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Spring cleaning is a big project that often leaves us feeling overwhelmed. Just looking at our spring cleaning checklist makes us tired. At least that’s the vibe I got from the group of moms who joined our spring cleaning Facebook live party. We all agreed it would be great to involve the entire family in our efforts. But, as moms know, sometimes overseeing our children’s cleaning projects is more time consuming than just doing it ourselves.
There are several benefits to including our kids in spring cleaning projects around our home. For us, anything that forces our boys to shut down their video games, even for only an hour, can be a huge win. It also teaches them how to do housework. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought something was self-explanatory, only to end up needing to teach them the process step-by-step. Pitching in also teaches responsibility and good work habits.
So, what are the best ways to involve our kids in spring cleaning projects? Check out this list containing a few ideas:
Take it one room at a time. Often times, my kids get distracted in the middle of a project and I lose them to something else. Gather your family and work together in one room until it is finished, then move on to the next room. When your little (or not-so-little) ones get antsy, give them the go-getter duties of running back and forth to grab supplies or put items away where they belong.
When we bring up cleaning to our kids we hear a lot of complaining. In their minds, they’ll be at it all day (as if that has EVER happened). One way to get their undivided attention is by giving them a time-frame of how long we expect them to work. Set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes. Give us 30 minutes of solid help, earn 30 minutes of screen time. That there’s a win-win.
Sometimes, occupying our children while we work is all the help we need. This can be accomplished a number of different ways. But, I’ve found that we can kill two birds with one stone by tricking our little ones into helping by giving them a fun-looking cleaning tool! Whether we tie Swiffer sheets around their feet so they can slide over our hardwood floors, or give them a dusting mitt to wipe along the furniture, younger children are usually excited to help when they’re having fun.
Everything is more fun outside in the fresh air. Our kids enjoy doing things like washing the car, planting flowers, or sweeping off the porch or deck. By “enjoy doing”, I mean they’ll do it willingly as an alternative to something like dusting.
However we manage to get our kids involved in spring cleaning, it’s likely that it won’t get done as well as we could do it. Remember, THAT’S OKAY! They need the experience. It’s just like anything else, the more our children help out, the better they’ll get at doing it. Resist the urge to go back and re-do it, they may be less willing to help you again the next time.