Tips and Tricks For Getting Kids to Clean
Let’s face it: few people really enjoy cleaning. It’s just something we all have to do. Especially with the changing of seasons, it’s uplifting to eliminate clutter and give everything a good clean before we head outside to enjoy the sunshine of the spring and summer.
You can make spring-cleaning easier by getting everyone in the family to pitch in, including the kids! Try out some of these ideas to get your kids involved in the spring-cleaning fun:
First, start with a conversation. Younger children might have trouble understanding why they should help or what’s expected of them. Older children might be resistant to helping out with chores they don’t want to do. Explain to children why everyone needs to help to get the job done and the importance of their role in the process. You can also ask kids what chore they would prefer to do; many actually enjoy certain chores and will be pleased with the opportunity to pick the way they can contribute.
Assign age-appropriate tasks. It’s important to not give kids tasks outside the range of their current abilities. If you do, they could get frustrated and not want to help anymore. Instead, assign them roles in which you know they will succeed. Young children are able to wipe glass or pick up around the house. Older children can help with sweeping and vacuuming. There are plenty of jobs to go around so everyone can find a way to help that is perfect for them.
Break up large tasks into smaller steps. A broad task like “cleaning the living-room” can sound overwhelming to young ears. Instead, break it up into steps like “pick up the toys, vacuum the floor, and dust the furniture” that can be taken one at a time.
Provide positive reinforcement. A special treat like a sticker or money can go a long way in terms of motivating kids to help out during the big spring clean. It might help to make the reward fits the accomplishment; the bigger the task, the bigger the reward. You could promise a trip to their favorite restaurant or staying up to watch a movie once all the work is done. Either way, make sure to also encourage kids verbally while they work by letting them know what a good job they are doing and how much you appreciate their help.
Most importantly, make it fun! Blast some music and have a dance party while you clean. You can also play games to make the time fly by. Play a matching game with that big pile of socks. Race to see who can put away the most toys in the shortest amount of time. Turn the kitchen into a “skating rink” and have the kids sweep or mop while they “skate” around the room in some slippery socks. You can also make a sorting game to decide what gets thrown out, donated, or recycled (make sure textiles get sent to a yellow bin!) If you’re willing to let loose and have some fun, your kids will too!
Visit our Celebrate Spring homepage for other interesting spring cleaning tips and info.
*Ideas were drawn from inner child fun and The Children's Workshop
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