I have to laugh at my girls.
When it’s time to vacuum, and I turn on the vacuum cleaner, I have one twin who shrieks in excitement and crawls around after me, watching me vacuum. Then I have another twin who bursts into tears and must be held while I’m vacuuming, trembling the entire time.
Some may say that one year old is a little soon for me to be able to notice their preferences and tendencies, but I’m not sure that’s the case. After all, the one who loves the vacuum cleaner is the one who IS like ME the most! But I feel like, eventually, I’m gonna have to talk the other one into helping out around the house.
Do YOU find it hard to get your kids motivated to help clean the house? I think the key is to have a little fun along the way!
Let’s be honest here – cleaning your home (or anything for that matter) isn’t exactly a job that fills you with excitement, so why should your kids feel any different? Most people would rather be doing a million and one other things than scrubbing and dusting surfaces, but these jobs still need to be done. So, if you sometimes struggle to get motivated to do the housework, how are you meant to entice your kids to get involved too? Make house cleaning fun and easy, of course!
Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, that’s easier said than done,” but you’d be wrong to think that way. There are actually plenty of fun things you can do to encourage your offspring to join in with the cleaning action – and here are some great ideas to help you achieve just that:
Have a house disco
Not only will listening to music make cleaning more enjoyable for everyone, including yourself, but it also helps to take your kids minds off the task at hand. You could get them to clean for one song then challenge them to a dance-off during the next. Just keep switching from cleaning to dancing so that your kids are always begging to be invited to your future house (cleaning) discos. Oh, and don’t forget to turn up those tunes and boogie YOUR way through all the housework, too.
Give them kid-sized cleaning tools
Giving your kids their own cleaning tools will help to make them feel grown up. You can find lots of great supplies at dollar stores, such as small feather dusters, spray bottles and buckets that are perfect for little hands. These days, you can even buy cute paper towels with all kinds of funky and child-friendly designs to keep them eager. Try creating proper cleaning kits for your helpers that are easy to carry around from room to room.
Hide treats around the house
Whether it be candy, a dollar store toy or money, a small treat is bound to get your kids excited about cleaning. Obviously, you’ll need to hide the treats in places that can only be discovered when their chores are complete. You don’t have to do this for all their chores, just 1 or 2 at the most.
Get your kids to pick chores out of a hat
You simply write down all the jobs that need doing on separate pieces of paper, scrunch them up and pop them into a hat (or bowl) and get your kids to pick their own chores. To make it more fun for your little ones, attach a snack to each piece of paper. If you know of any chores that your kids really don’t like doing, put their favorite treats on these ones to keep them motivated. Once they’ve completed their house cleaning tasks, they can then eat their snacks.
Challenge your kids to a cleaning contest
Every contest has to have a winner who receives a reward and your cleaning contest is no exception. Plus, an incentive always helps to make things more interesting for your kiddos and get the best results from them. Tell them you will reward a prize to whoever completes their jobs first or to the best standard. It could be that you let the winner pick your next takeout meal or choose a place to visit at the weekend. Just be sure to reward them with something you know they’ll love.
Make a pile in the center of the room
When the toys, crayons, books and clothes are scattered all over the room, your kids have no idea where to start. To prevent them from being put off by the enormity of the task in front of them, push everything into a pile in the center of the room. Then, turn it into a race and get them to see how quickly they can make the pile disappear. You can help them with this one, too.
Race against the clock
This one’s really simple. Set a timer and tell your kids to complete a task before the alarm rings. “Can you put all your toys away in 5 minutes? Ready, set, GO!” or “You have 10 minutes to collect all the dirty washing in your room. The clock starts NOW!” You get the idea. Also, make sure your ‘race against the clock’ sessions are short and sweet because your little darlings are not going to enjoy a four-hour cleaning marathon.
Always give them tasks they like
It may seem obvious, but it’s always better that your kids are actually happy to do specific tasks than do the things they don’t like. You can also encourage them to do these chores often so you don’t have to keep asking in the future. If your daughter or son prefers to load the dishwasher or help you do the dusting – let them do it. As for the jobs they’re not so keen on, it may be that they just don’t know how to do it right. If this is the case, teach them to give them cleaning confidence.
Play pick-up in categories
Rather than get your kids to pick up everything that needs to be put away, split things up into categories. So – pick up all the soft toys, or blocks, or puzzles. Alternatively, tell them to pick up as many blue, red or green things they can find. Give them a tote bag to put their things in while cleaning and to make it feel like a treasure hunt. This way, your kids will stay focused and think it’s more of a game than a cleaning session.
Pretend to be super (cleaning) heroes
Is it a bird? No. Is it a plane? No… it’s Super Dish Washer! Grab some capes, eye masks or whatever dress-up items you have and prepare to show off those awesome cleaning powers. You can all have superhero names, carry out your chores wearing costumes and see how much you can achieve in 30 minutes. It’s basically playtime with a little cleaning thrown in.
Know of any other fun and easy ways to get your kids to help out around the house? Don’t be shy – share your tips in the comments below!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!