Spring cleaning season is among us and for families with young kids, spring cleaning season could be every season, every month, week and day! I know that’s how it is at my house! My kids are still at the age where they want to please mom and love to help me with my chores around the house. Of course they aren’t always so sweet so I do resort to some creative play time in which they help me with household chores without them even thinking it’s work.
This week, our guest post is from Louise Myers about her tips on how to use cleaning as an education activity for young kids to develop some needed responsibilities and other development skills. At Mommy Engineering, I love to have guest posts with different parenting styles. This post differs from another guest blogger’s parenting style on reward. What are your thoughts on rewarding your children?
Maintaining a clean and organized home is not an easy task, especially when the kids don’t help with the chores. Cleaning is actually a good educational activity that teaches them responsibility and self-control. By incorporating the whole family in this daily assignment makes cleaning so much fun. Here are 3 creative and educational ways to clean with kids without making them feel bored and exhausted.
3 Creative Ways to Use Cleaning as an Educational Activity for Young Kids
Good habits start from an early age so teaching the kids to clean up after themselves is so important for their future development. They learn essential skills, as well as basic principles that will guide them throughout the rest of their lives like knowing what is responsibility, consequences and the value of work. However, teaching them these fundamentals of life requires time, effort and consistency. Children learn best by copying their parents and through play. Parents can show them how to clean and come up with fun and creative ways to turn cleaning into a game. They will be happy to participate in cleaning activities if you make it all look like a fun game.
1. Color game – One of the simplest games for the little ones is this fun and educational color game. Give them a bag or a little basket and have them pick up every red items and then do the same with the rest of the colors.
2. Sorting game – Using the same concept with a bag or little basket, have them pick up items they can play with or items they get in the shower with. These games can also help your kids learn to count by seeing how many items there are in the bag, the more the better!
3. Mission game – You can turn every cleaning activity into a “mission game.” In order to successfully complete the mission, the kids will need to do simple chores such as cleaning the dust off light switches, picking up socks off the floor, or scavenge what’s under the bed.
Things to Consider to Increase Your Success
1. The age of the child: You can’t expect 3-year-olds to help you with everything. Start by giving them specific and step-by-step instructions. For example: Instead of telling them to clean up their mess, tell them to pick up all their toys and put them in a box.
2. Give them specific tasks like pick their clothes off the floor, gather all the puzzle pieces and sort out their toys by type, etc.
3. Set clear deadlines for each task otherwise children can put off the completion of chores indefinitely.
4. Explain the consequences for each task that they do not complete will be. For example, if they don’t pick up the toys off the floor by the time a song is over, they won’t be able to play with them tomorrow. Don’t punish them, tell them why it is important to follow your rules.
Rewarding for Motivation
A good motivational tool is rewarding your little cleaners. At the end of each task or cleaning game give them a certain number of points. They can be in the form of stickers that can be put on a little board in the kids’ room. And based on the amount of stickers they have, you will give them little treats once a month. This system will teach them that work is indeed important and that it is in fact beneficial for both sides. If they are a little older, you can give them extra money, depending on how many chores they have done in the last month. It will make them at least partially financially responsible and literate, which will be a useful thing in their future.
Being a good parent requires everyday battles, so don’t try to win them all. Sometimes your home will be a mess, but once the kids start helping out, you will know that everything was worth it.
About the Author:
Louise Myers is a small business owner and a mom of two small children. She has plenty of experience in both parenting and cleaning. Her company is End of Tenancy Cleaning Agency Abbey Wood, a cleaning service located in London. Learn more about Louise Myers and her company here >> Website
Things to Consider
What types of cleaning games have you come up with to have your young kids help with household chores?
Do you believe in rewarding your kids for tasks like household chores?
What’s your favorite game from this post?
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