Spring Cleaning: 13 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved (page 2)

Spring Cleaning: 13 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved

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Updated on Apr 4, 2014

Alphabetize the spice drawer.

Your younger child will get a little reading and sorting practice while your spices get organized, making it quicker and easier to find what you need in a pinch. Encourage your child to familiarize herself with the spices by reading labels, smelling the spices and even tasting them. Explain how you commonly use them for cooking or baking.

Play “Follow the Leader.”

Give each child an apron and tuck an old rag or towel and a squirt bottle filled with a non-toxic cleaning fluid into the pockets. The designated leader must walk through the house and make multiple stops to clean or put away an object and the rest of the group must follow suit. Switch leaders every five minutes.

Have a sock-matching race.

Put an end to “sock widows” and lost socks once and for all. Toss all of the family’s clean socks onto your bed in a big pile and then race to see who can match the most pairs the fastest. Once you have all of the mates together, show your child how to roll them up into neat little balls. First, laying the socks flat in profile, one on top of the other, roll both toe ends up towards the open ends about 2/3 of the length of the entire sock. Take the open end of one of the socks and fold it down around the rolled portion. Voila! Now you've got pairs of socks that won’t get separated in your child’s drawers. Any socks left over without mates you can either donate or keep in a bin to use for arts and crafts projects or even as rag to do for some Spring cleaning!

 Put on a family fashion show.

This silly activity is good for a few laughs and doubles as a way for everyone to purge outdated or ill-fitting clothes from the depths of their closet. No matter how you look, make sure to flaunt each outfit with modelesque attitude befitting of the catwalk. Ahead of time, agree that the majority vote determines whether the outfit (or certain parts of it) stays or goes. When you're all done, bring the discarded clothing to a consignment store or donate it to charity.

Play a sorting game.

Organize toys, books and electronic games. When kids’ belongings have clearly designated storage spaces, children are more likely to put them away when they're done playing. Transparent, covered storage bins are great because they keep the dust out, they're stackable (and save space), they're portable – some even come with wheels! – and they allow your kids to see what’s inside without having to read labels. Ask your child to sort like toys with like toys – cars and trucks in one, dolls or action figures in another, etc.  Books can be organized any number of ways, including by size, author, or subject matter. Ask your child to go through her personal library and select five books that she is willing to get rid of. But first, let your child play the role of a storyteller and have her read one or two of her favorite books to you. Set one or two more aside for bedtime reading that night. Once she is reminded of how many great stories she has, she should be amenable to letting go of some ones she may have outgrown or become tired of. DVDs, CDs, and computer games can be tackled next. Unwanted items can be donated to charity or sold to second-hand retailers.

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