The mutual feeling that spring-cleaning seems to bring to everyone is generally the same…. dread. Usually it is just the fact that the task is such a giant chore that putting it off as long as possible normally happens. What also normally happens is that you think your toddler is too young; your teenagers are too lazy, or at whatever age are just not interested in helping.
The way you approach the task of spring-cleaning to your kids might be the issue when it comes to their interest in the chore. A great way to make sure that your child is optimizing the most out of their cleaning time is to make sure to assign tasks that are age appropriate. These age appropriate tasks can become a tradition in your family encouraging your kids to accomplish more. Here are some more ideas that can motivate your kids to help cleaning more.
Dealing With Toddlers – Late Elementary School Ages
No, they are not too young to help. It is good to get them in a habit of helping from a young age. This might be obvious, but I have to point it out anyways: You are asking a toddler to help clean so please do not expect it to be anywhere near close to as well as you clean. In these circumstances involving toddlers you should pick areas, like the laundry room or garage, where it is okay when it not cleaned perfectly one time around.
If you need some ideas for how to get your toddler more involved then here is a few that are age appropriate:
Have your toddler handle the hose and wash off the car once you are done washing it. If they want to help with actually washing the car then that is also not a big deal to have them help scrub. Remember to warn them from the beginning that soap can be dangerous as well as keep a close eye on them in the beginning just to be extra safe.
Another chore that a toddler can accomplish is controlling the vacuum cleaner. You can assign them specific areas or a specific room and let them go! A few warnings are to start them off in a room with nothing glass they could knock over at their level as well as making sure the room is clear of any larger objects that can clog up the vacuum.
Dusting the appropriate areas of your house could also be a nice and easy task for your kids. Again, this leaves many breakable items at risk so either supervise or clear out anything you would be afraid would break.
Here are a few ideas for how to get your early grade school kids more involved with spring-cleaning:
Considering that these children are a bit older, they can be trusted to handle more than the toddlers. One of the first things they should be able to handle is cleaning up toys all by themselves. When cleaning, you can label bins and have your child separate them into “keep,” “give away,” and “throw away” then have your child go through and separate. This teaches them organization, responsibility, and even charity. One more little piece of advice for this chore is to make the “keep” bin the smallest out of the 3. Let you child know that only the things that fit in the “keep” bin is what they are allowed to keep.
You can also start to introduce your kids to folding simple laundry like towels or washcloths. This gives them an idea of how laundry works as well as is getting them prepared for folding more complicated laundry.
If you have any windows that they can reach at this age (or the bottom sections of windows) it would be great practice to get them started on how to properly wash windows. Just make sure this chore involves no latters/no places they should have to stand on in order to reach.
At the end of the day, with this young of an age group, it is a good idea to offer rewards for your kids for helping out. This will lead to incentives to help out more in the future as well as give your children a sense of accomplishment.