From two years of age to late teens, getting the kids to clean up after themselves and keep the house clutter-free is always challenging. While some kids take naturally to cleaning, others will do almost anything to avoid tidying up.
Just like games and activities can make eating bland-tasting foods fun for toddlers, the right combination of fun activities and cleaning techniques can make cleaning a much more enjoyable activity for toddlers, juniors and teenagers alike.
If you’re struggling to teach your children the importance of cleaning up, give one of the four activity sets below a go. From preschool to high school, the cleaning tactics below will help your kids make cleaning and tidying natural habits.
Cleaning ideas for toddlers (2-3 years of age)
Teach your toddlers to keep the home neat and tidy and you’ll never need to worry about them becoming messy again. While toddlers obviously can’t vacuum carpets or fold towels, there are plenty of cleaning activities that they can do.
Start by teaching your toddlers to pick up toys after their finished playing. Then, get them to start dressing themselves in the morning. Once they’re finished for the day, teach them to put their dirty clothes inside the laundry basket for extra neatness!
Getting your toddlers involved in cleaning up is a great way to teach them the right habits for a neat and tidy life. You can even teach them how to do laundry by letting them help you move clothes from the laundry basket into the washing machine.
Cleaning ideas for preschool-aged children (4-5)
The cleaner and tidier your preschool-aged children are at home, the cleaner they’ll be at school. You can teach your preschool-aged kids all of the toddler-aged cleaning activities above, as well as plenty more.
Start by teaching your children how to set the table, from placemats to spoons and glasses. If they love cleaning up, move on to folding socks, towels, shirts and other clothing to familiarise them with laundry.
Are your preschool-aged kids confident cleaners? Teach them how to take care of plants and other house items – it only takes a few minutes of practice every day to familiarise your kids with watering houseplants.
Cleaning ideas for primary school children (6-12)
Primary school is when kids start to develop their own identity, and it’s also when they start becoming much more attached to their room. Because of this, it’s a great time to teach your kids the importance of keeping their room neat and tidy.
Start by teaching the importance of making your bed in the morning. Making a bed can be surprisingly fun when you turn it into a game – challenge your children with a test to see how quickly they can make their bed after they wake up.
Primary school is also a great time to teach your kids the basics of gardening. Start by teaching the children how to clean up the garden – raking leaves or digging dirt and so on – before moving on to watering and caring for plants.
Cleaning ideas for teenagers (13+)
Teenagers might have a reputation for messiness (to such a point that “teenager’s bedroom” inspires messiness-related nightmares for many parents) but with the right attitude, and the right tasks, they can be incredibly tidy and organised.
Start by teaching the importance of vacuuming, sweeping up dirt and dust and the importance of cleaning out the bathroom. This builds a valuable skill set that your teenagers can apply after they move out of home for university.
Focus on other home-related tasks like changing light bulbs, unblocking drains and shopping for groceries. With enough weekly practice, your teenaged children will be experts at running a home by the time they enter “the real world”.