After a long day working, running the household or completing errands, the last thing you want is to put your hand down on the counter and feel something sticky on the surface. But for many parents? Cleaning up after the kids is part of the job.
Luckily, there are ways to ease the burden of cleaning and teach your kids to share the load. By showing them that cleaning can be fun, quick and painless, they can pick up clean habits that will make mopping up a spill or folding their laundry second nature rather than a chore.
One way to teach kids not to fear cleaning is by playing cleaning games with them while they’re still learning. Check out this list of fun games that can help you build a culture of cleanliness in your home. Take a look!
The Clean Lantern
Turn your kids into a superhero who is on a mission to find and defeat the evil Dust Bunny. Create a cape using a sheet, then use this printable superhero eye mask and badge to turn your kids into the Clean Lantern. Challenge them to fight evil using their mops and washcloths.
Laundry Room Races
Once the laundry is finished and ready to be folded, line your kids up at a starting line and have them race to get their clothes folded, taken to their rooms and put away. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get chores done. For added fun: have them shoot their socks into the laundry bin like a basketball before they can move on.
Chores and Ladders
Give each child a token such as a coin or bottlecap and use this printable game board to make cleaning a game of chance. Line up at the starting line and roll a 6-sided die, then move the number of spaces indicated and complete the corresponding task. The game board even includes blank spaces for you to leave blank so your kids can get off the hook, or write in house-specific chores.
If there’s an outside mess to be cleaned up — chalk on the driveway, anyone? — make it more fun by playing games with sprinklers or a hose. Put on bathing suits, turn on the hose and have fun spraying each other while you clean up chalk or wash the car.
Make sweeping more interesting by turning the dustpan into a monster that is hungry for dirt and dust. Print out the dust monster printable, have your kids color it in then attach it to your dustpan with tape. Every time your kids sweep dirt into the pan, it’ll look like the dust monster is eating it up.
Turn your cleaning day into a concert while mopping, sweeping or dusting. Use the broomstick, mop handle or spray bottle as a microphone and sing along to your favorite pop hits. Bonus points if you dress up like a diva!
At the end of the day, creating a culture of cleanliness at home means making it so your kids don’t fear cleaning. Make chores fun for them by making it a family affair that they look forward to.