Although spring cleaning may seem more like the parent’s duty, it can be a fun way to share family activities. Choose a day when no one has other pressing commitments, like school, work, or sports, and work in increments of a few hours at a time to avoid anyone getting burned out or bored. Assign tasks that are age-suitable and skill-specific for every family member. Try making it fun with one of the following activities.
Have a Dance-a-thon
After everyone picks a room or picks their tasks, play some fun music and get everyone dancing. See who can come up with the most original dance moves while dusting, vacuuming, washing, or polishing surfaces and furniture around the house. Encourage everyone to design dance steps and moves that coordinate with the work they are doing, such as wiping off tables, moving while floor mopping, and sorting through books and old toys.
Sort Things Creatively
Ask the kids to come up with ideas of sorting old things that they want to get rid of. Depending on their age, they might decide to color code as red the items they definitely want to get rid of, color code yellow the things that they are not sure about and want your opinion for, and color code remaining possessions as green for those they want to keep. You can give your kids colored stickers to put on the items, even temporarily, or sort them into imaginary color-coded piles or boxes.
Try Natural Cleaners
Suggest that older kids research natural cleaners on the Web instead of using harsher commercial cleaners and insect repellants. For example, they might discover that a cup of water with a few drops of dish soap can trap mosquitos, gnats, and flies. Vinegar or cinnamon can help to repel ants and other crawling insects at the point of entry inside your home. Baking soda and water can be an effective substitute for a commercial bleaching cleanser. Supervise their findings and experiments with natural ingredients, which can combine spring cleaning with a safe science experiment.
After assigning areas or rooms to each person, set a timer for how long they'll clean the designated space, even if it’s just a bookshelf or toybox. Whoever finishes the fastest or clears the area most comprehensively can get a prize, with everyone getting a consolation prize as well. Consider a dumpster rental when discarding larger items like furniture, big lawn toys, a doghouse, etc.
Spring cleaning can be fun when you add a splash of creativity. Involve your kids with tips like these to teach them valuable life skills.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.