Cleaning can be a chore. It can take a lot of time out of our busy schedules when, let’s be honest, we would much rather be doing something more fun. Rather than taking on all of the cleaning tasks by yourself, you can get the whole family involved and cut your cleaning time significantly. For example, I handle the bathrooms, while my husband dusts and vacuums. We generally tackle the kitchen together.
If you have kids, it’s okay to get them involved too. Obviously you can’t expect a three-year-old to wash windows, but that toddler could help pick up his or her toys and put them in the toy box. If you set realistic cleaning goals for each member of the family, you’ll get the cleaning done quickly and have time to enjoy other activities. With that said, here are three tips to get your kids involved in the cleaning. (Thanks to our friends over at Stain Talk for some of these great tips!)
1. Make cleaning fun. If you make it seem like a chore, they won’t want to help. Make it a game, and you’ll get some help. One idea is to set a timer and have kids see which of them can pick up and put away the most toys before the timer beeps. Turn up the music and make a cleaning dance party and see how many toys can get picked up during each song. Try to beat that amount with each song. You can even teach young kids to dust. With a good dusting wand, cleaning up is like a magic trick. See the dust, swipe the duster and bam – it’s gone! We would love to hear how you make cleaning fun! Post ideas in the comments section below.
2. Teach what clean means. You can’t expect a child to clean up properly if you don’t tell him/her exactly what you want. Create an age-appropriate checklist (you can use pictures for younger children) so they see what you want. Ideas include making their bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and picking up their toys. As your children get older, they can help do dishes, wash the laundry, clean their bathrooms and vacuum.
3. Reward their efforts. I am not suggesting that your child needs a special treat each time s/he completes their chores. That can get expensive. If your child gets an allowance, you can make it contingent on finishing their chores/cleaning. Maybe they get extra play time with mommy or daddy when they’re done or a bonus 30 minutes of television. Regardless of what you decide, make it something your child will enjoy so s/he will be sure to help out.
What are your tips for getting kids involved in cleaning? Post them in the comments section and we might use them in a future blog post!