Encouraging children to enjoy cleaning

kid, child, boy

Cleaning is often referred to as a chore rather than an activity. This negative connotation often makes cleaning difficult for adults let alone children. However, there are many ways in which cleaning can be made enjoyable for children. We have shared with you some of our best tips on how to turn cleaning from a chore into a fun pastime in your home.

Make cleaning fun

Children love fun and play time. So, make cleaning part of the fun activities you do with your children, to encourage them to want to do it. Putting lively and playful music on in the background can encourage positive emotions towards the task that they are doing. If children are in a better mood, they are more likely to enjoy cleaning tasks. Additionally, you could encourage some competition or quiz factors. For example, quiz them on which cloth to use in the kitchen or in the living room and reward* them for a correct answer. If they get it wrong – don’t get frustrated but use the opportunity to educate them on the right answer and explain why this is so.

*a note on rewards – don’t use money or food such as sweets or cake as rewards, as this will only create a negative attitude towards the task, as it will end up being about the reward and not the task. Rather use things like a reward chart or the option to choose the next activity. Even something as simple as a “high five” can be an effective motivator.

Make a manageable plan

Breaking tasks down into manageable chunks can prevent your child from feeling overwhelmed when faced with the task of cleaning. Spread tasks out over the week. For example, don’t tell them they have to do al their chores at once. Instead, encourage them to take the bins out on a Monday, put away laundry on a Wednesday and dust on a Saturday. For daily tasks such as washing dishes or making their bed, encourage them to be proactive and take personal responsibility to do the task without being told. 

Work with them

Children tend to imitate parental behaviour as they develop. For that reason it is important to be a good role model! Show them that you are enthusiastic about cleaning and encourage your child to clean with you. Bossing children around and demanding a clean room is more likely to result in a negative attitude towards cleaning. Like adults, children don’t always like being told what to do. Cleaning with them also gives you the ability to teach your child the importance of cleaning and how to do it well.