Uh-oh…it’s a rainy day and your kids are stuck in the house. Maybe you had planned to get the cleaning done this weekend, or while the kids were at school and you forgot it was a holiday. Or maybe you have kids who are too young to be in school. Whatever the reason – you have a rainy day, kids in the house, and cleaning that needs to be done. Can you actually get anything done, or will you have to clean another day?
Here’s an idea: why not get the kids involved in spring cleaning? You can bust boredom and get cleaning done at the same time! Here are some ideas.
Kids usually love to find stuff – hence the game “hide and seek.” Tell your children you’re on a hunt to find forgotten and or lost toys (you will!), or slip a fun treasure like a gold chocolate coin under the piles of stuff you need to go through. They’ll find the coin at the bottom.
As you find toys, it can be hard for kids to get rid of them; they’re like new again. So maybe this would be a good time to concentrate on organizing rather than donating (for now). Put the newly-discovered items in their own “homes” in the form of bins.
Put on fun music and clean to the rhythm! This is a great way to get everyone energized and having fun. You can do fun dance moves as you vacuum, throw things away, wipe counters, mop, etc. It’s also a great workout!
Play an assembly line game. This works for cleaning out things like kitchen cabinets or pantries. Get your kids in a line (this works with one child, too) with a garbage bag at the end of the line. Pass down old items that need to be discarded and let the last person toss it in. You can switch around so everyone gets a turn to toss the item in the garbage. Set up a basketball-type hoop over the trash if you want to make it even more fun.
As you clean out, let the kids get ideas for making something out of one or two items (it’s a good idea to limit it to one or two; kids’ creative imaginations can find reasons to save about anything). After cleaning, promise your children you’ll do a craft with them from the saved items.
Soup can puppets, plastic bottle bird-feeders, and other fun things can be made with recycled items. Some of those old spices and herbs from the kitchen cabinets have interesting containers, too; clean them out and do layered colored salt or sand crafts, or plant seeds in them.