Get Ready, Get Set, Let the Cleaning Race Begin!
Introduce Your Child to the Whomp
Let the Toys do the Work
Kids need to development their imagination, and you can encourage this by showing them how their dolls and toys can do the cleaning. The entire process will take a little longer, but your kids may be more engaged in the activity. Use the toy bull dozer to clear an area, and then let Barbie sort through the pile. Your kids will also thrive with the individual attention from you.
Hide and Go Seek
You find treasures every time you clean. It may be that special earring you were searching for or a missing part for a tool. You understand this, but your kids don’t necessarily get it. This is a great time to start teaching them by turning cleaning sessions into a game of Hide and Seek. Put treats, stickers and even change under items. When your kids find the treasures, they get to find them. Make sure that you’re ready to supervise a lightning fast cleaning session because your kids are going to be anxious to pick up the next item for sure!
Go Fishing for Socks
If you have a basket for random socks, then you’re probably tired of being the only one who sorts it. Turn this dreaded chore into a family event by seating everyone in a circle, dividing up the socks, and playing a game of Go Fish. The one with the most pairs at the end wins.
Take Turns Being Inspector D. Clutter
If you want to keep the house tidy and clean all week long, then get the kids involved with policing everything. This game starts with a “clutter jail.” It can be a basket, bin, or box. Once a day, the assigned inspector dons a badge, grabs the basket, and goes through the common areas of the home looking for things that are out of place. The items go in the basket, and the owner has to do a chore to set it free. Parents are included in this, so it may force you to keep your purse in the proper space and put your phone back near the charger when you’re done.
Introduce the Handicap
In sports, someone who’s playing with a handicap might give other players a head start or a number of free points to even out the game. In cleaning, the handicap can be anything from only using one arm to clean or hopping on one leg to go put items away. This isn’t the most time-effective system, but it’s a great way to tire out the kids and get some chores done around the house.
Round up the family, tell them which room you’re cleaning, and then set the timer. You only have to clean until the buzzer goes off, but the trick is that everyone has to move as quickly as they can. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when the entire family works together, and the kids won’t get frustrated when they know there’s a clear end in sight.
Ditch the old chore chart and print out a Bingo card with chores written on it. During the course of the week, everyone has to choose a different chore to do and have you sign it off on the card. The first one to have Bingo wins a little prize, such as some cash, time with mom, or a special treat. This is a fun one that can work with kids of all ages, and you may keep the Bingo chart well into the teenage years.
It’s hard to get little kids to keep their spaces clean, but visual targets help them stay on track. If you want your daughter to sweep the kitchen floor, then put masking tape around one tile and have her sweep all the trash into that square. Little boys who are struggling to make the bowl when using the bathroom can aim for Cheerios that are dropped in. Put a basket in the playroom, toss all the toys in the basket, and then sort it out together.
Above all, make chore time fun by staying positive yourself. It does take longer to get the kids involved now, but you’ll appreciate the extra work when you have teenagers who are more willing to help around the house. Someday, you’ll have adult children who are more independent and better prepared to take care of themselves, and that’s ultimately your main goal.