10 Awesome Ways to Make Cleaning FUN for Kids


It’s time for some Spring cleaning, so why not make it fun?? I asked some of the most creative moms in the blogosphere to share their best tips for keeping the kiddos motivated to help out around the house. These mamas make cleaning time seem like a blast!

Pretend Play

1. “Dress up like proper maids and butlers, and pretend you are cleaning up after the messy children who live at this house.  ’Can you believe they left their crayons all over the floor?  Tut, tut!’  I really think it would be fun to keep aprons, maids’ caps, and bow ties in a special place for this purpose.” — Katey from Having Fun at Home

2. “I can always get my son (now 6) motivated to help out if I tell him that I’m going to give him a challenge, or sometimes I call it a ‘mission’. For example, ‘For the first part of this challenge you need to find all your shoes and put them away. The second part you need to make sure all your clothes are in the hamper. And the final part of the challenge you need to wipe down the kitchen table. Let’s see how quickly you can complete your challenge.’ Then I sing some of “mission impossible” to get him going!” — Laura from PlayDrMom

3. “I get my girls to play ‘Cinderella’ with me, we wear hankies on our heads and scrub the hardwood on our hands and knees (with vinegar water in little buckets and rags)” — MaryLea from Pink and Green Mama

4. “My girls love to pretend they are filming cleaning commercials. It always makes me smile when they talk about the other leading brands!” — Valerie from Inner Child Fun

Use Kid-Sized Cleaning Tools

5. “My kids love our Swiffer with the middle sections pulled out so that it is just their height!” — MaryAnne from MamaSmiles

6. “I made a little cleaning caddy for ‘C’ to carry around the house. Her favorite part is her “dust bunny” (an old gym sock with a bunny drawn on it with Sharpie!)” MaryLea from Pink and Green Mama

7. “Kids can start using a dust buster vacuum as early as 3.5 – this makes moms happy – the kids love it too – it’s just their size!” — Kristen from Busy Kids Happy Mom

Make it a Game

8. “To get them to help tidy their toys, we make it a game – either a ‘Let’s see how fast we can clean this up’ style game, a friendly competition to see how many toys they can each put away in a certain amount of time” — Bernadette from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

9. “We sometimes make cleaning up a game (especially when we’re faced with a huge mess in their bedroom or playroom). I might issue a challenge like ‘Pick up as many blue things as you can before the timer beeps’ and give each kid a color.” — Laura from Come Together Kids

10. “We have a kitchen that’s open to the living room so one thing that works well for us is that I turn on a timer and ‘race’ the kids for 10 minutes of cleaning. I try to get my kitchen clean while they pick up the living room. They’re still young so I’m sort of shouting directions as I wash dishes like, ‘Oh no! I hope they don’t get all those blocks picked up! EEk! Eek! They’re going to win! All they have to do is get those couch cushions back on the couch!!’ Getting goofy and trying to work quickly gives us all a little energy boost.” — Alissa from Creative With Kids

For More Ideas to Make Cleaning Fun for Kids See:

10 Fun Ways to Tidy Up the Nursery via Katey at Having Fun at Home

Time-Saving Tip for Cleaning via Valerie at Inner Child Fun

Tips for Cleaning House with Young Children in Tow via Christie from Childhood 101

What do you do to make cleaning fun for your kids? We would love to hear about it! Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

 

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Comments

  1. I love these ideas….

  2. We have a piggy timer- I usually set it for 10 minutes (15 if it’s a super mess) and we scurry to get everything picked up. Whatever’s left on the ground, I box up and put in the closet. :) They usually get it all up in time. Now. :)

  3. My boy likes to wear his Superman costume and help me clean wearing it, claiming that a superhero should help everyone…

  4. Your filming cleaning commercials idea is brilliant!!! Love that photo of Clara, and your broom is way too fun!

    Such great tips! Thanks for including our swiffer idea :)

    • Thank you so much, MaryAnne! It is so funny to watch them really get into their commercials!!! I’m so glad you shared the Swiffer idea — brilliant!!

  5. Great tips – I love #10 from Alissa as our kitchen and living are open and connected too so I might combine my post dinner kitchen clean up with the 15 min evening tidy of all the living room books/drawing supplies etc

    • How fun!! Alissa’s tip made me laugh out loud — I can just imagine how much fun that would be! xoxo

  6. We needed to do some serious cleaning up today and I loved reading all the ideas last night. I tried the “mission” one today combined with the challenge idea with picking up colors. My 4 year old loved it! She said it was her favorite thing we did today. Basically I told her that her mission was to… pick up and put away everything blue, or everything with wheels, or everything that had to do with princesses, etc… It was lots of fun and she actually helped quite a bit. And with no nagging!

  7. Wow! This is a great list! Thanks so much for including us!

  8. I’m always looking for ways to make clean-up more fun. Thanks for the great list, Valerie.

  9. This post turned out great! Such creative ideas! I love it!

  10. I’ve been giving my son an allowance for awhile now, much earlier than most parents. But, he has to earn it. Since he’s so young, I give him little tasks that only take a minute or two and I give him a quarter to put in his piggy bank, and he gets to spend it any way he wants.

  11. This may seem weird but my girls love it when I pretend the be the wicked step mom as in Cinderella and tell them to clean rooms in a certain time frame or else I’ll take them to the dungeon. Hahaha. It has worked for years and even now they still love it. Of course, now I also can say clean XY and Z and then you’ll get to go here or there or do this or that … : ) Love your posts.

  12. Hope you don’t mind I loved this post and I featured it in a spring cleaning roundup, grab a feature button if you would like.
    http://www.missinformationblog.com/2012/04/spring-cleaning-tips.html

  13. Love this and shared it today on a post I did over at Life Your Way http://family.yourway.net/chores-for-kids-diy-board-game/

  14. Mommy of 2 says:

    We like to play “Bed and Breakfast”. I am the cook, my older child is the house keeper, and the younger child is the dinning room coordinator. The older one makes the beds and vacuumes if needed. The younger wipes down and sets the table. I do the dishes as/before I cook.
    We do this every night, so it isn’t too much to clean. When my husband is home he usually gets to be the handyman or laundry attendant.

  15. This helps me as well as the kids;) sometimes if we are into our tv show but things NEED to get done. I incorporate the ‘commercial break hustle/dash’ as soon as commercials start we (pre-deligated) jump up &run to do our task as fast/as much till I yell ‘shows on!’ Then run & dive back on couch, outta breath, till next commercial. It also helps run out their energy(&yours, but hey you burned extra calories-Go you!) and never missed any of your shows. P.s. if you have dvr/pause, you can trick em into a lil bit longer ‘hustle’ time:)

  16. When my girls were younger, I would have them each run (literally) into their shared bedroom to put one item away and then run back out. Then the other one would go in, and they’d take turns racing in and out to clean up. They’d eventually get so wrapped up in their cleaning that they’d fight over whose turn it was, because one would want to be the one finishing up a certain thing, like the bookcase, or to be the one who did the most work. All in all, the room got cleaned, and they had fun!

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