Kids are great at making a mess – and while it may be easier in the short term to just tidy up after your little ones, it’s important to show them the importance of tidying up themselves.
Want to get children involved in cleaning? There are plenty of ways to get them interested – and make it fun!
DO… make a game of it!
Kids are much more willing to participate if it’s a game or a competition. Who can tidy up the most teddies in a minute? How fast can you put all the toy cars back in their box?
DON’T… teach them about the ‘tidying up fairy’
By giving in and putting their toys away for them, you may be inadvertently teaching them that if they ignore the mess for long enough, it will sort itself out.
DO… use baskets to make things easier
Little ones may not know where every toy or piece of clothing is meant to be kept – baskets and toyboxes can help, as all they have to do is put items into any of the baskets.
DON’T… let little ears hear you complain about housework
Do you grumble when it’s time to do the washing up and complain about the ironing? Try to let them see you cheerful and happy about doing these activities and they won’t become dreaded chores as they grow up.
DO… add music to the mix!
Music brings energy to any situation – so get their favourite tunes on, turn it up load and add a little silliness to tidy time.
DON’T… be too vague
If your child is getting old enough to clean their own room, simply saying ‘clean your room’ might not be specific enough. Give them a list of precise tasks – make the bed, put clothes in the laundry basket, dust the bookshelves – to teach them exactly what ‘cleaning and tidying’ means.
DO… offer incentives!
We all know that bribes work pretty well as a last resort – but if you don’t want to offer money or sweets, why not offer a movie of their choice or trip to the park as an incentive instead?