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By Mirelle Macdonald

What parent doesn’t want to learn how to make cleaning fun for kids? Let these expert tips help you to get kids to clean up their rooms in no time!

Should there be a warning sign reading ‘enter at own risk!’ hanging on the doors of your kids’ bedrooms? A minefield of toys, dirty laundry and old school craft projects strewn across the floor – sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. So, what’s a parent to do?

As your children get older, it’s important to teach a child to clean their room and take responsibility for chores around the house. Putting these good habits in place will set your kids up to be respectful of other people’s property including their own and help establish a sense of order in your home.

A fun clean up song for kids can help children get in the mood to clean and ultimately establish regular cleaning habits, so their bedroom looks as chic as this one.

At the risk of going all Mary Poppins on you, cleaning up doesn’t have to be a bore, though. Here are some clever ways for how to teach a child to clean their room and motivate them to get the job done.

1. Divide & Conquer

If your child’s room is such a complete wreck that you can barely push open the door, it’s likely the very thought of starting is too overwhelming. In this case, your child will need some help breaking down the project into smaller tasks. Firstly, divide the room into quadrants and have your child work on one quarter of the room at a time. Secondly, focus on single tasks before moving onto another, such as putting laundry in a basket before tackling the piles of soft toys. Taking this approach will help overcome the fear of, “I’m never going to be able to do this!”

2. Show Them How

There are times when you need to step in to give your kids a helping hand, especially when they’re young. Spend time showing them the actions required to complete each task. For example, first separate all the toys into categories – small cars vs. dinosaurs, then place them in their respective boxes or shelves. We sometimes think our kids know how to do certain tasks, but honestly, they often don’t – they’ll need to be shown the ropes a few times before they really get it.

It’s all about making cleaning fun for kids, so if you need to get involved to help with this, then do!

3. The Sibling Challenge

Are your kids always trying to outdo each other? Take advantage of this sibling rivalry with some healthy competition. Suggest a challenge to see who can tidy up faster, who can put 20 things away within a time limit or who can keep their room clean the most days in a row. You’ll be surprised at how much they get done, especially when there’s a reward for the winner at the end of the challenge.

Storage cubes and shelves are great options for helping little ones organise their stuff.

4. Make A How-To Video

Kids love starring in home videos and this tip can be loads of fun, especially the bloopers! Make a film with your smartphone or other device and let the kids take turns being the actor and director. During the video, the actor will demonstrate to their virtual audience, how to clean your room. With every task completed, they will explain what to do and how. This is a great school holiday activity, as you can spend time together editing the video and adding a soundtrack and other fun features.

Tip: A fun clean up song for kids might be required to get the vibe happening.

Caution: This tip may inspire dreams of Hollywood.

5. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

I’m a big fan of making your own environmentally friendly and kid-safe cleaning products…and getting your kids in on the fun is a great exercise to teach them about the importance of the environment. Plus, pretending to be home scientists can be a whole lot of fun! Handy for you, most of the required ingredients are probably already in your pantry. For example, for a general multi-purpose surface cleaner, simply combine half a cup of vinegar and six drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle, then fill to the top with water. Little ones will love having their very own kids’ cleaning set, spritzing solutions and wiping away grime.

6. Use A Rewards Chart

Kids thrive on recognition and rewards. It’s an oldie but a goodie, but a star chart is sure to motivate your kids to do their chores on a regular basis.

Try this: For each completed chore, the kids get a star on their chart. Once they’ve reached a certain number they receive a reward – it doesn’t have to be anything expensive…an ice cream or movie ticket will do the trick! Also, keep the target time-limited, such as seven days, to keep the momentum alive.

A good way to get kids to clean up their room? Use a rewards chart! Keep score of cleaning duties on a blackboard, if you have one.


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