Spring cleaning with kids around can be a bit of a nightmare. They’re constantly asking you for things and interrupting you while you try to get everything done.
But, what if you could get them involved in the cleaning process instead?
Just like kids have regular weekly chores they do, spring cleaning can be a chore they know they will be helping you with each year.
In fact, you might even discover that they look forward to cleaning if you do it right. Doing things like preparing them in advance, and making the process fun can make a huge difference in how they react.
Use these tips to get your kids involved in spring cleaning each year as a regular part of their chores.
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Need more ideas? Try the 7-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge for Kids
Involve Kids in Planning
When the time comes to put together your Spring Cleaning plan, make it a family affair.
Have drinks and treats on the table then layout all the tasks that need to be completed.
Ask your kids which chores they would like to do. If they decide they want to do something that isn’t age-appropriate then explain to them why you don’t think it’s a good fit for them and offer them a few other choices like cleaning windows or dusting baseboards.
It’s important to make them feel like they are a part of the decision-making process so include them as much as you can.
Warn them Cleaning Day is Coming
Start warning the kids early that Spring Cleaning Day is coming.
If you’re going to clean on a Saturday give them plenty of notice. Make sure by Monday morning of that week it is on the calendar.
Even better if they see you put it on the calendar or put it there themselves.
Finally, on Friday, before bed remind them again that tomorrow is cleaning day. This way it can’t possibly be a surprise to them.
Take them shopping with you
During the middle of the week ask them if they want to go with you to get cleaning supplies for the weekend. This will serve as another reminder that cleaning day is coming.
Don’t just drag them along for another boring shopping trip, actually get them involved.
Grab some fun kid-friendly cleaning supplies like:
- fun cleaning gloves
- child-sized cleaning caddy
- colorful cleaning cloths and dusters
- anything else you think will make them excited to help out
Tip: If you can’t make it to the store to grab supplies with your kids, it can be just as fun to shop online and pick out what you need. You may even find more options!
Praise Them After Each Task
Be sure to inspect after they complete each task that is assigned to them and praise them for doing a good job.
After you’ve praised them give a few gentle suggestions on spots they may have missed or other ways they can improve.
It’s important to get that praise in first though as it will boost their self-esteem and give them fuel to continue on.
Make it Fun
Try to make the cleaning process fun, or at least as fun as cleaning can be.
Turn tasks into games like “Expiration Date Detective” or “Follow the Leader Wall Scrubbing”.
If you have a little one who is in the process of learning the alphabet or has just learned it then ask them to alphabetize the spice drawer.
Finally, during the planning process ask everyone to name 10 of their favorite songs and put together a playlist for the whole family.
Be sure to mix it up so you never know when you’ll have The Wheels on the Bus being followed up by Green Day. Make sure you include songs for yourself in the playlist, too!
The excitement of hearing the song you picked come on will give you a renewed boost of energy and drive to keep going.
Do Something to Celebrate at the End of the Day
Make sure the kids know that at the end of the day when the job is done they have something to look forward to.
This might be an ice cream sundae buffet or sitting down to eat a pizza while watching a movie.
Having a reward to look forward to will keep them motivated throughout the day.
If motivation seems to be dropping a bit during the day get them thinking about that celebration. Ask them what kind of toppings they want on their pizza when the job is done or ask them what they want on their ice cream sundae when you’re finished cleaning.
Be sure to mention in a non-threatening way that they only get the reward if the job is done. You can say things like “What would you like on your pizza after we finish cleaning?” or “Do you want chocolate sauce or strawberry sauce on your sundae when we’re done cleaning?”
As you can see, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be just for adults. Kids can get involved and even enjoy the process.
With a bit of planning in advance, spring cleaning can go from a job nobody wants to do to a job you and the kids look forward to.