6 Ways to Trick Kids Into Cleaning
When I was thinking of all the ways we clean together, I asked the kids, "What are some of the ways I trick you into cleaning?" They were confused about the question, so I elaborated. "You know, like Sock Skating." My nine-year-old tilted his head to the side and said, "You know you aren't tricking us, right? We know we're cleaning." I smiled, because I'm glad they know they're being helpful, but I'm also happy they are having fun doing it and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Not all chores have to be a drag.
Sock Skating1 of 7
When my husband's old socks are ready to be put out to pasture, I toss them in my bag of cleaning rags. His thick, white athletic socks are the perfect size for my kids to put on and fold all the way down so a double layer is formed under their feet.
I then generously spray the high-traffic areas of our hardwood floor with Windex and let the kids "skate" it clean. My daughter would clean our entryway floor every day if I let her (based on how dirty our floors get, maybe I should).
Bathtub Toy Cleaning2 of 7
Even though my kids are getting older, they both still take baths on occasion and they both like playing with bath toys. Like children, bath toys can get moldy and disgusting, so to keep them from getting too gross, the kids have "tub toothbrushes" in the bath to scrub their water toys.
If they need a deeper clean, I soak the toys in vinegar before letting the kids attack them with their toothbrushes, or spray them with hydrogen peroxide and let them sit for a bit before the kids get to cleaning.
Scrubbing Grout3 of 7
My kids have a second set of toothbrushes meant for cleaning, but this time the enemy is dirty grout. I spray the grout with hydrogen peroxide, let it sit a few minutes and then the kids race to scrub the grout lines with their brushes to see who can clean the most.
The older I get, the harder it is for me to scrub on my hands and knees comfortably, but the kids don't mind it one bit. After they're done, I wipe the floor with a damp rag and send my kids outside to play while I tackle cleaning the toilet.
Sweeping and Dusting4 of 7
Thanks to the adjustable handle on my Swiffer Sweeper, my kids have been dusting the floor since they were three. We have a black lab that sheds like it's his job, so to combat our dog hair situation we need all hands on deck.
The disposable Swiffer cloths are also great for little hands to dust baseboards, picture frames and the ceramic creations that seem to be multiplying like bunnies around here.
One Song Pick Up5 of 7
Periodically, I'll put on one of the kids' favorite songs and they have to see how many items they can pick up and put away before the song is over. Often they fight over which song to choose, so I compromise and let them each pick a song because I'm an evil genius and two song pick up is twice as fun (and twice as clean).
Erasing Magically6 of 7
I'm not the only one enamored by Magic Erasers; my kids love them, too. I cut the sponges into smaller, kid friendly sizes, and let the kids go crazy "magically" fixing our stained and dinged up walls. For fun, they like to pretend they're wizards and chant spells to help the pencil marks and grime off the walls. Regular sponges work fine, too.