We have regular Saturday morning cleaning times in our house. Everyone cleans. I don’t care if you are sick, hurt, grouchy… you clean. The most common question I hear from other moms is, “how do you get your kids to clean without whining?” My answer is usually, “I make it fun.”
How do you make cleaning fun though? Here are my tips for making cleaning fun, and most importantly FAST!
- Set a timer. I give my kids a task and then tell them to beat the timer to get it done. There is no reward, but if they don’t beat the timer, then they get a “punishment.” Usually, an extra chore, or the other kid gets to pick their next chore (thinking they might have to do toilets gets them motivated).
- Music!! Turn off the tv, and turn up the music. Something fast, something fun, and something LOUD!
- Chore Wheel. I have a friend who uses the chore wheel, and loves it. The basic idea is that you put all the chores on a “wheel” and then kids spin for their chore. Check out these ideas on Pinterest for making your own chore wheel.
- Chore Sticks. I used to have a jar sitting on my counter with chores written on wooden craft sticks. When it was chore time, everyone picked a stick and did a chore, when they finished they picked another… until all the chores were done.
- Make a List. Now that my kids are older (7 and 11), we have a list posted on their bedroom wall of daily chores, and weekly chores. They know to check this list each day and do it. On Saturday’s they have to do their daily chores, plus the weekly chores that they split up. It makes my job easier because all I have to say is “check your list” and they know what needs to be done, and what has been done.
- Set a Routine! I love routine… and my kids seem to also thrive in routine. So, I have tried to start making cleaning part of our routine. Each night we clean up the toys in the living room, and they pick up their bedrooms. Then Saturday mornings, we have our cleaning time. It really does help to take away some of the complaining, if they know to expect it at the same time each week/day/etc.
- Set rewards. Who doesn’t like rewards? I know I do. I like to reward myself with some downtime once I have finished a set list of tasks. I do the same for my kids. Rewards can range from money, to candy, to extra time awake at bedtime, to picking a movie on family night, to picking a lunch date with mommy or daddy on Saturday. Anything you choose that motivates your kiddos.
- Set consequences. If chores don’t get done, consequences are handed out. For my kids, that means you get extra chores and you lose time on your tablet… or you don’t get a movie at bedtime. Again, you have to choose what will motivate your children and use it.
What do you do to get your kiddo’s involved in cleaning?