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toddler mopping kitchen floor

Spring cleaning isn’t just a one-person job. Here are 4 ways to get the kids involved and invested in the care and maintenance of their home.

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Just because kids traditionally don’t love chores doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful during spring cleaning. With a good understanding of what tasks kids can do and the willingness to make cleaning a little more fun, your kids can help you tidy up the home. It may not be the most glamorous activity, but it can become fun family bonding time.

1. Play a racing game

Try this with your young child, through elementary school age. If the floor of the living room, play room, or kids’ room is strewn with toys, books, and crafts, turn cleaning it all up into a game. If you’ve just got one kid, challenge your child to a race. See how much you and your child can pick up while you play a fun song you both love. Make it about teamwork, not competition. Because everyone benefits from the effort, right?

2. Organize by color

For kids in preschool or kindergarten, try challenging them to pick up and put away all the red toys in the room. Then do blue, green, orange, and the rest of the rainbow until all of the clutter is cleaned up. You can also get them to help you sort the laundry this same way.

3. Do some make-believe magic

If you’ve got a pantry full of expired foods or a lot of old toys and clothes that need to be sorted, create a new setting for the task. Make your kindergarten and first-grade kids proprietors of their own cleaning and sorting business or pretend there’s a dragon outside that needs to be fed with the expired food. You know your kids best, so you know which kinds of stories they’re most likely to respond to.

With this option, be careful that the fun of weaving a narrative doesn’t overwhelm the task at hand. Keep whatever story you create small and focused on the cleaning and organizing. If your kids get really into storytelling, play a real game of make-believe as a reward once the cleaning is done.

4. Encourage them to volunteer for tasks

Create a list of spring cleaning tasks you want to get done and you think your kids are capable of helping with. Then instead of assigning them tasks and nagging them to finish, have them sign up for the tasks they’re most interested in completing. Make some of them small individual tasks and others bigger teamwork tasks. You and your partner can add your names to the list, too, so the whole family is involved.

Kids want to help

Make spring cleaning more enjoyable for both you and your kids with some of these ideasEven though some kids grouse about chores, over all, kids love to help. This is especially true when they know their efforts are valued.  . Even a little extra help can go a long way, and you might just create some new family cleaning traditions your kids will enjoy for years to come.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.