Getting my spring cleaning done makes me feel better about being at home. It makes me feel successful, content and glad that I created a clean, comfortable space for my family. But, and this is a big BUT, it takes me a while to get it all done.
I want the kids to participate so they don’t think it is “just” a mom’s job to clean the house. It is a mission of mine to teach my children how to clean up, and that it really is necessary if they value their things and space. Toys get broken and lost when we do not clean them up each night. (And, many small toys get swept up and put in the garbage if they remain on the floor when mom sweeps!)
My kids have grown to not enjoy cleaning up THEIR stuff, but they do volunteer to help clean the house. Strange, but we go with it…even if they still have to muscle through cleaning up the toys with loud grumbles from them and me.
These cleaning tasks are Spring Cleaning kids can do. That means you can clean something else accomplishing more in less time!
Spring Cleaning Kids Can Do
1) Sort the crayons
A few times a year I have my kids look through the box of crayons to separate the crayons that are broken. Often a broken crayon is still able to be used, but we remove any that are thumbs-length or shorter.
The crayons we want to keep go back in the box; the broken pieces of crayons either go in the trash, or you can make new crayons from the broken pieces.
2) Check markers
Another task related to art supplies is checking for markers that are dried out. The twins brought us to the point where regular markers had to be banned in my house. If you have them in your house, have your child check each marker by coloring on a piece of scrap paper. The markers that are dried out get tossed in the trash, and your child is still working on pre-writing skills while spring cleaning!
3) Go through coloring books
This is another way to help kids focus on what they CAN do in moments when they get overwhelmed with choices. My children do not often tear out pages from coloring books when they have colored on them. They stay in the book until we add coloring books to our spring cleaning kids can do!
All your child needs to do is flip through the coloring books and tear out the pages that have been colored. Leave the blank pages in the book.
To give new life to coloring book pages that are colored on one side but not the other, staple them together with some pieces of scrap paper and put them in a “go-bag” for restaurants, bus rides or doctor’s appointments.
4) Clean toy bins
Pretty simple, and what child would turn down an opportunity to pour out an entire toy bin onto the floor? Mine enjoy this a little too much when they are toddlers!
We store our toys in plastic bins like I shared in this toy storage tip. Cleaning the toy bins is spring cleaning kids can do. Pour out the toys, and offer your child a damp rag to wipe out the bin.
5) Sort Toys
We keep our toys sorted-at least I try to encourage the kids to do this-so that it is easier for them to find what they are looking for when they want a specific toy. Twice a year, we sort the toys to look for duplicates, broken toys, or toys the kids no longer want. This is the hard part for them-parting with toys.
We set aside toys that are no longer wanted, but are in good condition (or have been outgrown) and donate them. Any broken toys that are beyond fixing get tossed in the trash. The keepers go back in their labeled bin. We will sort them again after Christmas-when a new batch of toys shows up.
6) Shred Paper
Those coloring sheets you have that were ripped out of the coloring books because they were colored on, they can be shredded to be used in the shredded paper sensory activity I shared.
Shredding with the Fellowes 79Ci is easy for kids to do when they are preschool age and older. My children often ask to help me when I was shredding paper, so I taught them how to safely use the shredder, and that they were not to use it without me.
The shredder I have has a lot of safety built in. The Fellowes 79Ci is so quiet due to SilentShred™ technology so young children are not scared by the sound of the shredding. It has a double-on, single-off power saving feature so you are saving energy.
The shredding area also has SafeSense® technology and stops shredding as soon as fingers touch the paper opening. Supervision is important until your child knows to be safe, of course!
My Fellowes 79Ci Shredder has not frozen up or gotten overloaded with longer shredding times when I have a larger stack of papers to shred. It can handle 16 sheets of paper at once saving me time!
The kids enjoy the “magic” of the full sheets of paper getting turned into fun sensory confetti! The Fellowes 79Ci Shredder really does make light work of reducing clutter, and shredding paper is spring cleaning kids can do…as long as they are old enough!
The 79Ci is available at Amazon and Office Superstores with a suggested retail price of $239.99.
6) Sort Books
We read books a lot. Even the toddlers will sit and look at books quietly, every once in a while. Pages get ripped, covers get bent, and I repair books rather than throw them away. We use a book hospital to help sort our books so that I can fix the broken ones.
Children can find the broken books to add to the book hospital. You can decide if you can repair the book with some packing tape, or if it just needs to be recycled. I also look through for books that the kids no longer want to read. We always find that a look-through the bookshelf reveals books that have not been read recently. Add them to the day’s reading list.
What are your child’s favorite ways to help you clean the house?
Did you miss these tips for organizing your house with kids?
Enjoy your time at home!