When your little ones are finally at an appropriate age (4 years or older), it’s the perfect time to teach them how to clean up after themselves. This comes as a relief to many parents that have enough on their plate without the added work of cleaning and tidying up the little messes made by their young ones. Of course, there are different types of chores that are suitable for different age groups; for example, you can’t have a 4-year-old carrying a large trash bag out to the curb when their only responsibility (at that age) is to put their toys away. Chores like taking the trash out are suitable for older kids that are allowed to play outside without needing constant supervision.
There are many reasons why it is important for kids to do chores at home; apart from helping their parents out, the act of doing housework at a young age helps to instill lifelong lessons related to discipline and responsibility, among other values that shape them as individuals. As much as we disliked doing chores when we were kids, it’s safe to say that we’re all thankful for those teachings because it helped prepare us to maintain a clean and tidy home of our own.
Although looking back, there may be a couple of things you wished your parents did differently to make cleaning a little more fun for you. Well, here are some ideas you can incorporate to make chores more fun for YOUR kids, as well as a bunch of easy tasks you can have them do to keep your home tidy.
Put on Some Music to Get Them Shaking and Cleaning!
Kids love music! With some of their favourite tunes setting the mood, cleaning time will instantly become more fun! This would be the perfect time to do more active chores around the house like dusting, sweeping, putting away toys, etc. Anything that keeps them on their feet and shaking about is sure to keep their spirits up and smiles on their faces! Of course, this can easily turn into a case of all fun and games for your kids so be sure to come around from time to time and supervise them. You could even join in the groovy action and get some chuckles out of them!
Make a Game Out of It!
Cleaning and tidying up against the clock is a great way to motivate kids to clean, while also making a fun game out of it. Of course, this would also have to incorporate a game of ‘who did it better’ so that they aren’t just cleaning in a haste! Some might call it trickery, but the bottom line is that it’s fun for the kids, and it gets the job done! Children, especially siblings, enjoy playing games with each other and, more so, the thrill of winning, so why not incorporate a game into your kids’ chores? Some incentive will also go a long way in ensuring that they are motivated to do their chores on time, and efficiently. This may be in the form of an allowance, or rewards such as outings, extra T.V. time, making their favourite dessert, etc.
Give Them Outdoor Chores (Kids Love Being Outside)
In the cool of the evening sun (or on a cloudy day), have your kids help with some yard chores like raking leaves, watering plants and other gardening activities. These are simple chores for kids to do (with adult supervision, of course). Bathing the family pet is also a good chore to have the kids take care of; they love spending time with their furry friends and will enjoy all the splashing around too! However, in all that fun, make sure that they get the job done by guiding them every step of the way. Related chores like pet-proofing your home, feeding pets, taking them out, and cleaning up after them, are all great ways to teach kids the responsibilities that come with caring for a pet.
Tell Stories and Clean at the Same Time!
Whether they’re fictional, or funny stories about your childhood, telling a story can be the perfect, fun distraction when doing ‘boring’ chores like folding laundry, putting clothes away, making beds, and the likes. All you have to do is give your kids instructions prior to starting a story so that there aren’t too many interruptions while you’re talking, and watch how quietly they do the work while listening to every word you say! It’s also a good idea to allow them to tell their own stories while you listen and get other chores done; kids like to be heard, and sharing stories is always an enjoyable activity for them.
Give Out Points/Stars and Have a Weekly Competition
Making beds, folding laundry, setting up/clearing the table, tidying up rooms, and many other cleaning tasks can all be a drag for kids; BUT, not if you make it a competition wherein each child is awarded points/stars for every cleaning task they complete. To highlight the importance of doing chores in an effective and timely manner, grade each task on the level of efficiency and time taken to complete it. At the end of the week, tally the points and give out rewards! Apart from siblings, kids also enjoy competing with their parents; however, it’s important that you let them win more often than not to keep them happy (that’s what it’s all about, isn’t?)!
Here are some chores for kids which can be graded and used in the competition:
- Wiping furniture
- Tidying up desks/tables
- Sweeping and mopping floors
- Folding and putting laundry away (neatly)
- Putting away groceries
- Cleaning the family pet’s food and water bowls
- Washing and putting away dishes (for older kids)
- Straightening out the living room
- Making beds
- Washing their bikes
- Putting books and toys away
- Cleaning bathrooms (for older kids)
- Washing windows (for older kids)
- Clearing the dining table and wiping it thereafter
- Cleaning their bedroom
If you can think of more chores to include for the weekly competition, put them on the list!
Make a Weekly Schedule for Your Kids to Follow
To distribute the chores evenly and not put too much pressure on your kids, make a weekly cleaning schedule to ensure that they don’t have to do difficult chores back to back. Chores like washing windows, bathrooms and their bikes can be done once a week while dusting, sweeping and mopping can be done every alternate day (per child). Encourage them to look at their duties for the day on the schedule and carry them out without you having to prompt them every day when cleaning time comes around. More importantly, use the ideas above to make cleaning a fun activity; don’t be hard on them when things aren’t done the way you want them to be (at least they’re making the effort), and reward them for their hard work so that everybody’s happy!
If this advice has been of use to you, we’ve got many more household cleaning tips and guides at Simply Maid to make your life a little more convenient, and your home a lot cleaner! You can also hire a professional cleaning with us via a simple online booking or call. We understand the difficulties of having kids and maintaining a spick and span home so allow us to take care of all your cleaning needs for a reasonable rate! Check out our services page for more information on the cleaning solutions we offer, as well as our charges.