Spring is here! And with springtime, comes spring cleaning! The air is warming, and the first flowers might already be in bloom where you live. And it’s time to air out the house and indulge in some spring cleaning.
While this time-honored tradition of using the season change to deep clean is helpful, it can also feel like a bit of a chore for the whole family.
Unfortunately, while every child likes to make a mess, none enjoy cleaning up after! Turn spring cleaning into a game to help include the kids.
Check out these activities to do with the kids that can make spring cleaning fun, instead of a dreaded chore.
“Who’s The Supervisor Now?”
Every kid looks up to mommy and daddy as an example.
Use that admiration to your advantage with the game “Who’s The Supervisor Now?” by turning the tables so your kid gets to be the boss during the game. This game works particularly great with the younger kiddos, but you can also adapt it to work with older kids—say, if they have siblings they want to boss around.
Create a checklist of all the household tasks that need doing in the day, and assign a “supervisor” among your kids.
They get to check up on everyone and make sure all the chores are completed—putting them in the driver’s seat. This game helps kids learn leadership responsibilities and cultivates a sense of duty. In addition, you get some spring cleaning activities checked off the list while you’re at it.
While cleaning seems like a mundane task, chores are important for child development. When framed correctly, they can help cultivate independence and help your child’s self-esteem as they feel accomplished.
Play a Game of Sorting
Kids love sorting blocks and other toys. It helps them learn what different items have in common.
So why not incorporate these activities into your normal daily chores?
Have the kids help out in any task that involves sorting—say, separating colors for laundry day, or putting away dishware after it’s been cleaned. This helps reinforce those cognitive skills, while also coaxing your kid into helping out with chores more.
You might even task the sorting of laundry as their regular assigned family duty to give them a sense of ownership in the task.
Let Them Lead a Garage Sale
One of the best ways to clear up extra clutter around the house is by hosting a garage or yard sale.
Let the kids lead the charge on this and turn it into their seasonal small business!
Task them with sorting through and organizing the sale and putting the price stickers on all the items. This is an all-ages one as well! You can pull in older children by tasking them with social media posts and putting signs up around the neighborhood. This can turn into a whole family affair pretty quickly.
Leading the annual garage or yard sale teaches your child a number of important tasks.
There are the obvious things, of course—money counting, organizational skills, teamwork. But it also teaches your child project management, leadership, altruism, and how to part with things they may no longer need.
Children are predisposed to hoarding, considering how little they are in control of in their lives. A garage sale can make letting go of items feel like a normal and even fun task, rather than something to dread.
Find The Loose Change
If there’s one thing most homes have in common, it’s loose change hanging around somewhere. Tasking your child with finding the spare change lying around the house will keep them occupied while also wrangling up all those floating coins.
This isn’t just a spring cleaning activity, either—you can have them check on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how much change you lose!
As a reward for a job well done, let them keep the loose change they find. When they see they get something out of it, they’ll take the initiative to hunt for coins themselves! If you have stacks and stacks of coins at the end, you can incorporate this into other activities—say, rolling coins to bolster organizational or sorting skills, or a piggy bank to teach them the value of saving.
How Cleaning Helps a Child
While kids might find the prospect of spring cleaning dull, you can use certain activities to make it a valuable learning experience. These spring cleaning activities teach children a number of organizational skills they will need as adults, and values to match.
Teamwork, responsibility, leadership—these are all learning by leading on these projects.
Not to mention, kids will also learn an important lesson about cause-and-effect! Their mess doesn’t just miraculously clean itself. They have to actively clean up after themselves if they want an organized space.
Involve your kids in your spring cleaning activities, but make it a group project too. Kids are more likely to go along with the project if they’re not singled out: it’s a family activity, not a punishment. This is also a great bonding activity for children: with you, with their siblings, or with their babysitter.
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