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Cleaning is not fun. There’s no way around it. Scrubbing tile until your hands are sore, washing dishes until your fingers are wrinkled, dusting until your allergies act up. That’s how it has to be for a Housewife.
Or is it?
It used to be that the housewife of the ’50’s put their child in their playpen with a few toys while they spent hours cleaning. The Millennial Housewife has no time for that, or patience. We don’t want our child to be left alone to fend for themselves. The whole reason we chose to stay home and not work was to be with our children, not clean the house!
But, the challenge in including our kids in the cleaning is this….
Look familiar? I know it does to me! You put one thing away and they take out 5 more. It’s a never-ending cycle. Then your hubby comes home and asks, “What did you do all day?” and you just about loose it. Steam comes out of your ears and you turn into a ferocious dragon. Yup, that’s me too.
But, what if there was a better way? I’m not saying it’s going to fix everything, but maybe it’ll allow you to get a few things done, and you might just enjoy it.
Millennials want everything to be easy, streamlined, and simple. And fun is an extra bonus. So can cleaning really be simple? Can it even be….fun? Is there actually a way to include our children?
The answer is a big, fat YES!
I’ve taken a few hints from our good friend, Pippy Longstalking, who I used to watch as a kid. She (along with her monkey and horse) would attach brushes to her feet and skate around the house singing while she cleaned. You can also take a hint from Mary Poppins and “whistle while you work”, or at least put on some upbeat music.
So here are 8 silly ways to clean with your kids!
1. Crawling and Cleaning
Get out dry Swiffer Dry Sweeping Cloths or just a few rags and put them under your hands and knees, then give your kids the same to put under their hands and knees and crawl around on the floor. You can pretend you are tigers or doggies and make sure you are sliding the cloths or rags along with you. Crawl over all the hard floor surfaces and you’ll just see how much dirt you pick up! And you’ll get a few good laughs out of it too!
2. Mirror Glass Cleaning
Remember the baby in the video and how she was licking the window as the mom was trying to clean it? That doesn’t have to be you! Give the baby a rag and spray some all-natural cleaner (just in case she takes lick) and go on the other side of the window. Then have her mirror your images as you clean both sides. Make some silly faces while you’re at it!
3. Laundry Basketball
Instead of having your little one take the laundry out, have them help you put it in the dryer or get a step stool and have them “toss” it into the washing machine like a basketball. Talk about the types of clothes and their colors and textures to make it a little more educational!
4. Vacuum Races
There are lots of fun ways vacuuming can be fun (ok, not really). But get your little one their own pretend vacuum. Or, give them a toy ride-on car or toy truck to race with. Make a starting line on one side of the room and a finish line on the other. It could be anything, like a stuffed animal or a ball. Start your engines, then race! You can go back and forth and soon the whole carpet will be clean!
5. Clean Up Rewards
Right before my hubby gets home I find myself frantically picking up a million gazillion toys in an attempt to make it look clean. But, I find it’s better to let the kids do the cleaning. Offer them a sticker for every 5 toys they pick up. Or up the anti with a jelly bean or their favorite treat. Then watch how fast they clean up! You can also get them started by racing them!
6. Dish Washing Fun
Washing dishes is never fun, but put a bucket in the sink next to you and add a few toys, and your little one will be entertained for a little while. You can even show her the different plates and utensils you are washing and let her dip them in her water bucket to rinse them off. Add some soap to the bucket for bubble fun! It’s simple, easy, and keeps your little one from watching too much screen time.
7. Shaving Cream
Yup, you heard me. Take some of your shaving cream (or Daddy’s!) and spray a big pile on the dining table. Then let your kid have at it. You can add toys (basically anything you can wash easily) and they can pretend it’s snow and spread it all over the table. When they are done, simply wash the kid and wipe the table off and voila! Everything is clean (and smells nice too!). Your kid just cleaned the table, their toys, and their hands. Easy.
8. Dust Buddy
It’s no secret that my toddler loves to dust. And I’ve found that lots of little kids out there, for some reason or another, love wipes! So, use that to your advantage, hand your little one a wipe, clear off the counter tops, and both of you dust away! Sing songs while you’re dusting to keep it fun, and spray some all-natural cleaner on the surface and watch how excited your kid gets to wipe it off. It’s so simple, but they love it!
Try all of these or some, and adapt them to your own family! Make up your own silly games or have your kids come up with them. It’s the best of both worlds when you can clean and have fun with your kids at the same time, and it teaches them cleanliness, responsibility, and just how silly mom can be!
Do you have different ideas for how you can play and clean? What are some of your cleaning hacks? Let me know in the comments below!