When you have a little ones, they want to get involved and help in whatever you are doing. They feel special that they can push the broom around the kitchen, even if they aren't fully being helpful. As they get a bit older, you might want to start handing off chores for them, so they can begin to help around the house more.
I wanted to share a few ideas on how to get your kids involved in cleaning around the house. These are simple solutions to get your kids grabbing a rag and dusting, taking the trash out, or whatever else you want to designate for them.
Start Young On Letting Them Help: This is key to getting your toddlers interested. When you start to sweep hand them an extra broom to help you with. Allow them to hop up in the sink and help wash dishes. This is great for ages 2-3 years old, teaching them young helps instill the knowledge that we have to clean. You can also have them help with picking up toys, unloading the dishwasher by handing dishes to you to put up, and so on. Praise them after they finish the task at hand.
Make it a Game: This is something that parents have been doing for years, to get kids motivated to clean. You can say, “Let's see who can pick up the most toys, or put away their clothes the fastest!” This will give them a rush to want to beat you at the task. You can also offer a little reward for them. If they clean up after dinner and put dishes up and wash them, they can have ice cream sundaes or a slice of cake for dessert!
Be Specific: If you tell a younger child to clean their whole room, that is overwhelming for them to understand. But if you give them a simple task to start, like pick up your toys and dirty clothes off the floor. That gives them direction in what they need to do. You have to remember your 6 year old is learning, and if you are specific, then you will have better results. Once they tackle one simple chore, give them another.
Chores that Fit Child's Age: Make sure you are giving chores to your child/children that fit their age. For little toddlers, helping pick up toys and simple tasks are better. As they get older cleaning room, empty dishwasher, sweep, take trash out, etc. Just give chores that fit your child's ability.
Rotate Chores: For older children, rotate their chores often. This will help them to learn new tasks and keep them from being bored. One week they do the dishes, the next they clean off counters in bathroom and sweep, pick up laundry from each bedroom, or whatever else you might want done.
Chore Chart: Make a fun chore chart that shows the child what they need to do. Let them put stickers or mark off the chores when finished. They will feel accomplished to put a sticker over vacuuming the living room. This will also allow them to see what they have to do.
Rewards and Consequences: Some parents disagree with offering a reward to chores. If that is you, then skip this part. If you want to offer a reward, you can give points and once they reach so many they can do an activity like pizza night, day at park, etc. Or offer them a little money for completing chores. Now for consequences, if they don't get the chores done, take away a favorite toy or electronic. Tell them that if they don't complete their chores they loose things. You have to stay firm on this and not waver if they end up not doing their chores. It teaches the child if they want things they have to work for it.