Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning with Kids

     My daughter loves Easter and one of the big ways we prepare to celebrate is with Spring Cleaning.  Now I wouldn't say that my kid really enjoys spring cleaning but she does like to be my helper.  There are just a few things I'm comfortable having my 4 year old doing. Nothing says safety like a 4 year old cleaning gutters!
We CAN do it!

      In our home I also have my niece and nephew during the week too and I'm really big on getting kids involved in picking up their belonging throughout the day. I feel that my home is much calmer and relaxed when the kid stuff is corralled in an appropriate spots. We have a large tub of coloring books and paper along with crayons, pencils and markers stacked (usually haphazardly, they are kids after all) in the corner of the dining room ready to go. We pulled out all the color books and papers and recycled any that they were ready to let go of. This is a good time for me to practice patience and try to not rush my daughter. I get rid of plenty during the rest of the year but I need her to learn how to decide what is worth keeping and what is not. We do the same with her random toy tub. She's much more free with letting go of toys than her art!


     We also have several puzzles.  The cardboard boxes rarely make it pass the first few sessions.  We solved that problem by using Ikea Glis boxes.  I cut out the small picture from the box to show what the finished puzzle looks like.  It also helps the non-readers identify which puzzles are what.  With the puzzles themselves being cardboard, this is also a good time to recycle any whose pieces have been bent (or chewed) or don't stay interlinked. 

     We de-clutter the refrigerator the same way as the coloring box and also sort through the random toy tub.  We donate or pass along toys they've out grown.  Other than that, the cleaning things I'm ok with them doing include helping with the dishwasher unloading, wiping all the door knobs and light switches with antibacterial kitchen wipes, and dusting stuff at their level. Those are also daily chores so it's not really that exciting but making a game out of it makes it go super fast!

Happy Duster!
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