If you have kids, you may have noticed that they’re not that into cleaning. And we can’t really blame them, since we’re not big fans of it either. But before you bang your head against the wall and plead with your little ones to pick up their rooms once again, here are some pro tips from experienced parents who turned their kids into more eager helpers.
- Give single, small directives - So instead of “clean your room,” think more like “put your Legos in the basket.”
- Don’t underestimate the power of a cleanup song - Make it up, they won’t know the difference and it really motivates the under-three set.
- Start a toy rotation system - Make a rule that you have to put away a set of toys before taking out another. Matchbox cars get picked up so they can play with the blocks.
- Make cleanup time part of the everyday routine - Like before dinner or after a bath, so it’s expected and tolerated, just like brushing their teeth.
- Create a friendly competition between siblings - Challenge your kiddos to race to the finish line with a clean room first.
- Play music they love - Turn on the “Moana” soundtrack and let them sing while they clean.
- Turn it into a dance party - While you’re playing the music, make it a cleanup/dance party mashup.
- Barter with them - Make a deal with them that if they put away five things, then you can do XYZ together.
- Cut them — and yourself — a break - The world won’t end if there are toys on the floor, even if it feels like it will. So relax, mama, you’re all doing a good job.