As any mom knows, getting kids into competition mode can help get things done more quickly. But on occasion it can backfire, so you have to be clever in how you set up this fun twist on cleaning. Although you can hold the occasional "whoever makes their bed fastest gets to pick which movie we watch tonight," other techniques can work even better. For instance, assigning each child a bathtub and making the contest who can get their tub the cleanest will help ensure the job gets done thoroughly. It's a great opportunity to teach kids about proper cleaning techniques at a young age so they can get it done right for their whole lives. And of course, be sure to offer congratulations to all participants so they know they did good work and that you're proud of them even if they didn't necessarily "win."
Older kids and teens will be able to help out the most when it comes to cleaning, but that doesn't mean young children can't get in on the action as well. Kids love to mimic the actions of adults, so if you keep them by your side while you work, they'll learn a lot and likely be eager to take part. If you're dusting a bookshelf, little ones can help remove and stack the books in neat piles and then help you put them back when the shelf is clean. They can also be a big help when it comes to putting away their toys. If you don't have an organizational system for all their items, get a few bins, and let your little one help sort which toy belongs where. They'll provide you with company and entertainment while you work and also have the opportunity to learn along the way.
No matter our age, we all like to feel as though we're getting the best deal possible. Kids are more likely to tackle their cleaning tasks efficiently and happily if they feel as though it's something they've chosen to do. Rather than telling your child which task he has to do, give him a few options to choose from. He might not love vacuuming, but knowing he's doing that rather than dusting or cleaning the toilet bowls might be just the boost in motivation he needs.
Cleaning the house doesn't have to feel like a terrible task, especially when you're all working together. To get kids pumped, play some fun music throughout the house. You can sing, dance and chat away as you work. If you're working on the same room, play a game too, like Twenty Questions or I Spy, to take their minds off the lengthy process that might be ahead of them. It's also a nice idea to prepare their favourite snacks and drinks for break time so they have something to look forward to.
How do you get your kids to help out with cleaning? Let us know in the comment section below!
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