Fun ways to get your kids involved with spring cleaning
By Aimee Heckel
Getting your kids involved with spring cleaning doesn’t only mean more hands on deck. It also can be good for their character. A Washington Post article reports spring cleaning can be empowering for kids.
Here are some ways to coordinate a whole family-wide spring cleaning effort:
1. Choose nontoxic cleaners. Simple combos of baking soda, distilled white vinegar, essential oils, natural soap and warm water can go far. There’s no need to make your home toxic when you’re trying to clean it up.
Seventh Generation is one of the most popular, nontoxic household cleaners. You can find it almost anywhere, even Office Depot. Save money at Office Depot with these coupons, paired with 3 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. Read more articles about Office Depot here.
2. Make it a game. Chores don’t have to be a bore. Create an obstacle course series of chores and make it a race. For example, who can fill a small box with unwanted toys the fastest? Put on socks and Pledge the hardwood floors for a silly, sliding race. Crank up energetic music, open the windows and clean the kitchen cabinets — basketball style.
3. Create rewards for extra work. Make a bonus board. Write various chores on small slips of paper, connect them with a $1 bill, candy, stickers, small toys or gift cards (for older kids), and hang them on a board. Tell your kids anyone can pick any of the chores on the board, and when they’re completed, they get the attached prize. This immediate reward makes it easy to want to go above and beyond.
4. Remove the bossy-parent factor. Kids like to have some say in what they do. Instead of delegating the duties, write them all on different index cards, blocks or balls. Either put them in a hat and have your kids draw one chore at a time, with the option to trade (or “steal” someone else’s chore) three times. Or let your kids divide up the tasks themselves.
5. Make it a number game. Consider creating a points system: Each chore will be worth one, two or three points, depending on its difficulty. Each family member will aim to either get the most points (with the reward of getting to choose a fun family activity that weekend, or a toy at the store), or a certain amount of points, in whatever combo of chores they want. For example, if everyone needs to reach 10 points, a child can choose three hard tasks and one easy task, or 10 easy tasks.
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