As the cold winter months end, Spring marks a new beginning and a great opportunity to reinforce disciple and work ethic at home with Spring Cleaning!
By making your kids part of the cleaning solution, you not only teach good habits but can have a bonding activity to do together that hopefully helps the house stay tidy.
Spring cleaning tips to make the process fun and easy for the whole family:
- Have realistic expectations and give age appropriate tasks.
- Make sure to be offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement.
- Be patient and illustrate how to do each task with reminders as needed.
- Kids love to do things together – so make sure they see you being involved too.
- Be very specific in assigned tasks, for example – “Put away all your Lego’s in the green container” is better than a simple, “Clean up all your toys.”
- Play make-believe while cleaning with younger kids, have them start their own company, wear gloves, hat or apron.
- Make it fun – play music, dance, sing and incorporate games during the process.
- Have proper storage bins and areas for toys to go in that makes organizing and clean up easier.
- Having a cleaning sticker chart or checklist that all the items and time frame to complete.
- Have a fun family reward when done, such as a visit to the ice cream shop or watching a home movie together.
Examples of Age Appropriate Tasks
Ages 1-2: Wipe messes, sweep or hold a dust pan while you sweep; wipe Windex off the table, put toys in a bin with you.
Ages 2-4: Laundry sorting, sweeping, putting away forks and spoons, cleaning up toys, and helping make their beds.
Ages 5-8: Give tasks that allow them some independence and empowerment, meaning they do them on their own without your assistance. For example, dressing themselves with minimal help, washing hands, help you prepare food, set and clear the table with supervision, hang towels in bathroom, vacuum, fold laundry and match socks, and help with dishes.
Ages 10-13: Start setting time limits on specific tasks that need to be completed. Kids this age can also help more in the kitchen and packing their lunch, learn to use the washer and dryer, take out the trash, help you wash the car, change bed sheets, keep their room clean, and change light bulbs.
Older Teens: Give your teen an area of responsibility and leave it to them to figure out how to solve it. For example: clean and organize the garage; prepare a meal including making a grocery list and buying items at the store (with your supervision); and buy their own clothes with a given budget. They can also help look after the younger kids, cut the grass and do some yard work.
Good habits, time management, organization skills and discipline starts with small tasks at a young age and build up with more responsibility as your child gets older.