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5 Ways to Get Your Kids Cleaning

5 Ways to Get Your Kids Cleaning

If you’re a parent then you’ll know how exhausting raising kids can be. It’s pretty impressive the amount of mess they can make!

Getting them to help clean and tidy can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But a bit of patience in getting them to help when they’re young can teach your kids valuable life skills and lighten your load.

We’ve found 5 household jobs that kids can help with – but here are a few pointers to remember before getting started.

Patience is key. Kids probably won’t do a ‘perfect’ clean the first time (and probably not the fifth time). But if you are patient, consistent and give lots of encouragement and praise they can do wonders!

Start basic. Younger kids aren’t the most coordinated, so it’s best to give them simple jobs like putting away toys and helping with laundry. Save jobs like cleaning bathroom vanities, dusting and emptying the dishwasher for older kids.

Make it fun. Turn the chores into a time-based or task-based game with lots of praise and hype. Make things like folding laundry into a group activity where you’re all working together.

Change it up. Repeating the same job over and over can get boring. Switch up the jobs between kids, but make sure they have the responsibility for getting it finished. You’ll need to give clear instructions (and likely repeat them). But they may surprise you!

5 Chores for Children

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Hanging Laundry

Your kids might not be able to put the washing on, but if you have a low portable washing line, they can definitely help to hang it out! My toddler loves hanging the socks and undies to hang on the lower rungs of the rack. I sometimes need to straighten things or pull a sock out of a pot plant, but she generally gets the job done!

If your kids are a bit older, they can help with folding and putting away clothes. I remember having fun with my mum and brothers sorting and folding washing together as a family.

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Toys Task

Getting your kids to put their toys away can be aided by some organisation. Get the kids involved in setting up their toy area so that everything has a ‘home’. This makes packing up so much easier!

This is also a great time to get them to show you what toys they don’t play with anymore. You could either donate the toys to an op shop or give them a ‘rest’ for a few months, by putting them in storage until they feel new again.

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Doggie Duty

Kids love pets and get very attached to them. This can help with getting them to do some of the work of looking after pets. Helping with baths, washing feeding bowls and vacuuming animal hair are all great ways to get them involved and teach them responsibility.

They can often handle messy jobs, too. My 4-year-old nephew puts himself on ‘poop duty’ whenever he goes to his grandparent’s, grabbing his plastic equipment and hunting for poop to shovel and put in the bin. He loves it and his grandparents are only too happy to oblige!

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Home Cleaning

Kids love copying mum and dad, so don’t be afraid to give them a turn when you’re mopping or vacuuming. Older kids will have fun with a spray bottle too – give them a bright cloth and you’ve got a little dusting buddy!

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Space Ownership

As your kids get bigger, it’s important to help them feel like their bedroom is their own space. This helps them to be motivated to keep it tidy. Get them involved in making decisions about their bedding, furniture, storage systems and paint colour (within reason of course).

In my research, I found a blogger who undertakes ‘surprise inspections’ on her child’s room, offering a treat if the room is free of dirty clothes and toy, and the bed made!

How do I start?

Set an hour a week when the whole family will work on the chores together. You’ll be surprised how much can get done with everyone working together. Try putting on some upbeat music to get everyone in a good mood!

One method is to set up a jar system: Write chores on bits of paper, fold them and put them into one jar. Have the kids create their own ‘Chore Jar’, which they can pop the completed chore tickets into. Once they have a certain amount of tickets, they get a prize. It’s lots of fun, and there’s definitely something in it for everyone!

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