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You CAN get the kids to help with the cleaning! Here’s how.

by Kerrie Hawkins, Mar 2018

Want to get the WHOLE family involved in cleaning your home? YES! It can be done. There are age-appropriate tasks for everyone – toddler, primary school, and even the teens. Make it a tradition, gosh why not – speedy, family-oriented cleaning sounds just the thing to me.

Here are some ideas on getting everyone involved, no matter how small they are:

  1. Toddlers and Pre-schoolers

As long as you aren’t looking for perfection here, they can certainly help! It’s all about being supportive and encouraging and understanding that when you give a small child a task todo you are relinquishing control of said task…

  • Rinsing the car – any child can do this! You will need to supervise of course, but it’s fun, foamy, and wet. Loads of fun!
  • A little vacuuming – again, if you don’t expect perfection you can allocate your little one a small area or a room and set them free. Pick up all small items first or you’ll lose them to vacuum heaven.
  • Dusting – what could be more fun for a little one than wielding a fluffy feather duster? Choose some low areas and make sure there’s nothing breakable in their path.
  1. Grades One to Three

These little guys can take on a bit more and will love the challenge.

  • Sorting toys – get them to sort through a pile of toys and sort them into Keep, Give Away, and Throw Away. Use bins for easy sorting and watch out that the Keep bin doesn’t contain everything!
  • Folding the laundry – simple things that don’t need ironing can easily be folded. Give them a pile of tea-towels and towels and off they go.
  • Window washing – ok so this will take some practice, but get them started young! Show them how to wash and dry for a streak-free finish. Just don’t get them up on any ladders.
  1. Tweens

You can give a little more responsibility at this age.

  • More involved laundry – why not enlist their help to do a full wash process on their own? Help them sort then let them get on with loading, washing, drying, and folding.
  • Closet organising – as well as their own closets there are also hall cupboards or even under the stair cupboards that can be cleaned out and organised. They don’t need too much supervision if they know what’s expected.
  • Cleaning the bathroom – perfect age to learn how to keep the sink and bathtubs clean. Show them how to spray, soak, wipe, polish and you’re all set for a sparkling bathroom.
  • Mopping the floors – if you have some smaller floor areas, your younger ones can do a really good job of mopping with a sponge. You’ll get a great result and they don’t need to wield a mop that’s probably taller than they are.
  1. Teens

Ah and now for some REAL help! Your teens can take on many adult tasks, great!

  • Full laundry from start to finish and distributing to relevant bedrooms/locations for putting away
  • Cleaning full rooms – give them rooms to manage by themselves. Set them off to dust, wipe, wash windows and skirtings, vacuum and mopping.
  • Their own rooms – now this is a fab one. They can look after their own rooms at this age. But do express your expectations so they know exactly what needs to be done.

A little incentive can go a long way to showing your appreciation for a job well done, whatever your family philosophy is: extra pocket money, cheeky sweeties, home delivery and movie night. Be creative and remember that incentives work best if it’s something value to each of them.