13 Little Tricks to Make Your Kid Like Cleaning
Fact: Kids are just not fans of cleaning. And can really you blame them? But you needn’t give up, mama: There are ways to make your little one a more eager little helper. Consider these 13 vetted tips from the savviest parents we know.
1. Give your kid single, small directives. Think: “put your leggos back in the basket” rather than “clean your room.”
2. Buy them a cute little toy cleaning supply set. And behold as they make a game out of “mopping” the floor.
3. Never underestimate the power of the cleanup song. Works like magic for the under-three set.
4. Instate a toy rotation system. The rule: You have to put away one set of toys (e.g., blocks) in order to get more out (e.g., Matchbox cars).
5. Make cleanup time a scheduled part of every day. Say, before dinner or after we get home from preschool. Soon, it’ll feel just like brushing their teeth or reading a bedtime story.
6. Take them to music or art classes where cleanup is a big part of the group activity. Who knew putting egg shakers in a bin could be so much fun?
7. Make it a friendly competition between siblings. Challenge your brood to race to the finish line and see who can get their room in tip-top shape first.
8. Put on music they’re obsessed with (hi, Moana soundtrack) and ask them how many songs they’ll need in the queue to finish cleaning.
9. Or join them in a cleanup/dance party hybrid. Hey, if it works for mom...
10. Barter with them by giving them exact numbers to work with. E.g.: "If you put away five things, then we can do XYZ together afterward.”
11. Have them help you craft a cleaning chart. And draw pictures of themselves cleaning next to each task.
12. Or a big, pretty chore list. Show us a kid who doesn’t like checking to-dos off as she completes them.
13. Cut them—and yourself—a break.
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