As busy parents, it can be difficult to find the time to tackle your home's spring cleaning while keeping the kids from needing something from you every second. The solution? Make spring cleaning a GOLDEN experience and have them help! Not only does it teach responsibility, but it takes a load off you, too. (At Goldfish Swim School, we're all about helping parents!)
Remember, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be the tedious ritual you may remember from childhood. Get all hands on deck (no pun intended;) with easy spring cleaning ideas for kids that really work.
DO: Schedule the day ahead of time.
Or, if you know you have a lot to tackle, pick two days. Mark it on the calendar so everyone knows in advance what the day will hold -- and can think of ways to make it fun (see below).
DO: Use charts.
Create a list of exactly who in the family is responsible for completing which spring-cleaning tasks. It provides everyone with concrete knowledge of what is expected from each person, promotes extraordinary results, and also creates a sense of accomplishment when the task is finished. Pro tip: Take a page from our playbook by rewarding with small prizes like stickers, temporary tattoos and ribbons.
DO: Make cleaning fun.
Blare the music. Have intermittent dance-offs or sing-offs. Be positive; No need to go crazy with fake praise, but a casual "great job" and "nice work" go a long way to making kids feel good about what they are doing.
DO: Take a fun break.
Maybe plan for a favorite delivery or carry-out for lunch or toss a few sandwiches together for a quick trip to the neighborhood park if weather permits. Or do a fun, EASY animal craft.
Pro tip: During the spring cleaning, have the kids collect items to be used in craft making such as empty toilet paper rolls, paper scraps or treasures from the couch cushions.
DO: Have older kids team up with younger kids.
Not only does it help empower the older ones as leaders (and saves you from having to help your littlest ones with the task), but it creates a bonding moment that may even be snap-worthy.
DO: Celebrate when it's over.
Spring Cleaning Day doesn't have to be something everyone dreads every year -- when you make it fun! It gives kids (and you) something to look forward to at the end of their labor-filled day and is a fantastic way to create some quality time.
If you have to redo the task yourself at a later date if your little one doesn't complete it exactly the way you would, it's OK. Learning is a process -- so you can show her how to do it and help when needed.
Spring Cleaning Tasks by Age
These are the chores that don't get done on the regular that kids can easily help you with:
-Wipe baseboards. Fill a bucket with a little bit of soapy water, hand your little one a sponge and let her wipe all the baseboards -- saving your back some stress.
-Doorknobs and light switches. A cloth dampened by soapy water gets these cleaned up easily. Feel free to spray with disinfectant after…and often, if you don't already.
-Heating vents. Send your little one to do a quick wipe of all the vents in the house with a damp cloth.
-Dust window blinds. Depending on age and ability, kids can have fun putting an old sock on their hand and wiping down each blind individually. Plus, it's great for those motor skills!
-Drains. Open the tub and sink drains and pull out any hair or debris yourself (using tweezers or similar). Then, have kids pour baking soda in the drain followed by vinegar -- and enjoy the giggles over the unexpected science experiment. (And when everything goes back down, pour some boiling water down the drain yourself to fully clear it out).
-Windows. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water, and let kids spray it on the windows. Wipe clean with paper towel.
-Window tracks and patio doors. Break out the tiny crevice tool on your vacuum and suck up the dirt in the window tracks. Then, sprinkle baking soda, and pour a little bit of vinegar on top. After a few minutes, use an old toothbrush to scrub the tracks and wipe clean after.
-Vacuum and sweep. Since it's spring cleaning, this is the time to let older kids move couches and really clean every single part of the floors -- even under beds.
-Refrigerator. Older kids can handle bigger projects, like taking everything out of the fridge and freezer and wiping down all the shelves with a vinegar and water solution.
-Kitchen cupboards. Use a vinegar and water solution (either in a spray bottle or in a bucket with a sponge) to clean grease and grime from kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Add some dishwashing soap to the mixture to get rid of the really sticky stuff.
Celebrate at Goldfish Swim School
Did your kids spring clean? Have them tell us about it at their next lesson! After all your family's hard work spring cleaning, head to a Goldfish Swim School location near you to enjoy a family swim. We use integrity, compassion and trust to teach ages 4 months and older how to swim, and our WOW! customer service will leave you smiling and excited. We also know a thing or two about prioritizing cleaning!