Easy Tips & Tricks to Get the Kids Involved with Cleaning Up: 10 Chores Turned into Games
In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and the job’s a game."Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers
We all love that scene in Mary Poppins when Julie Andrews tidies the children’s nursery perfectly with the click of her fingers, and we wish that cleaning our homes could be just as fast and simple.
Unfortunately, Easy2name doesn’t have the secret to instant clean-up (yet!) but we can give you some advice on how to make it easier; involve your children!
Some of you may be thinking, ‘hold on, surely this will make cleaning much harder? The kids will only draw things out with complaints and procrastination!’
Our answer to you is, although magical powers may be out of the question, the powers of persuasion are not! Use Mary Poppins’ mantra and turn the chores into a game with the tips below.
The key to every parents’ question, 'how do I get my kids to help me?', revolves around motivation.
No one wants to do a task if it seems boring and uninteresting. If you can simply pique your children’s interest, you’ve already won half the battle.
'And how do I motivate my children to do chores?' Simple - introduce a reward.
Now, this doesn’t need to be a bribing of sweets or trips out every time they pick up a few toys, but it could build up to this. Use a chore chart to keep track of your little one’s helpfulness and you could reward them at the end of each week if each box is ticked. Chore charts will also help incorporate tidying as part of a daily routine.
Let them lead
Have a discussion with your children about what tasks they think they are capable of. Help them write these down on bits of paper, put them in a jar and pick a task each day.
Remember to be supportive and encouraging of their efforts. Patience is important; a task that may take you 2 minutes might take them 20 but don’t take over the task yourself as this will discourage them from ever trying again. It may take time, but in the long run they’ll be pro dusters!
Cleaning: The Musical!
And of course, we can’t forget, the age-old motivator: music!
Create a playlist of songs you and your children love and turn cleaning into a dance party (more on this below in our list of chores turned into games!)
10 Chores Turned into Games
- Matching socks up with their friends – Ask your little one for help finding each sock their partner. After all, we don’t want them to be lonely! See who can make the most pairs in the fastest time.
- Spray the plants – OK so perhaps this isn’t a game per say, but what child doesn’t love spraying water everywhere? Keep a little spray bottle somewhere at their height, take them on a journey of the house and show them all the plants that they’re up against in this epic water battle and then all the ‘water-free zones’.
- Musically timed – As mentioned earlier, music is a great motivator, so task the kids to clean their room by the time their chosen song ends. Make things easier for them by labelling each toy’s spot in the room or writing a checklist of bits to tidy (e.g., make your bed).
- Can you dust better than me? – We’ve had the contest against music, and now it’s time for the match against the parents. Challenge your kids to find somewhere you’ve missed dusting and watch smugly as they race to call you out. The big win of this game is that kids have a different height point of view from adults so can easily reach and clean places we can’t (like that pesky bit under the cabinet).
- Making the bed is perilous – Heard of the ‘floor is lava’ game? Introduce it when making the bed. Kids will delight in having to dodge the floor whilst waving sheets about.
- Super-spray – If your child is into superheroes, get your hands on some comic book stickers (or even print photos out and tape them on) to stick on an empty spray bottle that you can then fill up with kid-safe cleaning solution. You’ll be shocked at how eager your child will be to clean when they’ve got their ‘special super-spray’!
- Odd socks for dusting – Make use of those old, unmatched socks by turning them into hand dusters. Tell each child to put a sock on as a glove and watch as they shoot around the house seeing how much dust they can pick up. For extra fun, put one on each hand and foot, and scoot around the floor polishing!
- Broom hockey – For sporty families, this floor cleaning trick is a must! Set up a pitch in your kitchen, using brooms as hockey sticks and dustpans as goals. The winning team is the one with the most dust in their goals!
- Recycling relay – Get the whole family involved by changing up how to take out the recycling. Don’t let anybody move while they’re holding onto a bag or item for recycling. Your family will need to make a line all the way from the kitchen to the recycling bin outside to pass the rubbish along. When a family member isn’t holding onto the bag, they can run from the back of the line to the front to move the chain further outside. Not only does this teach responsible recycling, but it also teaches cooperation and problem solving!
- Not musical chairs – Clean the kitchen counter by having your kids wipe down the surface along to a song. When the music stops, everyone has to stop moving. If someone keeps moving after the music stops, they’re ‘out’ for this round and the winner can pick the next song.
Label everything! Our Home Organisation Labels come in three designs, for your kitchen/pantry, playroom, or bathroom. Clear labelling of toys, games and belongings means kids can easily find what they’re looking for and you can spare yourself those extra 10 minutes of searching.
Plus, labelled boxes give no excuse to not tidy up at the end of the day now that they know exactly where things are meant to go!
For more labels and name tags, check out our full range at www.easy2name.com
Author: Anna Allam