As you open your windows, hot coffee in hand, on a beautiful spring morning and the scents of the early dew and newly bloomed flowers reach out to you, you might be feeling that annual urge of spring cleaning, but you know your kids are definitely not.
Cleaning: Most likely one of your kid’s least favorite words… of all time. You know they’re not experiencing any sort of mystical urge to get cleaning and we’re right there with you so we’ve compiled 4 ways you can turn their frowns about having to clean upside down and even develop their skills in multiple areas!
Make it a music filled party
You’ll have the house clean before you know it if you have a fun playlist playing in the background! Music always makes time seem to pass faster and when we play songs we like, it lifts our mood too! Take turns with your kids adding songs to the queue so everyone gets to hear their favorite tunes or sit down with them before hand and create a playlist for however long you want to clean. Move and groove on over to a tidier home space!
With your younger kids, playing a game of “wax museum,” where your children must freeze in place like a statue every time the music stops always makes for a fun time. This is an entertaining yet amazing exercise for balance, coordination, full body reflexes, and never-ending giggles. All of these helps improve fine and gross motor skills, not to mention, music does too!
Create a reward-based checklist
This will have any kid or teen racing to their next chore. Create a list of tasks they know how to complete on their own or with a sibling (team work) and write down the reward they’ll receive for completing that task next to it. At the end of the time frame you set, have them come back to you to tally up their rewards! Money and screen time are common (and usually really loved) rewards but kids are always motivated by different things so make sure to ask them what kind of rewards they’d like to see on their personal list. Get creative for harder tasks – listing a “mystery reward” creates a lot of enthusiasm!
Studies have shown that we all perform better when we have written down what we need to do – this goes for kids too! Plus, crossing something off a to-do list is very motivating. It provides a sense of healthy pride in a job well-done.
Head to the kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home! Being the most used space in the house, it’s one of the easiest places to find age-appropriate tasks and once all clean and complete, will save you time and stress when dinner time comes around.
Have them assist you with emptying the overflowing junk drawer or any other space that’s holding regularly passed by kitchen clutter. There’s always stuff in there that doesn’t need to be kept any longer. If you have multiple utensils or random gadgets that are never really used, let them pick which ones you should keep and which should be donated. Donating unused items help children make a powerful connection between the items that are no longer needed and how they can help people in their community.
For your remaining utensils and other items on the counter, invest in a quality organizer like the sousShelf. This kitchen essential will not only keep your kitchen more beautifully arranged but will make your day-to-day life and digital recipe reading a little easier with it’s phone/tablet holder.
Shop the sousShelf here
Alphabetize, label, and organize the pantry
This is going to be a lot of fun especially if you use these TikTok pantry aesthetics as your inspiration! POPSUGAR compiled these pantry-organization videos that'll take you down a magical digital stroll filled with containers and labels organized to absolute perfection!
Once you decide on your favorite style organizers, a great way to get your kids involved in this project is to have them choose the layout of the newly organized bins. This exercise, similar to a game of Tetris, will help with your child’s critical thinking as well as decision making! It’ll also show them that you acknowledge and value their opinions. All of these special benefits have proven to increase entrepreneurial skills in your little one.
Pantry makeover by @therealcindyology
That spring cleaning fever is an outstanding development opportunity for your kids in many different aspects of life with the added benefit of a clean house for everyone!
“Cleaning activities give parents an opportunity to praise their children for genuinely assisting in the completion of a job instead of empty praise connected to little effort. Children of all ages respond to a positive feedback loop regardless of how small or meaningless the task may seem to be.”
–Dr. Jennifer Guttman, PsyD Clinical Psychologist