Let’s face it: cleaning is a challenge on the best of days, but that’s especially true if you have children running around the house, running to school, and running to all of their activities. This leaves busy parents with little to no time to tidy up around the house or—a dream of dreams—do a deep clean of the garage.
As messy as your home gets, you’ll still be bombarded with work and other obligations, not to mention needing some time with your family.
Why not combine spring cleaning and time with the fam? Hear me out: This doesn’t have to be a marathon torture-fest of scrubbing toilets and clearing out the fridge, cleaning can be fun! Yes, it’s true. You and your kids can make cleaning seem like playtime … almost. To quote Mary Poppins: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and—snap!—the job’s a game.”
Now, don’t expect your kids to do the job of a professional cleaning service. But a few items of clothing sorted correctly or toys picked up in their proper place can add an extra 15 minutes to your day. And as all parents know those precious minutes add up.
When you’re spring cleaning with your kid, you’re not only having fun watching them navigate the wild world of home care, but you’re teaching them valuable lessons in responsibility and respect for their things. It’s kind of like sneaking broccoli into mac and cheese — or “a spoonful of sugar” as our good friend Mary would say.
5 Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Fun for Kids
By Candice Shaffer of 98 Front, 888 at Grand Hope Park, 520 West 28th Street,Cobalt Lofts, 25 Park Row, 200 Amsterdam & Aro
Make Your Cleaning Products Together
If you are going to have your kids help out around the house, why not let them help make the products they are going to be cleaning with? Throw away all of those toxic chemicals and break out some household items like vinegar, lemon juice, essential oils, and good old-fashioned dish soap. Soap and water get out almost any stain and grime.
If your child wants to get in on the scrubbing action, make sure you use a hypoallergenic soap for their sensitive skin. The same goes for any materials you use even if they are all-natural. With a little caution, you and the little ones will have an arsenal of top-of-the-line homemade cleaning products.
Sort Things Out
Obviously, your kids aren’t going to be detailing the stove or lifting vacuum cleaners up and down the steps, so it’s essential to give them small (but meaningful) tasks. I recommend playing the sorting game. What is the sorting game? It’s whatever you want it to be: sorting clothing into colors, sorting toys by size, you get the drift.
A clean room is a reward in and of itself. Try telling that to your 7-year-old who just organized and dusted off her bookshelf. Rewarding your child for a job well done is positive reinforcement, and perhaps it’s a little bribing, but they’ll associating cleaning with good feelings the rest of their lives.
Set That Timer!
No matter what you do, parents from around the web recommend making cleaning with kids a short and sweet session. Make sure you have a set timer. And as a bonus, you can use the timer to make tidying a contest. “Who can put all of their toys away in five minutes? Go!” Of course, you’ll give them a prize if they make it.
Make Spring Cleaning Fun for Kids by Having a Dance Party!
Turn up the tunes and put their favorite song on—even if it’s “Baby Shark”— turn chore time into a party with dance breaks and sing-a-longs. There is no better way to make cleaning fun for kids than break out some moves and spend some quality time together!