Cleaning 101 for Kids
Cleaning 101 for kids. Teaching children how to clean can definitely be a chore by itself, but we can all agree that they probably won’t volunteer to help out. You can put together a Cleaning 101 for kids can make things easier if it’s fun and engaging! We’ve put together some ideas here for you to help.
While it’s probably not a good idea to have your preschooler do the dishes…not if you want them clean! They can be taught to bring dirty dishes to the kitchen when they’re done. Age-appropriate jobs help teach children to take responsibility for themselves and can help develop good habits that last a lifetime.
How and when to start?
Even small jobs can help busy parents! And they can add precious minutes to a family fun time! Basic tasks like picking up toys and gathering and sorting their own laundry are simple and don’t require long attention spans. Explain that what they do is important to the household to give them a sense of self-confidence and importance.
Set aside some time daily for everyone to pitch in. Put on some lively cheerful music…make it a family affair! You can finish all at once rather than sporadically throughout the day and each person can appreciate the finished product. Making Chore Charts, including mom and dad, will avoid confusion. Then put them all in one place so everyone can see when the assignments are done.
So, who does what?
When planning your Cleaning 101 for kids, think of a child’s height and physical capabilities. Little ones are already close to the ground and can look under the couch for toys (or lost items!) far easier than mom or dad. Have a place…a box, a corner, a room…for things and make sure everyone knows where they go.
Younger children can have their own kid-friendly cleaning kit with sponges or clean rags and some Dawn® dish soap and a spray bottle (kids love spray bottles) with water in it. You can add a little soap or some essential oils if you like. Have them “spray” the bathroom sink and wipe it clean. The faucet doesn’t have to be super shiny but maybe the toothpaste drips need to be all cleaned off. (Maybe take care of the toilet yourself 😉)
Older kids can handle more responsibility like taking out the trash, loading and starting the dishwasher, vacuuming a shared family space, and even some dusting.
Each child should be responsible for their own bedrooms. Even young kids can be taught how to make their own bed, getting their trash to the kitchen (or garage), light and dark laundry piles, and putting their toys and belongings away, so that mom or dad can get a vacuum through there once in a while. But while they learn how to clean, you may want an occasional boost from a cleaning service to stay caught up on the corners without having to be too picky with the kiddos.
Nobody likes to do the same thing over and over again, so mix it up with a job jar! If you draw the same job you did last week, you get to pick again. Each person will get experience doing all the chores in the house and nobody gets bored!
To Pay, or Not to Pay
There are definite sides to this debate. Mom and dad don’t get paid to do chores. Some believe that this helps give children an understanding of earning money. We suggest you keep a list of “extras” that are above and beyond the normal day-to-day requirements if someone wants to earn money. Be sure to be clear on the parameters and how much will be paid and make a BIG DEAL when it gets done!