! She hopes you enjoy this article. Connect with her on G+.