June 19, 2013
Let’s Clean House – Making Clean Up Fun
We’re a couple weeks into the summer and you may or may not be fighting the ‘I’m bored’s’ or the constant mess-making that can become your summer. Instead of letting the frustration get the best of you, come up with a couple new ways to enjoy what you have and teach your kids some great life skills at the same time.
First of all, kids need direction in cleaning up. To say, ‘clean your room’ and expect everything to be cleaned up probably isn’t going to lead to anything more than a kid sitting in a pile of toys forgetting what they are supposed to be doing in the first place. Age-appropriate expectations and clear directions will go far in the endless cleaning up saga.
A couple simple suggestions for phrasing to help kids clean up? Turn clean up time into a game. It’s more fun for everyone involved and I guarantee the kiddos will move much more quickly if clean up is game-oriented. Heck, I move faster if I set a timer for myself, too.
- THE COUNTING GAME – pick up 5 toys (or 100)
- THE COLOR GAME – pick up all the green toys (or red, or blue)
- THE TYPE OF TOY GAME – pick up all the dolls or trucks – give specific types of toys to pick up
- THE COUNTDOWN GAME – set the timer for 2, 5, or 10 minutes – see how many toys you can gather in said amount of time
- THE GUESSING GAME (also known as estimation) – guess how many toys are on the floor – whoever gets closest to that number wins
- THE LET’S ALL CLEAN UP TOGETHER GAME – take a couple minutes after dinner to race around together and clean up quickly. My kids love it when we all run around cleaning up – maybe yours will too.
How about you? Have a great clean up game to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Friday I’ll have some simple ways to keep the toys contained and make clean up time easier to begin with.
This is a mini series all about getting kids involved in cleaning the house – did you catch this post?
Dezi A Says
Love the color idea! I haven’t done that one. Our favorite is Magic Item. I’ll secretly pick 2-3 (or more depending on the mess) and whoever picks up those specific items gets an extra little treat (tootsie roll, quarter, etc.) It works amazingly!! They totally don’t pay attention to how much they’re picking up. 🙂
Celina L Says
the idea of cleaning by numbers/colors/etc is such a lovely idea! i must try this today! 🙂
Kyle Thomas Says
Before we go to bed we have a “scavenger hunt”. We all go around as fast we can and pick up items that belong to just us for about 5-10 minutes. 😀
I love this idea! We seem to be having HUGE mess making parties every day and clean up has been nearly impossible. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas.