This is the time of year I get the itch to clean my house. The weather is warming up. It’s time to begin packing up the winter boots and snowpants and open the windows to let some fresh air in! I like to get my children in on the action somedays. It is a great way to model how to clean and organize, and it can keep little ones occupied. Best of all – it can be family FUN! Here are some ways to enlist the help of your youngest family members.
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Make a Checklist • My son and daughters seem to like lists as much as I do! • Sit down with your children and make a list* together of all the things you would like them to help with. • They can check things off as they finish them.* Check out ListPlanIt‘s post, List of Ways that Children Can Use Lists and discover all of the lists that can be found, ready to print, as a member to ListPlanIt.com.
The Toy Box Dump • A favorite in our house…especially the dumping! • Have children empty out all the toys in the toybox. • Then they can sort them into piles: cars, Little Pet Shop characters, legos and pieces for the doctor kit. • Remind kids to ask themselves if they still use each toy and have a pile to donate or sell. • Anything broken, goes in the trash!
The Marker Station • If your family is anything like ours, it is tough for everyone to remember to put the cap tightly back on our markers which means we have a lot of dried out ones. • I usually set my kids up with some recycled paper, the box of markers and a trash can. • They can test each marker by making a quick scribble. If it is good, cap it and keep it. If not, toss it!
Crayon Sorter • Same concept as the marker sort, but with crayons. • Any tiny crayon pieces get sorted out. • We melt down the pieces and put them in candy molds to make “fun” crayons!
Clothes Drawer Inspector • Give your child a homemade badge with a title of CLOTHES DRAWER INSPECTOR. • Their mission: to go through their drawers, sort and organize. • Set aside anything too small, out of season or in poor shape.
The Folder • My three year old just proclaimed this week that she is going to be a “folder” when she grows up…probably because one of her favorite pastimes is to dump out the hand towel and washcloth drawer, and to sort and fold the towels. • I am all for the help and distraction while I scrub the bathtub!