Spring Cleaning: 13 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved
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Looking for creative ways to get your kids to help out as you spruce up your home this Spring? Getting kids to participate is a breeze when you inject some fun and foolishness into household chores. Just make sure to assign age-appropriate tasks that can be achieved in short increments (ten to fifteen minute spurts for younger children), and things will be spic and span in no time! If you start kids at a young age and keep things fun, they'll enjoy pitching in — it gives them a great sense of accomplishment, collaboration, independence and responsibility.
Here are 13 ways to take the tedium out of and put the teamwork into spring cleaning.
Pump up the music!
Nothing makes the time pass more quickly and puts people in a cheerier mood than some upbeat tunes. Your kids will dance and sing their way to a tidier place. With younger children, you can play “wax museum,” where kids must freeze in place like a wax statue every time the music stops. This simple test of balance, coordination and reflexes can turn any task, whether it's picking up toys or tidying up the dinner table, into a giggle-filled game.
Go “skating” for dust bunnies.
Let your kids slip and slide their way to cleaner hardwood floors. Have your children wear old pairs of socks and “skate” around the house collecting dust bunnies with their feet. See who can accumulate the largest dust bunny. Just make sure there are no sharp edges or breakable items close by with which kids can hurt themselves if they take a tumble. And be sure to collect all of your dust bunnies in a trash bag as you go along so they don't hop back onto the floor! Kids love this silly and energizing game that gets their hearts pumping and promotes agility and muscle fitness.
“Wax on, wax off.”
Show your young grasshopper how to clean windows, mirrors, and even the family car by employing Mr. Miyagi’s (from "The Karate Kid" movies) simple technique of moving the right hand in a circular, clockwise motion and the left hand in a circular, counterclockwise motion. It will test your child’s ability to follow directions, as well as improve coordination, stamina and upper body strength. It's important to use non-toxic and preferably “green” cleansers, especially when kids are helping out.
Play expiration-date detective.
Have your older child sleuth out old, unwanted items in your refrigerator and cupboard by showing him how to read expiration dates. Have him make a pile of all of the discarded items, then show him how to properly dispose of them by sorting them into three categories: Recycling, composting or trash. If you don’t already have separate containers for each of these, let your child create labels and laminate them for long-lasting use.
Shake, shake, shake!
Unplug the toaster and lay paper grocery bags or an old cloth over the kitchen counter. Then let your child turn that toaster upside down and do a shake and shimmy dance to get all the crumbs out. Disposable wooden chopsticks are great for loosening stuck pieces, but be sure your child doesn’t use any metal utensils. It’s a safe practice to follow even when the toaster is not plugged in.