It can be difficult to keep the house in check when cleaning up after yourself at times. It’s even more challenging to keep up after everyone’s mess living under the same roof. If you have kids of any age living in your home and have been trying to find ways to encourage or teach them how to clean up after the day, these ideas are guaranteed to give you new, interesting, and fun methods to make cleaning more enjoyable for kids and any adult who’s kid at heart!
Turn laundry day into a basket tossing challenge
Any chore that involves picking up items can be made into a fun carnival style game. For rooms with dirty clothes piled around the floor put your laundry baskets at one end of the room. Have your kids move all the clothes on the ground to the opposite side and have them take turns with or without you on trying to toss them into the basket. You can even take it a step further with multiple baskets for whites and colors or sort by type of clothing if you have a specific way to wash laundry.
Make spilled toys a spin-off hungry hippo game
Toys scattered across the living room or other parts of the house is a common occurrence for most people with kids. It can prove to be tiresome to teach kids to pick up after themselves after play time is over. Instead, try to add more play to picking up toys by using toy bins and playing the role of a hungry hippo. Have your kids stand in the middle of the area with scattered toys and stand at the other side with the toy bin. Use your best silly voice to act out the hippo and demand to be fed with toys. You can also set timers and music to really make the game entertaining!
Turn cleaning into a rewarded scavenger hunt
A great way to make cleaning fun for anyone in the house is to create a scavenger hunt around your home with things that need to be cleaned. There’s a lot of ways this can be done but a simple way is by using colorful sticky notes. Start by giving your kids a sticky note with a clue on the first thing that needs to be cleaned. Each note should have a clue on where the next cleaning task is located. This can be used to get kids to wash dishes, for example, or wipe down bathroom counters and more. If you have multiple kids you can separate sticky notes by color. Reward kids when they complete all tasks and collect all sticky notes with a prize such as cash or taking them for ice cream.
Give kids a “cleaning superhero” outfit and role play with cleaning scenarios
This idea works better with young children, but adults can also be involved. Make your kids a superhero with dish gloves, rubber boots, an old T-shirt and shorts, and a cape. You can get as inventive as you want with the outfit and add accessories such as an eye mask or bandana. You’ll have to act out the scenario that something in need of cleaning is under attack by germs or mess. For example, to have kids clean up toys on the couch you could pretend the toys are villains attacking “Couch City”. To have kids throw away garbage around the kitchen you could pretend “trash villains” are attacking “Kitchenville”. If you’re feeling childlike yourself, you can join them in dressing up and act as their sidekick.
No matter how you add in a dose of fun to clean up time there’s an infinite number of ways to mix it up. Adding your children’s favorite music to clean up time will also increase enjoyment when they’re cleaning. You can even try out various characters to play when acting out games to tailor to the interests of your kids. For example, instead of using a hungry hippo, you can play a hungry lion if it’s your child’s favorite animal. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative and try any of these ideas with different types of chores or cleaning tasks.