Cleaning can be fun. Seriously. And the more fun you make it, the more likely your kids are to join you in a full-house tidying adventure. That’s why we pulled together these six games to keep you and your family entertained when you’re vacuuming, dusting, washing, and whatever other chores your house (and your soul) may need.
There’s just one golden rule to keep in mind when you partake in any of the following entertaining cleaning activities: Don’t tell your kids they are cleaning wrong and then do it for them. Get used to the idea that things may not get cleaned as thoroughly or as quickly as they would if you did it yourself. They will get done, and that’s good enough for now. We all know the fastest way to kill fun is to be told what you did isn’t good enough. And that is not the name of the game here.
So, now, you must choose wisely. Which of these will be the most fun for your family? A good first impression here can yield made beds and clean laundry. Which do you choose?
1. The Floor Is Lava—Cleaning Edition Pretend that the floor is lava and anything on it that doesn’t belong there will get burned to a crisp. In this hot game of pick-up, kids must grab toys, clothes, stuffies, you name it! Anything that is on the floor gets picked up and thrown on their bed or the couch or a table depending on what room you are cleaning. Then once the floor is clear, they must get all of the things they picked up off the ground back to their rightful spots without dropping them back to the ground.
2. Pick-Up Ten Get your kids to pick up ten items of your choosing throughout the house. There are a couple of ways to approach this one. You can make a list of the things you want them to put away and they can check them off or cross them out as they go (very satisfying). Or, you can do a countdown. Have your kids stand in front of you and say “TEN” and then tell each of your children what they need to pick up. Once they both complete the required task and are standing back in front of you, say “NINE” and the items you want each of them to pick up, and so on until you get to zero.
3. Out of a Hat Chores Write down all of the chores that need to be done on a piece of paper and then cut them out so they each have their own slip. Fold the slips in half and put them in a solid-colored container—a hat, a basket, a mixing bowl, etc. Have whoever is cleaning with you choose a chore and then choose one yourself. Read them to each other (remember to give extra high-fives to the person who gets stuck with the bathroom) and then go off and do your chores. When everyone is finished with their selected chore, choose another. Do this until the container is empty.
4. Chore-a-Day If you don’t like taking a chunk of time out of your day or weekend just to clean, you can split your chores up throughout the week. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in just ten minutes a day. Create a list of chores that needs to be done weekly. Have everyone choose a chore a day (you can set a specific time for a daily family clean or let everyone do their chore whenever they want). Have them sign off on which chore they did each day using their initials or for little ones, checking the chore off with a special color of marker or crayon that represents them.
5. Clean Sprint You can combine this one with Chore-a-Day, Pick-Up Ten, or Out of Hat Chores. Follow the rules for any of these games, but add an extra twist. Set a timer and see who can get their chore done the fastest. If you are concerned that will encourage lackluster cleaning, see if anyone can finish their chore before the time runs out. Take it up another level by adding in some fun, energetic music to help keep spirits high and inspire dancing while they clean.
6. Star Constellation Work with your family to develop a list of chores for each person to do every week. For each chore completed, a star is granted — and when the whole family earns a certain number of stars, it’s time to celebrate! Splurge on a pizza party, a movie night, or a whole-family Sparkle-Story-and-Crafts afternoon. This is a great way to encourage cooperation and a family team spirit!
Get ready to start enjoying your clean home!
About the Author
A New England girl at heart, Suzanne hails from the Green Mountains of Vermont where she rides boards and bikes, climbs rocks, and runs trails with her two boys, husband, and pup, Jango. She can usually be found reading a book or writing (and rewriting) her first novel.