Raise your hand if you love cleaning. Raise your hand if your kids like cleaning. Yes, it is true that most toddlers love pretend vacuuming, dusting and sweeping…but generally speaking by the time kids reach the tween years they are much less interested…total understatement.
However, I knew that there had to be a way to get kids cleaning. So with the spring weather comes spring cleaning and in a busy house the task shouldn’t fall solely on Mom and Dad. Everyone in a house has to pitch in – right? Over the years I have found different ways to get the kids to help clean and I’ve gathered up my tips here. Spring cleaning with kids can’t be completely unattainable…can it?
Tips for Spring Cleaning with Kids
5 Minute Clean Up: A favourite cleaning up “game” in our house is the 5 minute clean up. Start by finding a super fun song that is about 5 minutes long. For example Pharell William’s song, Happy is 4:08 long…run it twice and you actually can have the kids cleaning for close to 10 minutes…happy! We choose a room, assign a task and crank up the music. Everyone is singing, dancing and most importantly cleaning.
Craft Time: How many times does the mess actually get in the way of being able to play comfortably? How awesome is it to sit down and spend some time getting crafty in a clean space? My kids came up with this idea. This doesn’t involve spending any money on a special reward, just appreciating hard work, enjoying the clutter free space and getting creative…after the chore is done.
The Lure of Candy & Treats: Clearly my girls came up with this one…I actually don’t mind this idea. Set an amount of time to clean, assign a task to be done and determine what the reward will be at the end. Now, just because you dusted the living room doesn’t mean you get a mountain of sugary sweets. Perhaps, the reward is a walk to the local candy shop and the selection of something special. I really see nothing wrong with this. Yes, we should all innately want to clean up…but some of us don’t have this internal drive. I know when I’m done working hard on something I will reward myself with a cup of tea or, maybe a glass wine. For kids who rarely get sweets from the candy shop – this is a fitting recognition of their helpful behaviour.
Be A Teacher: How do I clean the toilet? Which vacuum attachment should I be using? Spring cleaning can be an overwhelming chore for anyone, let alone a kid. Set aside some time to help teach your kids how to clean. Show them your tips and tricks and the standard of cleanliness you are looking for…they might have a few new ideas for you too. Taking the time now, will pay off in the long run.
KISS: We all know this one; Keep It Simple Silly. Keep the cleaning supplies in a logical location. Have everything your tween will need to clean in one spot and ready to go. Store the cleaning supplies, brushes and cleaning cloths together in a basket or bin. Aspen Clean products are actually colour coordinated to the appropriate microfibre cloth, how cool is that?! The easier everything is to find, the faster you can get started and finish.
Clean Safely: Okay, this one was my idea…not the kids’. I remember when I was a kid, cleaning up meant everything had that artificial lemon scent afterwards…you know what I mean. When I was done cleaning the bathroom I’d have a mild headache, which I mistakenly thought was me being “allergic to cleaning“. Now I know better. Choose cleaning products that are safe for kids and adults to use. Let little ones do the dusting with a reusable microfibre cloth. For most of our cleaning, we use a spray bottle filled with water and vinegar (3:1 ratio). For hard scrubs we bust out the baking soda. Our rooms are left clean and fresh…no overwhelming artificial scents lingering in the air.
What do you use to clean your house? Any tips to share?
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