How to Get Your Kids to Clean (And Like It)

July 29, 2019

So you have a messy house and lots of cleaning to do, but how do you get the kids to pitch in? Getting your kids to clean, and actually enjoy themselves, can be a daunting task.

Kids are almost programmed to see chores as something to dread, leading to endless complaining instead of actual cleaning. However, there are some ways that you can make cleaning fun so that your kids will enjoy it.

Try to really think like a child. As a kid, what would make cleaning feel more fun? In what ways can you change up this typically boring task into a fun family activity? What do your kids enjoy, and how can you incorporate those enjoyable activities into your cleanup routine?

If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas, we’re here to help! Keep reading to hear our top tips for getting your kids to clean (and maybe even like it too).

Give Some Direction

If you want your kids to help you clean, the first thing you have to do is give them some direction! The best way to start is by explaining to your kids exactly what and how you want them to clean. That way, you can get any questions out of the way and start cleaning.

Often times, parents just tell their children to clean their room, but younger children may need some more instructions. Many young children know what a clean room looks like, but they don’t know quite how to get it there, so it’s your job to help them out.

Sit with your children and tell them what to clean step by step. Be patient and make sure they understand exactly what you’re expecting, and then the next time they will probably be able to do it themselves.

Help Them Out

Along with giving your kids instructions, it may be useful to actually help them out a little. Pitch in and help your kids, so that cleaning doesn’t feel like such an overwhelming task for them.

Even if you’re just doing the bare minimum, seeing you participate may motivate your kids to help even more. Be a role model and show them the ropes, so that they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.

The most important thing you can do while pitching in is to model a cheerful attitude. If you have a negative attitude about cleaning, that will transfer over to your kids. Don’t act like cleaning is something to dread, and your kids won’t either!

Also, while helping your kids out can be helpful in the long run, make sure you’re not doing all the work! Kids can be smart, and if they realize that you’re willing to do everything for them, they will be less likely to take the initiative to do the cleaning themselves.

Add Some Music

Music is a quick and easy way to make cleaning more enjoyable. If you need to keep the little ones engaged, you can even turn cleaning into an impromptu dance party.

By adding a little fun into the cleaning routine, you can make cleaning appear as less of a boring task. If kids feel like they’re having fun, they will be more willing to partake in cleanup time.

Create a Cleaning Game

To get your kids to start cleaning, a great idea is to make a game out of it. One easy way to do so is to “try to beat the clock.” Set a timer and see if your kids can finish their task before the time runs out. This can turn cleaning into a competitive game for your kids, making things feel a lot more fun.

There are many other cleaning games you can try and see what works for your kids. Sometimes tricking your kids into thinking they’re playing a game is the best way to get them to clean and get their chores done.

Plus, this is another great way to add some fun into the mix and make cleaning feel a little less boring for your kids.

Use a Chore Chart

To keep your kids’ cleaning tasks and chores organized, consider using a chore chart. Assign age-appropriate chores to each of your kids. This chart will help everyone know what chores are assigned to them, which will keep everything organized in the long run.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can really get creative with your chore chart. Assign each one of your kids a color, and color code the chart that way. Get stickers for the kids to use to “check off” a chore they complete, or use a dry erase board that the kids can write on.

By making the chore chart colorful and fun, the kids will look forward to checking it and seeing what their chores are for the week.

Break Down the Mess

Looking at a big mess can make cleaning seem like a more daunting task than it actually is. To make things feel a little easier, take some time to break large tasks into smaller pieces. This will help your kids to feel a little relief and be more inclined to pitch in.

A great way to break down those larger cleaning tasks is by creating a checklist. Create a step-by-step checklist with boxes for your kids to check as they complete each task. Kids will find it exciting to check things off the list as they go, and it will help get things done more efficiently.

This checklist can be apart of your chore chart, or something completely separate! Don’t hesitate to try different methods to get organized, and through a little trial-and-error, see what works best for your family.

Offer Incentives

Sometimes the best way to get someone, especially kids, to do something is with rewards or incentives. While you don’t want to go over the top with cleaning rewards, giving your kids something small in return for a cleaning job well done may be a great way to make sure the chores get done.

An allowance is a great way to incentivize kids to do their weekly chores. For a big clean up day, you can incentivize kids with a reward after they finish cleaning, whether that it is a trip to go get ice cream or a movie night.

Conclusion: Learn to Let Go

At the end of the day, kids are simply just messy. Although you can push your kids to clean all day long, if you have children, your house is never going to be perfectly clean.

However, there are many ways to entice your kids to clean and make them enjoy it. Get creative and try to make cleaning a little more fun for your kids, and it will make cleanup time feel so much easier.

While cleaning with kids, safety should be your first priority. Consider using a natural, multi-purpose cleaner that’s safe for the whole family!

Finally, remember that cleaning doesn’t have to be something to dread! If you are able to make cleaning feel a little more fun, it can be a weekly task that the whole family enjoys together.

Hopefully our tips will get your kids to clean, and maybe they’ll even start to like it a little bit.