Little hands can make big messes, but the cleanup needn’t be all on you. Kids love to play and if you make a game out of housework, they will be all for it, even the smallest ones can play along too. Use these creative ways to get your kids to help with the housework and they won’t even realize they’re working.
Preschooler Housecleaning Games
Play the alphabet game to help preschoolers learn their ABC’s and pick up their toys. Start with finding something that begins with the letter A that needs to be put away, then proceed through the alphabet.
The ‘I Spy’ game works wonders, just ‘spy’ something that needs to be put in it’s home at cleanup time.
Teach your preschooler a number, like a phone number or address by playing the Numbers Game. Start with the first number, let’s say a 3, then have the child pick up 3 things that need putting away. Proceed through all the numbers in the same way.
The King of Clean (or Princess) must protect their kingdom from invading dust and dust bunnies and a vacuum cleaner and dust cloth are their weapons. The power of make-believe will excite a preschooler to help with housework.
Competition goes a long ways to motivate a grade-schooler to help with housework. Set a timer and have siblings play Race Against the Clock to see who can clean the largest area in 10 minutes.
Playing ‘Mailman’ will help get everything picked up and it’s proper home before bedtime and give each child a turn at playing Mailman. Keep a basket handy and place every homeless item you come across during the day in the basket. Include clean laundry, new school supplies, toys, etc., in the basket to be ‘delivered’ to it’s rightful owner at night. Each night a different child will be the mailman and deliver the items (while you rest).
Get rid of unwanted toys by playing Toy Toss. Place a box (same size) in each child’s room and the first one to fill the box with unwanted toys to be donated to charity first wins a treat.
A cute egg timer or hourglass encourages kids of all ages to work faster than your wrist watch or wall clock.
Installing basketball hoops (recycle used ones) over 3 laundry baskets motivates kids to toss their dirty clothing and you’ll have the laundry pre-sorted (whites, darks and colors) and ready for laundry day.
Handheld vacuum for stairs and vehicles, step stool, kid-sized broom and mop or any other cleaning tool that fits into small child-sized hands.
Don’t forget the rewards for a job well done. Staying up half-hour later on a week night, a little extra allowance, extra TV or game time or their choice of meal on Friday night are few reward ideas for kids with help with the housework.