Summertime Cleaning with Kids – Making it Easy & Fun
Cleaning with Kids – a few tips
We all know that summer is usually full with outdoor fun, vacations and often times our daily routines go out the window. Some days we may find that the outdoor summer fun has made it inside the house and then we get overwhelmed with the mess. Don’t worry there is help in sight and in fact we can make our summertime cleaning routines easier and fun while getting the kids involved. Even your little ones can help out and you can help them develop good habits at the same time.
Check out this great chore chart from Merry Maids. We love it because they give ideas for age appropriate chores.
Merry Maids Kid Ambassador program has fabulous tips on how to get the kids involved and how to make it fun for them and you. I’ve been using some of these tips since my daughter was a little girl and now they’ve given me ideas for some new ones. I love their chore chart that shows age appropriate chores from aged two up to the teen years. Kids like to be praised and let’s face it they like rewards too and I have found different types of awards are helpful. My daughter doesn’t always get money or a physical gift, sometimes she’s given privileges like an extra hour on the computer. One of her favorite rewards is planning our dinner meal or getting to select a special dessert for the weekend. She chooses what we’re going to have, we get the ingredients and make it together or if it’s dessert sometimes we go and buy a special dessert.
Here we are selecting a chore for my daughter. Well she closed her eyes and pointed at the list of chores to see what she would get. The list only has chores that are appropriate for her and her age. It’s a fun way to see what chore she gets to do 🙂
I have found that it’s all about being creative, cleaning is not the most exciting thing in the world but we can make it fun and rewarding for all of us. Over the summer I learned the hard way that I can’t do it all. So we all have to pitch in and we have to be consistent. Chore charts are great, especially for younger children but even now we still use a chore chart and it’s not just my daughter’s name on there both my husband and I are on the chore chart too.
We are sorting through my daughter’s toys to see what will be donated and what she will keep.
As mentioned Merry Maids has also provided some great tips for parents, some I had used before and some I just started to use. Here are a few of my favorite tips from them:
Post Play Date Fun: Play dates are perfect for entertaining kids, and not to mention burning some energy. However, it can also mean bigger messes. Glitter from crafts, spilled drinks, ice pop stains, and toys and games can quickly turn this happy activity into a marathon cleanup session for parents.
- At the end of a play date, plan a kiddie race to see who can clean the fastest. Keep a whistle and stopwatch ready and issue challenges like “pick up all the toys in red before the whistle.” By the end of the race, the clutter will vanish. Merry Maids experts Kim Hinkly and Nancy Golino both suggest planning a cleaning dance party with the kids. Set a goal to have their room or play area picked up by the end of the song. Of course dancing and laughing is a requirement. For glitter spills, have the kids use a lint roller. For juice or ice pop stains on cloth, have them rub the wet area with ice cubes.
Clutter, Clutter Everywhere: With longer days for kids to play, and a more relaxed summertime routine, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the clutter that has crept out during a fun day with friends. While it can be one of the biggest cleaning woes of the season, clutter can also be treasure in disguise.
- If you find your home in disarray after a long day of play, curb your urge to fuss and plan a treasure hunt instead. A treasure hunt with fun clues and a prize is the perfect way to get kids involved and reward them for their efforts. Make notecards with easy clues that lead to a chore. Once each chore is complete, hand out another clue. At the end of the hunt, give a grand prize and runner-up prizes. The reward for parents? A clutter-free home. Merry Maids experts Jane Santos and Tim Griess both recommend a “Toy Jail;” a basket where toys go if kids don’t pick them up and mom or dad have to clean up the clutter. The toys can be returned to kids only when they finish their chores.
My daughter elected to get rid of quite a bit but when she found this particular toy it brought back memories so she decided to keep it.
Keep the Outdoors, Out: Swimming, beach trips and playing in the yard are summertime favorites, but before you know it, the kids are dragging the outdoors inside.
- To avoid bringing sand, grass and dirt indoors, have kids do a doormat dance to wipe off their shoes. Another trick is to turn on the sprinklers and let kids run through to wash off any dirt or sand before entering the house. To minimize messes, eat outside and let kids help with cleanup afterwards. This is a fun way to enjoy the season and keep your home tidy.
Everything Must Go: The slower days of summer can also be great for decluttering the junk sitting in the attic and garage, and also teach kids essential organization skills. Decluttering is a great way for the whole family to feel more productive, get the house clean and make some well-deserved cash.
- Host a fun family yard sale. Encourage kids to bring out old toys, clothes and other items they no longer need and sort into piles. Turn up the creativity by having the kids decorate flyers and distribute around the neighborhood, encouraging a sense of ownership. Give age-appropriate tasks to kids on the day of the sale to help set-up and run the yard sale. Let them spend some of the money earned on a special treat such as a movie, a toy or a book. A yard sale allows the whole family to enjoy a beautiful summer day, have fun with neighbors and keep the home organized.
Use some or all of these tips and summertime cleaning will be easier and more fun for the whole family.