It’s finally starting to feel like spring! We are now able to open the windows and let the fresh air roll in with the warm sunshine! Well, until you and your children start coughing because you realize its time to deep clean the windows and the dust bunnies are in full force-haha! Seriously!
Spring cleaning can be such a great feeling to get rid of the old single socks, clean those dust bunnies, and tidy up the house from top to bottom. This can feel very overwhelming! Trying to take this on without help from your kiddos in my opinion is a ‘no-go’. Now that my kids are a bit older they will be included in taking on the spring cleaning tasks!
In our classroom, we expect these preschoolers to start cleaning up after themselves. When they dump an entire box of Legos out onto the floor, I am not the one picking them up. They take on the responsibility of cleaning up after their own messes. This gives them the control, the responsibility, the fine motor practice. If I just clean it up for them, all of these important opportunities are taken away instantly. We hope that this practice of cleaning up after themselves transfers over into their home life as well.
No age is too young!
Yes, even your one year old can help! Give them a damp rag and let them go to town! They can help you clean the walls, floor, and windows with just a wet rag! Doing this along with you as you really get the grime helps build so many important skills and gives them a chance to start helping out. As your child gets older, give them more appropriate age related tasks.
My three year old will help clean up any toys or messy spills that he creates; we get him to participate a little better if we make it fun. He likes to sing the ‘clean up’ song (by Daniel Tiger) while he picks up his toys. He also likes to race his sister while they pick up. Making small games or just singing a simple song makes a huge difference at this age.
For older kiddos, have them start to actually take on responsibility of regularly cleaning. Specifically for this spring cleaning time, I am on a huge purging kick. I gave my 6 year old specific tasks that I could have easily done for her, but by her doing them she gets to take on some responsibility which turns into taking pride in her hard work.
Some tasks I gave her this year were:
- getting rid of 10 stuffed animals
- trying on all her questionable fitting clothes, and getting rid of those that were too small
- helping organize the playroom
I gave her easy goals to meet and let her go to work. In the end, she was really proud to help with these tasks and so far has kept things put away as she had cleaned. She’s proud of her hard work and so am I.
I have attached a chart of age appropriate cleaning tasks for children that I found online. I find it helpful to visually see the breakdown by ages. So don’t take on all the stress of spring cleaning! Let your children help with some of the tasks they are able to do and let them take pride in keeping a clean and happy home!