Getting Your Kids Motivated for Spring Cleaning

Over the past 6 years, Darling and I have been the only ones cleaning our nest.  Each time we were elbow deep in a cleaning project, we would daydream about the day when we could have our children do it instead.  Of course, we would never just dump everything on our kids and sit back,kick up our feet and eat Bon-Bons whilst our chickies feverishly slaved away.  But, we do want our children to learn the importance of good hard work and the joy that can come from striving to keep their home organized and clean.  

Notice, that I said striving.  Having three young kids, I fully accept and understand that my house is never going to be completely perfect.  And that's O.K. with me, because I like having a home that looks lived in.  Although I do start each day with the desire to keep things looking nice and in their place, I am not bothered if that doesn't always happen.  Like I said, I strive.

After many years of daydreaming for a little extra help, it has finally become a reality this year with Gus and Birdie.  Although Gus is only 3 and 1/2 and Birdie is only 2, they are very able to help.  So, playing off of the interests and capabilities of most toddlers I came up with various methods that will teach my children basic cleaning fundamentals and the sense of satisfaction and happiness that can come from them.  

Here are my top 5.

1. Focus on one room at a time.  For an example of how to do this, go HERE. Children are usually only able to focus on something the duration of minutes equivalent to their age {i.e. if they are 5, 5 minutes}.  Sometimes they can do more, depending on how captivated they are, but in most circumstances, I have found that rule to be true to form.  So, if you have the goal to clean out your entire house in one day, not only will your children get burnt out, but you probably will too.

2. Have cleaning tools that are intriguing and kid friendly.  My kids are fascinated with dusting, sweeping, and cleaning things with a rag and spray bottle.  So, I bought a little plastic carrying tote from the dollar store and stashed it with some rags, mini dusters, hand held brooms/dust pans, and spray bottles filled with non-toxic cleaning solutions.

3. If you notice your chickies beginning to loose interest, you can try two different things:

a) Positive Praise.  Just like it is for us when we receive a compliment and a smile, children too are always eager to do more when we give them a smile, and specific compliment.

b) Tracking/Chore Chart.  I have yet to implement a chore chart, but I have implemented tracking charts numerous times in the past, and they have been wonderful at keeping my oldest, Gus, motivated.   To do this, simply draw out some boxes on a piece of paper or poster board, mount it in an easily viewed and accessible area and then help your child place one sticker in each box every time they completes a task.  When you child gets X amount of stickers in a row,  give your child some sort of reward that was previously discussed.  

4.  Work as a team!  When you leave your children in one room to clean while you go and do another, you will probably find that you children have completely stopped/lost interest or made an even bigger mess when you return.  Kids thrive off of social interaction.  So, stick close to your little ones and you'll find that with their help, you will be able to finish your cleaning in no time.

5) Make cleaning fun!  My kids love dancing, music, and playing games.  So, whenever we clean, I crank up some dance triggering music and turn the majority of our cleaning tasks into some sort of game. In no time at all, we are cleaning in a fun and exciting atmosphere, almost completely forgetting that what we are doing is actually hard work.

What are your favorite kid-friendly ways to clean?

Loves and Hugs,


  1. Such helpful ideas!! Your children are so lucky to have you as a mother!!