It is time for Spring cleaning, and with my kids getting older, I have decided to include them in this year’s big clean up. They won’t be handling chemicals or stirring up dust, but I do have a list of chores that I will be giving them. Kids and chores don’t exactly gravitate to each other, so I’m going to try to make it as fun as I can. Since I’m sure someone out there has the same dilemma, here’s a few ideas that I plan on using to help bring more fun to the big cleanup!
1. Make a Chart
I don’t know why, but there is just something about charts that seem to help my kids stay on track. Maybe it’s because they can visually see their progress, or maybe they just really love stickers, but either way it works! Judah loves racking up his stickers, and at the end of the week, if he has no blank spaces, he will get a little reward. I’m a big believer in non-food rewards, so they are usually something like getting to pick a movie for movie night, going to the playground one extra day, or having an extra hour outside. By using a chart system during Spring cleaning, we can cross off all of our to-do’s and see a list of everything that needs to be done all in the same place.
2. Donation Perks
My kids don’t yet understand the concept of giving things away. When I say “let’s give this to someone who could use it”, all they hear is “I’m taking away something that’s yours.” I don’t want them to feel that way, so I have started doing a give and take system. If they want something new, they have to add two of their toys to the donation box. I have also started talking to them about why we donate, and I feel like they are starting to see that it is good to give to others. During Spring cleaning, I do a pretty major purge throughout the house, so when we do a clean sweep of their rooms I *hope* to have very little push back. And, knowing that giving makes more room for new, more grown up things is something that I’m sure they are looking forward to!
3. Let them do the big work
My kids love to do the big stuff. They are always asking to use the vacuum, the carpet shampooer, the leaf blower (they can’t do this one yet), the washing machine, or load the dishwasher when it is cleaning time. I’m sure it stems from their desire to be part of things, because this type of work makes them feel needed, which is kinda perfect. And, it is one less thing I have to take care of! Out of all the big chores we have around the house, their favorite is helping to clean the carpet, which can sometimes be a pretty big job.
Between kids, a dog, crafts, food, mud, everyday life, and whatever else we throw at it, it sees tons of messes. Normal vacuuming isn’t always enough for us, so we shampoo it at least once a month. I have no idea why, but the kids love this part most of all. It probably has something to do with how cool it is to watch the suds get sucked up and then walking barefoot on the wet carpet, but whatever it is, it makes them giddy to be part of!
Luckily, I just got a brand new Bissell ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet Upright Carpet Cleaner at Walmart and it is fabulous! Our old cleaner was much heavier than this one, with non of the scrubbing power. I love that it is lightweight enough for the kids to use, and maneuvers very easily. (Check out Bissell.com for all kinds of formulas and options to suit your needs)
Since messes are our thing, we use Bissell’s Scotchguard formulas which not only repel stains and spoils, but it protects our carpet to keep it looking fresher and newer longer. These are perfect for pets and high traffic areas, which is basically our whole house!
Since cleaning the carpet isn’t exactly the quickest of tasks, we break off and have dance parties in between runs, and the kids think it is great! And yes, sometimes they do dance on the couch. Because fun!
4. Keep chores light and easy
I’ve found that when kids are little (6 and under) it’s best to keep chores light and easy. Right now, Judah has 5 main chores to do each week: make his bed, hang up his clothes, help empty the dishwasher, clean up after himself, and help me with the laundry. It isn’t much, and it isn’t anything that he has trouble doing, so I’m not setting him up to fail. As he gets older, he will have more, but for right now, I chose these few because they are chores that will help him succeed.
5. When in doubt, have a dance party
Like I said earlier, sometimes you just gotta stop and dance! There isn’t a set time period to get it all done, and family time is so incredibly important, so get some cleaning done, take a break, have some fun, and laugh all the way through it!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.