Making kids a part of spring cleaning

Michelle Verne

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I don’t know who came up with the idea of spring cleaning, but for some reason whenever spring arrives I feel the need to clean.  It’s hard to get the house cleaner than normal with kids around. After all, the fingerprints on the walls are caused by them.  So this spring I’ve decided to incorporate them into the process.

By doing small things, I’ve created a more interesting way for them to develop the habit of spring cleaning.  My two-year-old loves to play matching games with socks.  If the socks are different colors and have different designs the more fun it is.  We also discuss the different prints on the t-shirts and the colors and patterns of the clothes.

Having the kids help water the plants outside and inside is a lesson in environmental health.  They learn the names of the different plants and flowers and gain knowledge of how to respect ecological life.

If there are any types of messes involving liquid, kids can get a lesson in learning which type of cleaning methods absorb the most.  The differences between paper towels, rags and sponges are important, so they don’t use one paper towel for a full glass of spilled milk.

Moving dishes from the sink into the dishwasher or drying rack can become a math game.  Your child can help you move them while counting each different type of dish or utensil.  You can also use them to provide different math problems such as:  How many more forks are there than spoons?  How many more blue plates are there than white plates?  There are several great learning and logic problems to create with dishes.

Cleaning their room and picking up toys are the hardest chores for my kids to accomplish.  Sometimes bribing them can become an only option.  Using games that involve shapes, organizing and sorting skills can help them to become a little more enthusiastic.  Now I sometimes also involve an organizing contest, whoever does the best job gets some type of incentive.

Though I don’t have the time to practice these regimens with them everyday, these exercises help to motivate them, and eventually the spring cleaning gets accomplished.

Michelle Verne
Staff reporter