With a schedule full of summer camps and playdates, it’s easy for kids to get behind on their summer chores. But as the back-to-school season approaches, it’s time to get back into a routine and finally clean the rooms that have been neglected all summer. Use these tips and tricks to encourage your kids to become organized so they can start the school year right!
Make It Fun
There’s nothing kids love more than games, so why not make cleaning fun? Transforming a chore from a boring task to a fun activity will excite your kids and help them stay engaged with their responsibilities. Try to tap into your child’s interests and pick something you know they’ll like. If you need ideas, here are some games to get your kids involved with work around the house:
The Color Game
Name a color and have your kids pick up everything in that color. Try to go through the whole rainbow until the rooms are spotless.
A Cleaning Contest
Assign each of your kids a different room to clean throughout the house and see who can do the best job. Give prizes to the fastest and most thorough cleaners.
Grab a trash can, a laundry hamper or a storage box and play a game of basketball with items scattered across the floor. Just make sure you don’t throw anything that can break!
Spray your wood or vinyl floors with a cleaning spray, put on an old pair of socks and start skating. Your socks will wipe away dirt and debris while you slide across the floor. Practice your skating poses, but don’t go too fast!
Cleaning Jenga adds a fun (and efficient) twist to regular Jenga by assigning chores to game players. Use a pencil to write tasks on each block and then assemble the tower. Have your kids begin the game by pulling on the blocks without letting the tower collapse. Any block that’s pulled is a chore they need to complete before the next round.
A checklist or a chore chart is a great way of tracking progress and staying organized with household items. Plus, kids love when they can cross off a task they’ve completed. Spice up your chore list with bright colors or stickers or go the extra mile and create a scratch-off list. Your kids will surely get excited to scratch off each item.
Music can liven anything up – even cleaning. Play some tunes in the background and add some fun moves to your cleaning routine or play a music game. You can have a dance battle, play freeze dance or just clean to the music.
Make Room For New Items
With a new school year comes new clothes and school supplies. Leverage your child’s excitement for a back-to-school shopping trip to clean out neglected drawers. Take inventory of what items can be saved and make piles of what can be thrown away or donated. Next, make a list of what back-to-school items need to be purchased at the store, and have fun on your shopping trip!
Find A Study Area
While the thought of homework may not be pleasant for your child, it’s important they have their own space to be productive after a long day at school. Whether it’s a desk or table, help them find a relaxing study spot without any distractions. They’ll get excited about their new space after decorating it with desk supplies or making it cozy with blankets and pillows.
Establish A Filing System
Chances are your kids still have hundreds of papers cluttering their drawers from last school year. Be proactive this year by establishing a filing system for homework, notes and tests. First, go through last year’s papers and recycle what they don’t need anymore. Next, create a file for the work they want to save. Finally, make folders for this year’s papers. While you’re at it, gather important documentation your child might need to present during the beginning of school such as immunization records and physical forms.
Kids will do just about anything to get a prize in return. Many parents give cash allowances to their kids for completing weekly chores, but incentives don’t always have to be monetary. You can also provide privileges such as having a friend over, more screen time or a tasty treat at the end of the day – anything to get them excited about doing chores.
Explain The Importance Of Cleaning
Believe it or not, many kids will get inspired to clean if you reason with them. Explain to them that cleaning the house is a family duty everyone partakes in. Everyone has their own space they’re responsible for, and by cleaning their own room they’re contributing to the family. This will make your kids feel accountable and mature.
Get Into A Routine
A new school year brings along a new routine, so take the opportunity to add daily chores to your child’s schedule. If you can begin the new routine in the summer and carry along the expectations for the school year, daily chores will be rooted in your kids’ minds. It can be as simple as having them make their beds before they leave the house or neatly put away their shoes when they get back home.
Use Your Imagination
Many kids love to dress up and role play, so visit the land of make-believe when you clean with your kids. For example, let them start their own cleaning company and give them a toolkit of rubber gloves, dusters and spray bottles. They’ll love their accessories and have fun using their tools to complete their new jobs.
Assign Personal Areas
Kids appreciate having their own space and will be excited to put their belongings away in their own personal areas. Organize your mudroom with hangers, hooks, bins and cubbies and show your kids where they can put their things. When they come home from school, they’ll organize their belongings right when they walk in the door.
Make Sure Everything Has A Home
There’s nothing worse than toys strewn all over the ground, but picking up countless items can be hard when there’s not a specific place to store them. Giving items a home will increase the odds that they’ll get put away where they belong. If you need to create more storage space, buy containers and bins to put items in and label them so your kids know what goes where.
Make sure to show your appreciation and encouragement for your kids when they complete their tasks. It will certainly make them feel supported and excited to help more.
Have your own tips and tricks and prepare for the back-to-school season? Share them with us in the comments below!
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