Almost every parent will understand what it is like to find messes all over the house from their kids. They play one thing and move onto the next before putting the last away, or they leave messes behind when its time to go or eat. Today I will be discussing some cleaning up games that you can use to help motivate your kids.
How to get motivated to clean house?
The first step in this whole process is finding the right motivations and what works for both you and your kids. There will be some trial and error here, but by working through this with your kids you will find a positive way to resolve the issue.
One of the things that motivates me the most to keep my area clean as well as making sure the kids are too, is knowing how it effects my wife. I know that if she comes home to a mess, that we are going to have to deal with a grumpy mommy and none of us want that. I do share that with the kids as well, to make sure they know that when mom comes home to a clean house we have more time to do things together as a family then.
Another tool I help to use motivate is having a reward for completing chores. This can be many things such as a snack, money, or time to do something together. I will often use all three of these to help motivate the kids, depending on the task and timeframe we are working in.
Clean Up Games Kids Will Play
The easiest game to play and one that seems to work very well for the younger kids is the race against the clock. When our kids complain about cleaning up, one of the first things we do is tell them that I will time them and ask them to beat the clock. Now you have to be careful as this can lead to “sloppy” cleaning, so when they come back the first time we always ask them to double check their work.
When it comes to chores that are done on a more regular basis, instead of racing the clock, now you can focus on your best time. So for example if it takes 10 minutes to do the dishes, can you get them done properly in 8? This is a great time to work with your kids to teach them how to do chores properly & efficiently.
Then there is a “scavenger hunt” twist. This is where I will take some money, such as quarters, and stash them about the mess. Now, I don’t tell them how much has been hidden as the purpose of the game is to clean and not just do what you need to do to find the money. If you have multiple kids cleaning the same area, put enough out so that the end amount can be evenly split regardless of who actually found it. Lastly, you don’t have to use money, you can substitute whatever you feel works best for you kids.
Clean Up Song Kids Like
Music can really help your kids during clean up time. There are songs specifically about cleaning up and just having music on during clean up time can help. My family has always used the Barney clean up song as that was the popular one for our now oldest child. However, just about every show designed for kids these days has a clean up song. I have included a playlist here from YouTube for your convenience.
In the end, do your best to be consistent with your kids and do your best to make clean up fun. Whether you challenge them with time or use some sort of rewards, just be creative and your kids just might surprise you!
Please share any ways that you use to help motivate your kids in the comments below. Also, if you have any questions please feel free to ask and I will answer them for you.
James W D