One of the great ironies of children is that they often love cleaning when they are little, and just when they are capable of lugging the vacuum up the stairs themselves and actually making a go of cleaning the carpet (instead of just one wobbly m-shaped spot), they lose interest! But, it is actually possible to turn your enthusiastic toddler cleaning fairy into a helper rather than a hinderer. If you’re lucky, they might still do it without complaining when they are fourteen!
– Buy your kids their own cleaning gear…apron, gloves, cleaning cloth and spray bottle with safe homemade cleaning products.
– Use music to keep your kids interested. One chore per song can keep it moving along, towards the end of the song have fun hurrying along.
– Remember to keep it FUN.
Advantages of cleaning with kids:
– Keep your kids distracted while you clean
– Teach your kids that cleaning is important for everyone in the family
– Show them HOW to clean the house, before long they will be actually contributing and making cleaning easier.
Keep kids safe when cleaning:
Keep all cleaning products stored high and away from your children
Supervise children in the kitchen and bathroom. Be particularly careful around water and chemicals.
Suitable chores for kids (age dependent, pick ideas that suit your child):
- DISHES: Wash the plastic, non-breakable dishes. Make sure the water isn’t too hot and that they know this MUST be done with an adult nearby
- PUT AWAY DISHES: Choose dishes that are safe for your children to handle. Consider allocating your child a cupboard with non-breakable items that they can access easily.
- DUSTING: When you are dusting or cleaning, give your child a cloth and a drying rag to clean too.
- MOPPING: It is probably a good idea for a parent to wring out the mop. Initially they may not be too helpful but with a bit of practice they will improve.
- SET TABLE: Set the table with plastic plates, cutlery.
- CLEAN TABLE: Wipe the table down after eating.
- FOLD WASHING: Help fold and put away their washing.
- LOAD WASHING MACHINE/DRYER: Put clean clothes into washing machine. Teach your children to check pockets for tissues and turn clothes in the right way. They may need help to start with. If your washing machine doesnt have a safety lock on it make sure your children only touch it when an adult is nearby. Load dryer as appropriate.
- BATHROOM: While you wash the bath & walls etc, wash your child’s bath toys first and then get them to dry them all, didn’t matter if they weren’t perfect because they were getting wet again anyway
Consider using homemade cleaning products that are kidsafe
Don’t expect to have a perfect house, keep it tidy and do what you can then let your children mess it up again
Hopefully these ideas will help free up some time to play with your child!
What cleaning jobs do your kids do?