14 May, 2020
Now that we are spending more time at home, it is essential to keep our living space clean and safe for our kids.
During this period, professional and part-time cleaners are not able to come over while busy parents have limited time. How can we get kids cleaning and helping with household chores?
Time to get those creative juices going, mums and dads! Children love to help and often feel proud of their accomplishments for being able to. Make cleaning fun during this stay home period, and you will discover how kids can learn new skills along the way!
1. Start A Cleaning Game – Who’s Ready?
Little ones love it when “fun” comes into play. While household chores may not sound exciting, there are ways to turn cleaning into a game. First, assign age-appropriate home cleaning activities to children so the responsibility and effort needed are at achievable levels.
If they are doing it for the first time, keep the session short and manage your expectations about their level of cleanliness too. Take this chance to explain how things are supposed to be – showing it to them gives an idea about acceptable levels too.
Mum’s tips: For toddlers, ignite their playful and curious minds by inviting them to a challenge. Set a timer to see who can keep all the toys first. “Ready, get set, GO!” and pack the books neatly in five minutes! For older kids, they can help to make the beds, or, wash dishes together within a specific time frame.
2. Let’s Have A Clean-Up Party!
Turn on the music and start a cleaning party grooving to your kids’ favourite songs! Pretend to be a ballerina and twirl while wiping the mirrors or disinfecting the upholstery and beddings. Or, dance with the broom while sweeping to Baby Shark!
Use the right household cleaning products and methods to create an efficient spruce-up party. With guidance, encouragement, and a dollop of laughter, they will ace tidying in no time!
Mum’s tips: Dedicate a day in the week for your family’s clean-up party. Who says we cannot sing, dance, and sweep to “Into the Unknown”?
3. Nurture Young Leaders At Home
Let your bubbas take the helm of bite-sized tasks and watch their confidence grow as they beam with pride over their achievements. If there are older siblings who can guide the younger ones, offer the leadership role of teaching and supervising. But of course, do set and manage realistic expectations because, kids are kids.
Sometimes, there might be rejections about doing certain tasks. To manage that, empower them with the decision-making role – let them pick the tasks they like or enjoy most, and start with them. Gradually expand their scope when they are more receptive, in addition to their newfound skills!
Boys and girls can take turns to be in-charge of setting the dining table, wiping the table after meals, and ensuring chairs are pushed behind tables after eating, for example.
Mum’s tips: Keep these kid-friendly cleaning tasks a daily routine so it becomes part of their day-to-day at home. Soon, you will be earning yourself responsible little helpers too!
4. Turn The Kids Cleaning Role Into A Child-led One
Give them ownership of their personal spaces by allowing them to be responsible about keeping their designated study and play areas neat.
Soon, they will realise that keeping their books and stationery organised maximises their workspace, saving time hunting for their favourite pencil!
Mum’s tips: Like #3 where kids get to play leaders, allowing them to take ownership of their belongings helps develop their responsibility and develop healthy attitudes and habits too.
5. Learn To Clean; Play To Learn
Tackling Mount Washmore can be an edutainment too! From helping to sort dark coloured clothes and whites, to scooping out detergent, putting the clothes into the washer and pressing the ‘Start’ button, getting kids involved in the laundry process is part fun part education.
Apart from learning to count and measure, sort colours, and following instructions, this household chore provides a practical setup for parents to teach life skills too.
Mum’s tips: Turn the laundry into a creative chance to learn! Some interactive ways include getting bubs to mix and match the right socks, letting little fingers exercise their visual and motor skills by folding clothes, categorising the folded piles of clothes for each family member and more!
6. Inspire Kids To Do Good… And Feel Good Too!
Families may summon their inner Marie Kondo and take this stay-home time to declutter and reorganise the house. The younger ones might not get the idea of being organised, or, appreciate that their toys and books are boxed up and going elsewhere.
So, how can you get kids to help tidy the house, yet allow their preloved belongings go to others? Get them involved in the donating process – start with letting them choose the charity to donate to gives them a better idea of the intent of decluttering and who receives the items.
Mum’s tips: Taking away their toys and books may leave children feeling sad, so tell them that these items are going to make other children happy and only made possible thanks to their giving hearts.
7. Hands Up For The Fun Finale
By evening, it is completely normal for the living room to be in a state of mess. Before zipping into the bedroom, invite them for a last stage of organisational fun to restore order! Put books back, arrange cushions neatly on the sofa, keep scattered toys in the right boxes, prepare the bed for sleep… then race to the bedroom for a bedtime story, or, a cup of milk!
Mum’s tips: At bedtime, dedicate a few minutes to thank your children for helping to keep the home spick and span, and safe for the family. Showing appreciation and gratitude for the teamwork lets them know their efforts are appreciated.
8. Get Rewarded!
The right motivation can spur junior to get the house organised! For toddlers, you can draw up a cleaning up reward chart so they can see what they need to do and work towards a “reward” he is excited about. Use stickers or draw smiley faces when the task is done. The reward could be mummy or daddy reading to them their favourite book, or, an ice cream treat!
For school-going kids and teenagers, they would be more mature and understand the collaborative importance. The intrinsic part of why everyone has a part to play in keeping the house organised can be explained to them. This idea of teamwork lets them learn the value of contributing to the home’s hygiene, which mirrors the duty roster in school too. And, the reward? A safe home with a healthy family.
Mum’s tips: It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so taking baby steps towards involving them when they are young, helps inculcate positive habits.
We hope this fun home cleaning hacks are useful for your family! With kids cleaning up after themselves and the house, we will have more time creating happy memories together! Looking for tips on how to keep the house sparkly with affordable cleaning products and tools, or, searching for stay-home activities? Follow myCK on Facebook and Instagram for smart family hacks and house cleaning product recommendations!