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How to Turn Chores into Cleaning Games for Kids & Adults

Get your kids to help with household chores using these tidying up games and tips for reward charts. Read on to find out more!


cleaning games for kids

Was your home immaculate before your kids came along, but now you struggle to even see the carpet under the mass of toys, games, books, and clothes all over the place? You’re not alone! Keeping a tidy house when those pesky children seem determined to undo all your hard work can be challenging to say the least, but it’s not impossible. An uncluttered home can really clear the mind, so rather than working against the tide, why not try out some cleaning games for kids? They’ll have fun, and you’ll have a beautiful home – it’s a win-win situation!

Reward charts are great to get kids to do chores. Make them visual and interactive to encourage your kids’ engagement. For example, you could use a white board and create a table with a photo of each child blue-tacked to the board – every time they complete a chore they can put a tick, star, or smiley face next to their photo.

Suitable Chores for Kids

Unsuitable chores for kids involve anything that uses sharp objects or requires the need to reach high places. These tasks should be left for the adults, but there are plenty of things the kids can do to help out. Here’s a list of suitable and unsuitable chores for young kids:


  • Loading and emptying the washing machine.
  • Folding clean clothes.
  • Putting clothes away into drawers and cupboards.
  • Dusting or polishing low surfaces, such as coffee tables.
  • Brushing the kitchen floor with a dustpan and brush.
  • Brushing animal hair from the sofa or carpet.
  • Tidying up toys, games, and books.
  • Tidying bedrooms.
  • Making beds.


  • Emptying or loading the dishwasher (sharp knives).
  • Hanging washing on the line (too high).
  • Polishing cutlery (sharp knives).
  • Cleaning kitchen and toilet areas (often require heavy duty chemical cleaners).
  • Vacuuming or anything that requires the use of electrics.
  • Polishing mirrors & TV screens (risk of glass breaking).
  • Cleaning animal litter boxes and waste (bacteria).
  • Ironing or cooking dinner (the risk of burns).
  • Separating waste and recycling (sharp tins and cans).

Of course, you’ll want your children to ease into things gradually, so consider creating chore charts for kids, giving each child a different set of tasks each week. Or to mix it up a bit, write down all tasks on a piece of paper and pop them in a hat. Ask your kids to pick out their chores for that week. It’ll be completely random, so there shouldn’t be too many arguments about who gets to do what!

Tidying Up Games

Once you have decided the chores you want your kids to help out with around the home, it’s time to turn those chores into fun and exciting adventures. Tailor these suggestions for tidying up games to your children’s ages, interests, and abilities:


  • Separate socks from the clean washing and play match or snap.
  • See who can fold shirts the fastest.
  • Role-play couriers or delivery drivers to get folded clothes into the right rooms or drawers.
  • Younger children will enjoy learning how to press the buttons on the washing machine.

Room Tidying

  • Play ‘shop’: order items from the floor to be delivered to the shelf or toy box.
  • Turn up the music and dance as you and your kids tidy.
  • Use a stopwatch and offer a prize for whoever tidies their room the fastest.
  • Practice ball skills by throwing dirty clothes into the laundry basket from a distance.

Kitchen Cleaning

  • Play dress up: clean while pretending to be waiters or butlers.
  • Make them feel like they’re in an action movie by giving them ‘missions’.
  • Purchase child-size cleaning equipment – like a toy broom – in bright colours.
  • Pretend you’re making an advert for a cleaning product as you’re using it.

Using Reward Charts

Kids respond well to praise and recognition, and if they feel they’ve done a good job and had fun, they’re more likely to want to help out with the household chores again and again. One way to reinforce the praise is to create reward charts for kids that show a star or smiley face when each task has been completed. Perhaps a full week of completed chores could result in a reward, such as cooking their favourite meal or dessert on Sunday, or taking a trip to the local playground.

  • Choose chores suitable to your child’s age.
  • Give your child a quick demonstration of how to do their chores in the correct way.
  • Most importantly, make it fun!
  • Originally published