With the warmer months quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your spring cleaning to-do list. However, it’s important to factor in the kids when planning out everything that needs to be done. While they may want to sit out on the cleaning, getting them involved can help teach them valuable life lessons as well as giving you an excuse to get them off of the couch and get them moving.
If you need ideas on how to best incorporate your children into your spring cleaning, here are some ideas on how to include them.
With spring comes plenty of things to clean up outside. This can be a great way to get kids active outside, while also allowing them to be productive and help you tackle some of your spring cleaning chores. Some ideas on how kids can help include:
- Cleaning Up the Yard: During winter sticks and other types of lawn debris can pile up. This can make your lawn look less than impressive, as well as making mowing difficult. Enlist your children to help you clean up your yard by having them rake up any stray leaves and pick up any sticks that may have accumulated during winter.
- Sweeping: If you have patio spaces, giving them a good sweep down after winter is essential. Because dirt and debris can blow in and pile up, have your kids thoroughly sweep these areas to ensure that they are clean and usable for spring and summer.
- Clearing Out Garden Plots: Similar to cleaning up the yard, you can also have your children help you clean out your garden areas to get them ready for planting. If you’re doing this in late spring, you can also have the kids pull any weeds that may have started growing.
- Gardening: Once your garden plots have been made ready, you can have your kids help pick out new plants and then plant them alongside you. This is a great way to teach kids about gardening, especially if you make watering or weeding a weekly responsibility.
- General Lawn Care: If you’re planning on planting grass seed, you can also get kids involved by having them help. On the grass seed label, the germination will tell you how much live seed will be in a bag, higher percentages are better, so try to aim for around 80% or above. Have your kids help you pick out the seed, and teach them about this process. This way you help prepare them for the process should they ever have to do it at their future homes.
General chores like this are great for getting kids active outdoors, while also allowing them to help you around the house. This can take some of the pressure off of you and give you the chance to instill valuable life skills.
When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think most about cleaning out the inside of your home. Often times this is where a majority of the work needs to be done and it is where kids can help the most. Some ideas of how kids can get involved with indoor spring cleaning include:
- Cleaning and Organizing Their Rooms: One of the best ways kids can help out is by cleaning up and organizing their belongings. Depending on their age, you can have them tidy up their spaces or go through their closets to pick out things they no longer need or want. Since spring cleaning offers a great opportunity to gather up old stuff for donation, try and get your kids involved to teach them the importance of organizing and donating. Younger children can even get involved if you have them sort through their toys and pick out the ones they no longer play with. By telling them they can donate the toys to other children, you can help instill generosity and a love of giving back.
- Closet Cleaning: Closets can quickly become disorganized and cluttered over the course of a year. Consider enlisting your children to help organize the closets by sorting everything and removing what doesn’t belong. Depending on what is in the closet, you may even have them look for additional things to add to the donation pile!
- Deep Cleaning: The older a child is, the more they can get involved with deep cleaning. Consider working alongside your child and going room by room to thoroughly clean each. This can help teach them proper cleaning techniques, while also giving them an appreciation for keeping things clean. (Hopefully, this means they’ll pick up after themselves in the future!)
- Vacuuming and Carpet Cleaning: Most experts agree that home carpets should be replaced every 10 to 15 years; however, the better you take care of them the longer they will last. Younger children can help with vacuuming or even spot cleaning the carpets, while older kids could even use a carpet cleaning machine to help revitalize your flooring.
Enlisting kids to help with this process can give them a better understanding of why cleanliness is important, and why they should strive to be neater every day. After all, once they’ve help deep clean the house, they’ll want to keep it clean for as long as possible to prevent them from having to do it again too soon.
The Benefits of Chores for Kids
Chores like this can have impressive benefits when it comes to teaching children valuable lessons and keeping them active. While we want our kids to have fun and happy childhoods, balancing this with a little bit of responsibility can help gradually mold them into more responsible adults in the future. A couple of the best benefits chores like these can offer include:
- Life Skills Chores like this can help teach kids valuable skills that they can rely on later in life. Skills like gardening, carpet maintenance, laundry, organizing, donating, and proper cleaning, can continue to benefit them both as they grow and when they get their own homes.
- Teamwork Working alongside your children when it comes to housework can help teach them teamwork skills that can benefit them both in school and at work.
- Developing Work Ethic By teaching children these skills and then assigning them weekly chores, you can help them develop a stronger work ethic. This can, in turn, benefit them in school and in future work ventures, as they will know the rewards for hard work and persistence.
- Time Management If you give your children set times for things to be done, you can help them better understand how to manage their time and make the most of it. As with the above benefits, this is a skill that can help them with school assignments and with future work ventures.
- Staying Active From 2007 to 2008 the CDC found that 10.4% of children ages two to five were obese. In 2019, it was estimated that nearly five million kids, aged 10 to 17, were overweight and obese. Regular physical chores help get kids moving and mitigate the risk of weight gain. While this alone isn’t necessarily enough to prevent obesity, it’s a step in the right direction.
Benefits like this are something to seriously consider when planning out your spring cleaning to-do list. Not only can chores help teach kids valuable lessons that they can use into adulthood, but it can help instill great values.
If you are a parent who is looking for the best ways to get your children more involved with household upkeep, keep in mind these tips when planning out your spring cleaning schedule. While they may not like it at first, once it becomes a habit, kids will begin to appreciate the benefits of having a clean and organized home.