Growing up in a large family (11 of us), I’ve always wondered how my Mom was able to spring clean and keep an eye on us all.
As I thought about this, I realized that there was some simple little tips and tricks that Mom used every year to keep us all from getting out of hand.
Not only will the tips outlined below help you be able to manage your children while you spring clean, but these tips will also help you instill within them some life-long valuable lessons.
Why Children Should Help With Spring Cleaning
Investing your time and energy into your child’s development from an early age is one of the greatest things you can do. And having your children help you with spring cleaning, you’re doing just that.
When you teach your children to help with the spring cleaning, you’re teaching them how to take care of the things that belong to them.
For example, when you teach them how to dust their room, clean their clothes, and take care of different toys they have, you’re teaching them how to be responsible for the things that they own by keeping everything clean and maintained.
Another thing you’re teaching your kids is that because we all share a space, and use the things within the house, then it is all of our job to take care of it and clean it.
It’s not just Mommy’s or Daddy’s job – it’s Mommy’s, Daddy’s AND the children’s job to take care of it.
But still another reason why your children should help with spring cleaning is so that you help teach them the good old rule that work comes before play.
Why do they clean up before they go out with their friends? Why do they make sure to pick up things before they get screen time? Because the fun things are the reward for doing the right things.
Children, Age, and Spring Cleaning
Before you jump immediately into spring cleaning with children, it’s important to remember to give each child the right types of age-appropriate tasks to do, so that they can do it.
You don’t want to give your toddler the task of cleaning the toilet – you might find the child playing by splashing the water and moving away from the goals you’ve set.
So what types of tasks are good for the different age ranges of your kids?
Spring Cleaning With Toddlers
Most of the time, when you’re spring cleaning with toddlers, it’s important to give them tasks that preoccupy their time, so that you can work on other important tasks.
When it comes to toddlers, a good rule of thumb is that the simpler the task is, the better it will be for them.
One thing that a toddler could do is put their toys back in the different drawers and boxes that they belong in.
Wiping down all your furniture is something that not only will keep your child preoccupied but also something very simple that they can do (without you having to fix it since they can’t mess anything up).
Putting dirty clothes into their laundry hamper is another good task for them to do. Something as simple as having them bring their own dishes to the sink to be washed (provided those dishes aren’t breakable), is another great example of tasks for them to do.
Spring Cleaning With Preschoolers
When it comes to preschoolers, the best tasks for them to do are things that involve them sorting and organizing.
A good job for the preschoolers would be for them to clean and organize the entryway. While you supervise, give them the tasks of organizing the shoes and coats, as well as sweeping and cleaning the floors and walls.
Another great task for your preschoolers to do is help you organize and sort through all of your pots, pans, and dinnerware. They can help you put things back in cabinets and drawers, as well as help sort utensils by what they look like.
Spring Cleaning With Elementary-Aged Kids
At this age, elementary-aged children are pretty much able to take on most tasks assigned to them.
Have them start by doing a deep clean of their room, moving everything away from the walls to clean behind it.
Give them the task of sorting through their own belongings, like clothes, toys, etc, and let them choose things they want to keep and things they want to give away.
Give them a whole room, or a large wall to clean.
There are a lot of tasks that your child is able to do that this age. It’s just a matter of telling them what you want, and then them doing it.
Make Spring Cleaning Fun!
When it comes to children and spring cleaning, you have to make sure to present all the cleaning tasks in a fun and simple way.
Children pick up very easily on how you present things, and so if you’re not loving spring cleaning, then the children aren’t either.
Below are several helpful tips on just how to make spring cleaning with children fun, enjoyable, and manageable!
Clean To Some Music!
There is nothing more fun than cleaning while listening to music. Turn on some kid’s songs, some heavy metal (if that’s what you’re into), or whatever you’re willing for your children to listen to, and let them clean.
Growing up, one of the things we would do was turn some music on while we had to sweep.
Each of us would take turns sweeping, and while we swept we would ‘dance’ with our broom. Not only did we get the floors swept but we had some pretty funny entertainment too.
Tackle One Task At A Time
Sometimes, when there is so much to do, a parent will give their children too many spring cleaning tasks.
Instead of giving them all their task for the day or week, give them each task one at a time. That way they will be able to focus on the individual task and get it done.
It’s also important for them to finish a task before they go on to the next one as well.
If they started helping you sort the pots and pans, make sure they help you finish it as well before moving on to something else.
By doing this, you’ll help instill within your child the right mentality to finish something before starting something new.
Make A Game Of Follow The Leader
Another great tip you can try is to play follow the leader with your children while you do your spring cleaning.
For example, give everyone a wet cloth, and as you wipe down a window, everyone else ‘follows the leader’, and wipes down their own window.
You can do this for sweeping, organizing, or cleaning. If you can think of it, you can play it!
Play The Matching Game
I don’t know about you, but the Matching card game, where you lay all the cards out face down and turn two over to see if they match, was always a family favorite in my household.
If your children love that game too, play it while you clean!
If you are sorting through a bunch of socks, each of your children takes turns matching socks.
Or maybe it’s putting a similar toy in its respective box. Or matching shoes or shirts.
Whatever it is, turn the game into the Matching Game, and your children will have a blast.
Give Appreciation And Take Breaks
Finally, last but not least, make sure to give your children an appreciation for the work that they did.
When your child helps you do your spring cleaning, don’t forget to praise what they did, and show some gratitude. This not only helps reward their good behavior but it encourages them to repeat that same behavior.
Also, make sure to take breaks between different tasks and jobs that you give to your children.
Depending on how old the child is, or what they are doing, you’ll want to take a break between every 2-4 tasks that they do.
That way, they don’t completely tired out and bored, and you get them to help you for the entire day!
Spring Cleaning With Children Can Be Easy And Fun!
At the end of the day, spring cleaning with children can be easy and fun. It’s just a matter of giving them the right age-appropriate jobs and not making it boring.
When you give them the right task in a fun, exciting way, there is no reason for your children not to want to help you with spring cleaning.
If you want additional cleaning help, I would love it you check out my printable Cleaning Binder.
I give out helpful tips and suggestions for what to clean in different rooms, as well as daily, weekly, and monthly checklists, to make sure you’ve got everything handled for the year(s) to come.