9 ways to make clean-up fun for your tot

Get junior used to pitching in around the house ― we have ideas to make cleaning chores more appealing.

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Kids are messy, they leave their toys around the house, drop crumbs when they eat, and stain just about everything.

Yet, picking up after themselves is an important part of your child’s development. When they do chores, they contribute to the household, learn the value of work, and acquire a sense of responsibility.

When kids know how much work goes into something, they start to appreciate it better. For instance, if they have wiped the table and someone spills a sticky drink on it, they’ll be frustrated.

While doing chores, junior also learns to work alongside family members, which is critical as they’ll always need to figure out how to get along with people. Last, you’ll be instilling cleanliness as an important value.

If you are wondering how to get your little one to pitch in when they can’t even sit still for 10 minutes, follow these simple strategies to turn clean-up chores into an amusing activity!

1. Give timed challenges

Timed challenges during clean-up will turn this activity into a fun game. Challenge junior to pick up all of the toys in particular area within five minutes, or to tidy up their bedroom within 10 minutes, for example. Setting a time limit will excite your little one and motivate them to clean up as they’ll view it as a game, which should spur them to clean up much faster, too.

Jamming to some of your child’s favourite tunes together with them can make for a good bonding session as well, while both of you clean up the house.

2. Play music

Upbeat music should make cleaning feel less boring and tedious. Jamming to some of your child’s favourite tunes together with them can make for a good bonding session as well, while both of you clean up the house. As your little one is having fun singing along to the songs with you, time will seem to pass faster while cleaning!

3. Make up a game involving colours

This game not only encourages your toddler to clean up ― it also serves as a way to teach them about colours! Ask your little one to put aside all the toys that are yellow in one box, and all toys that are another hue in another box.

4. Offer rewards

Although this may not make the cleaning process that much easier, offering rewards will make junior feel more motivated to do chores. You could tell them that if they manage to clean up a certain area, you’ll let them stay up a little later, or watch a movie your child likes.
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5. Let them role play a superhero

Your tot will be more excited if you create a scenario for them ― for instance, you could tell your tot that they are a superhero whose job is to clean up all the toys in a particular room and save the day. Tots will probably use their great imagination to make the little role-play scenario come to life (in their minds) and get to work without a frown!

6. Make cleaning solution with your little one

Your little one will probably enjoy this activity, and you won’t need to worry about them getting their skin in contact with the product as it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals! All you need is to add one tablespoon of baking soda, one cup of white vinegar, and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to four cups of hot water, then top with 25 drops of essential oil your little one will pick.

Instead of always getting your kid to do a variety of tasks, it’s sometimes better to focus on what they like to do, then teach them to do it well.

7. Organise a treasure hunt

You can encourage your little one to clean thoroughly by planning a little treasure hunt! You can hide sweets or other items your tot likes around the house, and tell them to find it as they do a thorough clean and search of every corner of the area they are supposed to tidy.

8. Observe what they prefer to do

Spot what chore your little one likes the most, then show them how to do it well. For example, if your child enjoys gliding across the ground with a towel to wipe it, teach them how to do it properly! Instead of always getting your kid to do a variety of tasks, it’s sometimes better to focus on what they like to do, then teach them to do it well.

9. Give your tot small cleaning products

It may be hard for junior to handle big broomsticks and other adult-sized items for the clean-up. Thus, buying cleaning tools in smaller-sizes could ease your child’s cleaning duties! Decorate the cleaning products by sticking eyes, lips or other designs on them. This will make the cleaning products look cuter and more appealing to your little one.

Photos: iStock

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