Get your little ones helping out around the house by making cleaning fun with these cleaning games for kids.
Cleaning can often become a constant battle once you have had children. Not only do you have less time for cleaning but your bundles of joy end up creating extra cleaning chores as well-it’s a double whammy!
As your children get older however you can start enlisting their help when it comes to household cleaning and chores and, if you try to make it fun, you may find they actually enjoy helping.
Why use cleaning games with kids?
I’m a firm believer that children do-eventually-need to learn that not everything in the world is fun, and sometimes you will have to do things simply because they need doing.
I also believe in making life easier for myself and my toddler!
Cleaning games are a great way to introduce your children to different household tasks in a way that will engage them and help them learn. Young children learn primarily through play, so there’s no reason that cleaning has to be any different.
As your child gets older some of the ‘fun’ in cleaning games will begin to wear off but hopefully by then they will have developed a habit of helping out around the house. This is easier than trying to encourage a reluctant teenager to start being useful!
What cleaning jobs can young children do?
Any cleaning jobs or household chores should be age appropriate to the child. You need to make sure that they are safe and will actually be done to a decent level. Below are some examples of tasks that you can expect young children to be able to do around the house:
- Age 3: Making own bed, putting away toys, wiping up spills, feeding pets (under close supervision), dusting
- Age 4 As above plus washing up plastic plates/cups/cutlery, loading and unloading washing machine (only clothes-not any detergent!), cleaning surfaces (water or non-toxic substances), setting the table
- Age 5 As above plus putting own clothes away, clearing the table, watering plants
These ages are guidelines-you know your child best and may start certain chores early or later.
How to make cleaning fun using games
Below are some examples of games you can use with young children to help make cleaning fun.
Simon Says for picking up toys
A great game for toddlers to help them with picking up toys, books etc that may be scattered over the floor. A bonus with this game is it can help them learn their shapes/colours as well,
How to play:
- Follow the basic rules of Simon Says (you can swap Simon for your kid’s favourite character instead). Simon says jump out, Simon says sit down etc.
- Add some pick-up actions. ‘Simon says pick up something red’, Simon says pick up something round’
- When your child has picked something up then direct them to where it goes ‘Simon says put the toy in the box’.
Who can make the biggest pile for unloading the washing machine
A nice, quick game for unloading the washing machine. This is a good competition if you have more than one child or you can play yourself! (I usually let my little one win…)
- When the washing is finished, and cool enough to touch if you have used a drying setting as well, open the door and sit down with your child in front of the machine.
- Have the laundry basket, or whatever you use to carry the washing, behind you.
- ‘Race’ your child to see how many clothes you can pull out of the machine and put into your pile on the floor. Whoever has the biggest pile of clothes wins.
- After this race you can then see who can get their pile into the laundry basket first.
Slow motion for watering plants
This is a great game to help children with measuring. You will need a cheap, plastic jug with measurements.
- Fill the jug with water. Make sure your child can comfortably carry the jug.
- Pretend that your child has been put into ‘slow motion’ (you may have to demonstrate this!). There job is to walk around the room, very slowly, and water the plants.
- As an extra challenge, they need to water each plant with the right amount of water-this can be part of the slow motion! If you add a few, thick, black lines to the jug your child can try to pour the water up to the next black line.
What’s missing for laying the table
This is a good one for developing memory skills. Your child will be laying the dinner table with whatever items you normally put on the table.
- Have everything in a pile that your child will need to lay the table but leave one or two items out.
- Have your child lay the table. When they have finished they need to work out what items are missing, find them, and then add them to the table.
Hunt the spots for general wiping up
A fun game of playing detective. This works brilliantly if you add a magnifying glass!
- The aim of the game is for your child to play the spot hunting detective. They can walk around with their magnifying glass and whenever they see something that needs wiping they shout ‘freeze spot’ before wiping it away!
- You can keep a tally of how many spots your little detective has found and give rewards after so many ‘captures’.
If you liked this post about cleaning games for kids then you might want to take a look at how often do you really need to wash your clothes?
I hope you found this post on how to make cleaning fun for kids using cleaning games! If you have any of your own suggestions then please leave them in the comments and remember to share before you leave to help other people!