The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and you can finally get ready for warmer weather.
What better way to get your family into the spirit of the season than with a little spring cleaning for kids? Not only does this activity “de-winterize” your house, it also helps children learn about being helpful and the importance of keeping things tidy.
Wondering how to teach kids about making the house spick-and-span without causing too many tantrums or eye rolls? Simple: make the chores into a game, dole out rewards, and give your offspring a sense of pride in what they are doing. With these ideas in mind, make this spring the one where you get those little darlings off the couch and busy with the broom.
A Helpful Game
When you incorporate fun into spring cleaning for kids, the season gets better for everyone. One of the best ways to get your tots into the mood is by giving them their own, child-size cleaning tools.
A great option is the six-piece Dust, Sweep & Mop set by Melissa & Doug, which comes complete with a duster, dust pan, brush, and storage stand. The New Sprouts 6-piece Clean It Set of handheld kids’ cleaning tools by Learning Resources also proves useful, and is perfect for toddlers looking to scrub, spray, and pretend to vacuum. With tools like these, you can easily turn cleaning into a game by having your children mimic your actions and take on a small job themselves, or by racing each other to see who can clean the fastest.
Another fun method to use is the lottery approach. Simply write down easy chores that need to be done—and some that your kids think up—and put the strips of paper into a hat. Then, they can pick out a chore to do and see who can finish the most.
Awards and Accolades
Nothing makes kids feel more accomplished than positive reinforcement. If you’re wondering how to teach kids the importance of spring cleaning (while giving them something to strive for), it’s a great method. You don’t need to go overboard, either. For younger children, a sticker chart works wonders. Just get a piece of poster board and draw the floor plan of your house and write out or draw pictures representing different tasks that can be completed in each room. For example, the kitchen could have categories such as “clean the floor,” “put away the pots,” and “help empty out the fridge.”
Another fun way to praise your child’s work is by having a prize wheel. That way, when a chore is done, they can spin the wheel and see what they get. This could be anything from little knickknacks and warm-weather treats to a grand prize that’s perfect for playing with outside this coming summer. Make your own version or purchase the 15″ Dry Erase Prize Wheel (that way, you can use it for years to come).
Spring Cleaning Pride
Spring cleaning for kids can be one of the most rewarding weekend pastimes, especially when you use it to instill a sense of pride in the job. Give your children some control by letting them pick out non-toxic cleaning supplies such as the Free and Clear Natural All-Purpose Cleaner by Seventh Generation and some natural mop soap. Then, concentrate on an area and show them how to clean.
Share your secrets for proper dusting, the best way to organize the closet, or getting windows sparkling without streaks. It’s also a good idea to have energetic music playing, so make sure your boom box is cued up with your kids’ favorite songs. Or, if you have a teenager, consider letting them pick out a set of trendy headphones such as the Wireless Bluetooth Headphones by Skullcandy. That way, they can listen to their own music while getting ready for warmer days and they’ll have something special to use all summer long!