The arrival of spring ushers in a renewed sense of energy, and as the weather gets nicer and people around the country begin to stir after a long hibernation, one of the priorities at the top of the list is spring cleaning. Perhaps you’ve spent the last few weeks and months neglecting the clutter around your home, or maybe you’re just interested in welcoming the sunshine and warm air with a clean and inviting home. Either way, buckling down for a weekend of tidying up the house is perfect for homeowners.
As a kid, however, springtime means a lot more than staying home and cleaning. Between baseball and soccer, trips to the park or maybe even the beach, it can be difficult for parents to entice their children to get involved in spring cleaning. At the very least, it might take some creativity when it comes to maximizing their effort. Here are some easy and helpful tips for getting your kids engaged with spring cleaning this year.
1. Encourage dance parties
According to the website Education, one of the easiest ways to make spring cleaning a more exciting prospect is to select some funky music and pump up the speakers. Check with your cable and Internet providers about music options for your TV.
“There’s no reason that some of your favorite tunes can’t be playing.”
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a boring affair, and while you and your kids are wiping down kitchen counters or organizing the junk draw, there’s no reason that some of your favorite tunes can’t be playing at the same time.
To really get your children involved, let them pick the playlist and control the volume. Not only will this make them a bit more happy in the act of doing chores, but they will also thrive with a sense of responsibility.
2. Utilize old socks
When it comes to cleaning the floors, your children’s natural exuberance can be a serious ally in the hunt for dust bunnies. While pushing a broom across your hardwood floors can be a bit of a drag, dancing and sliding around in old socks to clean the house will make your kids much more excited.
3. Delegate accordingly
Children thrive when they feel empowered, so picking the right task for each child is important. Not only will responsibility go a long way toward keeping their attention, but giving your children chores that are too difficult may frustrate or upset them.
If your kids differ greatly in age, Organized Home found that it is best to give your older one’s the more involved or patient duties, while your younger kids may do better with closer supervision.
4. Provide frequent snacks
Your kids may get hungry fast, and when little kids want to eat they can often get cranky very quickly. By providing snack breaks, not only can your children catch their breath, but they can also refuel and avoid getting grumpy.
5. Demonstrate proper technique
While one of the biggest challenges in getting your kids involved with spring cleaning is motivation, making sure they are effective helpers is also critical for making your afternoon successful. Within reason, be sure to help your kids understand how to maximize their effort and really get going. For younger kids, however, it may be best to just get them going for now and worry about technique and attention to detail in a year or two.
6. Let them pick a chore or two
For some kids, there may be a few tasks that are actually exciting for them, like for example running the vacuum. While most chores may be disinteresting to them, there are several that they might really enjoy. If that is the case, be sure to cater to that appeal.
7. Be flexible with your timing
For older kids who may have more frequent weekend plans, being flexible when you need them for spring cleaning is a way to avoid sounding too authoritarian. This will make it harder to refuse your request and will make everyone a little happier as a result of some compromise.
8. Ask for input
If you are planning on re-arranging your living room or switching things up in the kitchen, be sure to ask for your children’s ideas and perspective. Its their home too, after all, and this sense of responsibility may re-frame how they feel about the rest of spring cleaning. They may also have some interesting ideas!
9. Don’t forget about outdoors
Working hard inside can get boring fast for a little one, especially as the weather gets even nicer. Take some time to pick up sticks or pull weeds in the yard, and maybe take a break to shoot hoops or lay in the grass as well.
10. Be ready with a reward
After a long afternoon of spring cleaning, take your kids our for ice cream or maybe a movie. This isn’t a bribe but rather an honest thank you for all of their effort. They will understand the value of hard work and will also be a fun family outing.