Spring has sprung at Stuck On You HQ. The birds are singing. Flowers are blooming. Children are playing and laughing merrily.
The reality is that the cold wind is lingering, yet still happy to transport those allergens that make your nostrils itch. Your children are alert and awake for longer (yay!). And those progressively longer days and brighter sunlight mean that the household mess you could sort of overlook in the shorter, darker days of winter is suddenly more visible than ever, halting the spring in your step.
So how do you get those longer-awake kids on board with the spring cleaning, and at the same time set up good habits for a lifetime?
Here are our best tips.
Break tasks into bite-size pieces
‘Clean your room’ may sound overwhelming to some children, so it may be easier to give them smaller, specific tasks like ‘Put your Lego away’ and ‘Vacuum the floor’.
The family that cleans together, cleans better
If you’re doing chores as a family, consider cleaning one room at a time together, rather than separately. Why? Because most young children don’t like to clean alone in a room. Also, they are less likely to slack off if others are watching!
Tip: Make family cleaning fun by playing chore-related games (see our previous blog here) or bopping along to your favourite tunes.
Variety is key
Give your kids the ‘opportunity’ to try all types of chores. This not only keeps things interesting but will also diversify their skills – something they will thank you for when they’re adults (maybe).
Chore variety also helps to smash gender stereotyping – so get your boys doing the dishes and your girls cleaning out the garage.
Swap messy old toys for non-messy treats
You would imagine that the joys of a clean floor and nicely organised shelves would be incentive enough for the children to de-clutter their rooms. However, more than likely, you will encounter a struggle as you try to squirrel away that tattered toy car or headless doll that your child suddenly decides they’re interested in again.
So how do you encourage your littlies to get rid of those incomplete puzzle pieces, stray bits of dollar store lego and Barbies that have seen better days? One of my favourite methods is that for every bag they fill with toys to throw out, they receive a reward such as:
- A new game on the iPad
- A new book or toy from the op shop (where they can also donate their intact unwanted goods)
- A day at the movies or play centre
The general aim here is that they swap their messy, ugly old toys with new (and hopefully less clutter-y) toys or intangible experiences.
Another solution to the clutter is to introduce ‘Toy Jail’, where toys that are left out find themselves confined in a box. Their only hope of emancipation? Plain hard work. No ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ cards here.
Well played, TheChicSite, well played…
STUCK ON YOU CHORE CHARTS
Stuck On You has amazing Chore Charts which will guarantee that your offspring will perform their chores with enthusiasm and joy (or at the very least, something better than stone-cold resistance). Check out the lovely designs, complete with fun stickers and a space to write a bribe *cough* I mean, reward.