No matter how little, kids can help with household chores. Specifically, cleaning up their rooms. In honor of “Clean Your Room Day,” on May 10th, we have put together a few ideas to make the process fun, instead of just another boring chore. Instilling these habits while your kids are young will help them take pride in their surroundings, while also taking better care of their things.
Let Them Choose
Kids inertly like to help. They love to help mom and dad and will typically have a positive reaction when they feel useful and helpful. When you let them pick the chores they like the most, they will have that positive reaction while doing something they enjoy. Some may love sweeping, others putting toys away. Of course, they’ll eventually need to tackle some less appealing chores, but what matters now is that they are chipping in.
Make It Fun
As Mary Poppins taught us, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun, and — snap — the job’s a game.” There are all sorts of ways to make cleaning up fun for kids.
- Shoot some hoops into the hamper with dirty clothes
- Set a timer to see how much they can do in 5 or 10 minutes
- See who can fold and put away their laundry in the least amount of time – neatly, of course
Making it a game makes household chores feel less like work and more like play.
Work It Into Your Routine
When something happens like clockwork each day, kids will rarely question it and instead accept it as the norm. For example…
- After dinner, everyone should chip-in to help cleanup.
- The dishes should be done every night before bed.
- The animals should be cared for at specific times.
- Plants are watered every Tuesday morning.
You get the idea. These chores can become much easier to bear when added to a regular routine.
The Chore Chart – Your Way
We’ve seen a lot of chore charts and ways to reward kids. While some of these are great, it’s important to use something that you can customize to your needs. (Otherwise, it likely won’t be used…. Trust us.) You can find a dry-erase chart, magnet charts, and there are always little gold stars. However, you decide to track, encourage your child by rewarding them for a job well done.
Don’t Make Chores “Bad”
While some parents opt to use additional chores as a form of discipline, this can leave kids with negative connotations regarding housework. Cleaning up after themselves is a responsibility, something they will need to do for the rest of their lives. Making it a positive experience that they take pride in will instill in them great habits and a great attitude. They won’t run away the next time you tell them to “clean your room!”
However you choose to approach room cleaning, the process needs to work for your family and routine. All kids are different, and finding the right motivation is key. Finding ways to make your children want to clean their rooms instead of having to clean their rooms will make a huge difference.