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 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!
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 kids chores:
- 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).
- Anything involving the use of cleaning products – they’re for adults only!
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 the kids chores on a piece of paper and pop them in a hat. Ask your kids to pick out their jobs 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 them 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.
- 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.
- 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 – all-purpose sprays like Jif Antibacterial are great as they’re easy to use and suitable for all surfaces. Jif Antibacterial also kills bacteria such as Salmonella, E. Coli & Listeria, and Staphylococcus aureus. (Remember to read the instructions on the label first, and follow all safety guidelines carefully.)
Using Reward Charts for Kids
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.