Wouldn't it be nice if your kids actually liked doing chores?
Before you say, “Impossible!” hear us out. Kids love games – so what if cleaning was as much fun as Candyland? With a few changes to your cleaning routine, chores can be an exciting pastime instead of a dreaded time-suck. Just think: your kids may actually want to be chosen for cleaning duty!
Here are five games that your little helpers will love:
Note: While we think these cleanup games are fun for all ages, they're especially exciting for ages 3-7.
1. Cleanup Race
On your mark, get set, go! Set your kitchen timer to five minutes and see how much stuff your kids can pick up before the buzzer goes off. Whoever picks up the most stuff in five minutes wins the game. We recommend picking up any of the larger “obstacles” before starting to prevent any racing injuries. Tip: If your kids get too quick for five minutes, up the ante by setting the timer to one minute.
2. Counting Challenge
This game is great for kids who are just learning to count. Practice counting and clear clutter at the same time! For this game, choose a number (10 is a good place to start). Ask your kids to pick up that number of toys. Have them count out loud as they pick up their toys and put them away.
3. Guess the Secret Item
This game works best if you have more than one kid in the house. Before your cleaning session, choose two or three “secret” items in the mess. Without giving your little ones any hints, have them start cleaning up. Whoever picks up and puts away the “secret” items will win a special prize of your choosing. Tip: If you have just one child playing pickup, have them guess the secret items, instead. If they guess right, they win!
4. Color Match
If your little one is still learning colors, make cleaning time double as color-practice time. Look around the room and ask your child to pick up all of the red toys. Then, move on to another color. Play this game until all of the clutter is put away.
5. Play Pretend
This type of game requires a bit of imagination, so it's perfect for those who still love to pretend! Before cleanup, come up with a character or animal for each of your kids to be, and then have them act their part as they're cleaning. Fancy maids and butlers, wild safari animals or dinosaurs are a few of our favorites.