Spring in Utah is beautiful. While the weather is warming up outside, we are busy Spring Cleaning inside. It is not a one man job and I really want and need our kids to help. Cleaning isn’t always first on their list of priorities so there are a few things that I do to make Spring Cleaning a success.
First, we address the complaining that comes when it is time to get to work. Our kids get 60 seconds to complain and whine all they want about the cleaning. Once the 60 seconds are up, it is time to get to work. Why does this work? Kids don’t always feel like they are heard. This gives them a chance to express themselves.
Second, whenever we start cleaning, our kids immediately say. “I don’t know where that goooeesss”. So, when we start reorganizing in the Spring, I give the kids each a turn with the camera and they get to take pictures of toys and clothes that go in each space. We don’t take pictures of everything, just a few of the items that can represent. For example, pictures of a dinosaur for the dinosaur bucket, or hats, for the hat drawer. They love taking pictures, putting them up and then filling the bin or drawer with the right items. Instead of cleaning, now it is a fun project to them. You can also include the name of the object for older kids who can read. If your child likes to draw, have them draw pictures of their toys.
Third, in our house,we play the Magic Item game. This is my FAVORITE! AND IT REALLY WORKS! When it is time to Spring Clean, I pick a Magic/Secret item in the room we are working on. Whoever finds and puts the MAGIC ITEM away gets to choose what’s for snack or dinner, or which park we will visit. If it is Monday, the one who finds and puts away the Magic Item gets to choose what dessert to have for Family Night. I always make sure that what they get to choose benefits and effects all the kids. They love this game. It is like a scavenger hunt. I have fun picking new Magic Items. Sometimes I announce the magic item right when it is put away. Other times I wait until everything is put away and then announce with a ta-da. If we are tackling a big job, I might choose a few Magic Items. If we aren’t necessarily picking up “things”, I choose a Magic Job. I will list all the things that need to be done, and who ever happens to choose the Magic Job, gets to choose the surprise.
It is important to include our kids in the Spring Cleaning. Not only is it helpful, it also teaches them valuable skills. And, working together is a great way for our families to grow closer.
Homemaker, wife and mother. My husband and I have five children. On the side I am an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University where I received a Masters Degree in Youth and Family Recreation. Three times a week I endeavor to teach college students the importance of families doing things together. Then I come home and try to figure out how to implement what I just taught. Believe me I know, It is a lot easier said than done. I used to speak French, wish I could dance, and will almost always choose fruity over chocolate.
Heather is the author of Family Volley, where writes about parenting, motherhood and relationships.
I can’t wait to officially start spring cleaning. Thanks for sharing these tips. This post is really informative.
I need to get my kids to clean their rooms. What a great idea for spring cleaning.
You are a genius! The Magic Item idea is just about the best thing I’ve ever heard of. It can be hard to get the kids to help clean sometimes, but I think these tips are gold.
Spring cleaning was always something I enjoyed having the kids help with With having 10 kids there was always the complaining here also. But I felt it gave the kids a sense of accomplishment. It also helped them learn life skills for when they got older. I loved your ideas!
I’ve been struggling to get my kid’s spring clean. These are all great tips to try with them
Spring cleaning is such a good thing to teach our kids. These tips are awesome! I will keep this in mind.
What wonderful ideas. My oldest daughter loves to help me do spring cleaning, however my youngest does not. I love the idea of the magic item game. I may need to do that as well.
I think younger kids intuitively want to help. Our daughter is 5 and whenever she sees us doing something she wants to help. The problem is if the parent discourages them so when they are older, they are less inclined to help. We usually have no trouble getting our daughter to help clean as long as we help her a little bit.
Wow! These are all really great ideas! This is so helpful thanks for sharing this with us!
It’s important to teach our kids how to clean. I’ve taught my son how to clean his room and how to keep it organized.
This is so important and I appreciate your sharing this post. I am going to share this with my brother as he is like a dust storm and everywhere he goes he leave a mess of some sort… and unfortunately his daughter has learned the same. She mimics him…. plain and simple and just dumps everything in her room and never cleans up. If she does not see him cleaning up…. how would she know to do it? The issue… he still lives with his parents and his mom cleans up everything…. at 38 years old!!! So sad. It is crucial to get the kids doing it on their own…. my kids all keep their rooms tidy.
Great tips! I’ve each given my kids task they can do everyday, and put small notes on the walls and cabinets so they remember what to do! Will put these to good use by our next cleaning!
I don’t have kids yet but this is very applicable even if we have no winter here. Hahaha I will let my sister read this so she can relay to her kids. Hahaha