Spring is in bloom! That means dusting off the snow ridden blues, and for most households, it also means letting out stuffiness, letting in fresh air and jumping straight into spring cleaning. Some people that live for Spring cleaning: they buy organizers, wreck their apartments by pulling out contents in closets, cabinets and drawers – just to clean it up and feel like they’ve cleared some space. For a family, this process is a little more drawn out, and there’s usually a specific type of household member who won’t be thrilled to welcome Spring in this way … your children. They would much rather be outside than going through their own closets to make room for Spring.
It’s time for a solution, for the children to clean with the excitement of adults. After all, one day they will love it, and wouldn’t it be great if they could get their children to love it too? Spring cleaning is about thinking ahead. Now let’s get to it!
1. A game of make believe.
Children love to play make believe, and as the weather gets warmer and their fun time travels outdoors, imaginative play is in full spring. They pretend to be crime fighters in the front yard, circus performers on the playground and much more.So naturally when it’s time to clean, why not start with make believe. One way to do it is to pretend that everyone has been taken captive by an evil sorceress, wicked witch, etc. One person plays the wicked witch, who cleans upstairs while periodically rushing downstairs to make sure that the others were doing their jobs. Cleaning is fast paced and thorough so you don’t make the witch mad.
“Tori, you call this cleaning? It’s been ten minutes, and those toys still aren’t picked up,” says the witch.
“I’m sorry Wicked Witch, I’m cleaning as fast as I can.”
”That’s Mrs. Witch to you, and you better clean faster or else.”
It’s a fun way to get things done quickly , especially because the faster you clean up your station, the faster your turn will come to be the witch.
Or you could let them dress up in a “super hero” getup and save the town by cleaning the house. Or, they’re a princess, getting rid of their old clothes to give away to the people in their kingdom, who are all taking a trip back to winter. Kids love emulating their favorite characters, and this lets them have fun and play an important role.
2. A cleaning dance off.
Music gives cleaning a rhythm, and can keep things a bit interesting. So why not mix things up for your kids? Play a mix of some of your favorite songs and some of theirs. You can assign certain songs for breaks, certain songs for speed cleaning, and after every room is done, the official dancing competition begins. You could get really creative and do dance moves inspired by the chore you were doing. Whoever dances the best and uses the most moves from the room wins! Then, it’s back to cleaning and brainstorming moves so the winners can keep their title and the losers can redeem themselves. Not only are you working together, but you’re inspiring creativity and healthy competition.
Sometimes things need to be split up by category. When cleaning, instead of tackling an entire area, you can tackle a specific category. First picking up all the clothes, then all the trash, then all the toys, etc. To make things even easier you can give each person a job to go with an object. You could make someone Clothing Captain, someone else the Trash Tyrant and another the Garden Fairy. Give each person a badge and dominion over each section. So, if someone didn’t know whether to put something in storage or keep it, they would ask the team specialist for help. Kids, especially the youngest of the pack, will love being in charge of a certain part of the day’s tasks.
Spring cleaning like this kicks off Spring, but also kicks off a child’s day with family fun that can continue once the chores are done. Have fun and happy Spring!