It’s one thing to do all the cleaning when your kid is still a baby. But once they’re old enough to manage a broom, they’re old enough to help you clean. Not that their ability to clean makes it any easier to get them to actually clean. Most kids hate cleaning as much as they like having fun, which gives you an opportunity to turn cleaning into play time instead of chore time.
Here are some easy ways to make cleaning fun so your kids actually want to help you … instead of whining about it the entire time. Besides helping you, having your kids clean helps them become responsible and self-reliant. They develop good cleaning and organizing habits they’ll need later in life. Because no, mommy won’t come clean your dorm room for you when you head off to college.
Make It Look Fun
Oh yes, we’re THOSE parents. We make folding laundry look like fun. We match socks and smile while we do it. Do you know what our kids want to do in their spare time? Pretend to be us.
Use Kid-Sized Supplies
We buy our kids child-sized cleaning caddies and trollies as gifts and talk about how fun it is to sweep. They’re so excited to play with their new “toys” that they don’t even realize they’re doing chores … and I’m certainly not about to tell them. They’re having such a great time playing, and if they happen to sweep up some dust along the way, who am I to stop them?
Act out a Movie
We play Cinderella and Snow White, and then we clean. I’m usually the evil stepmother (how does that ALWAYS happen?), and our kids are the characters doing the cleaning. They’re having fun playing and cleaning at the same time. And I’m living happily ever after watching them.
Music makes everything better. Or wait, is it butter that makes everything better? Either way, my kids love to listen to music while they clean. I put on their favorite Pandora kid station, and they bop their way around the living room, picking up toys and dusting while they dance.
Set a Timer
Our kids love to race the clock. Going to grab their shoes? “Time me!” Putting away their dishes? “Time me!” Picking up all of the toys in the playroom? “Time me!” You see where I’m going with this. Cleaning’s a race against the clock, and they aren’t going to lose.
It doesn’t take much to make cleaning fun. It mostly comes from YOU. If you’re enjoying it and teaching them to enjoy it, they will. If you’re nagging them and yelling, chances are pretty slim that they’ll want to help you. So perk up, put a smile on that pretty face of yours and encourage your kids to do the same while they clean.