Fall cleaning – simple ways to engage kids with the chores

Fall cleaning is more often than not done by only one person in the household – usually by the housewife herself. Of course, nobody wants to do all that job on their own and even though it’s not the most logical thing to do, we found out that indulging the kids, not our husbands, in the activity will not only help us with the cleaning and be character-building for the kids, but it’ll really makes the house clean as well.
And yet, as a rule, kids hate fall (that’s when school begins) and they hate cleaning even more (who likes it?!). So, indulging them in the cleaning processes may prove a lot more difficult thing to do. Every parent puts a lot of elbow grease into ‘luring’ the kids into cleaning but it’s an even more challenging to engage the kids into fall cleaning.
As you know, there are specific cleaning tasks included in fall cleaning – like chimney checkup and gutter cleaning, in which indulging the kids is a really bad idea. Nevertheless, there’s a wide variety of chores which can be done by your toddlers and pre-teens. Check out how I managed to ‘lure’ my kids into fall cleaning.
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#The point system

Whenever my kids do something wrong (and they tend to be bad just when school starts for god knows what reasons), I never scold them. Instead, here is the most effective way I found – we have a point system. Whoever does something wrong must collect a certain amount of points to ‘redeem their sin’. Picking up leaves is 20 points, holding the ladder while somebody cleans the gutters is 10 points, etc. Thus, they not only help me clean, but they learn that they can right their wrongs by doing something for the greater good of the family.
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#The superhero game

I’m a parent who strongly believes that her kids should be able to wear costumes whenever they feel like it, not only on Halloween. So, when we’re cleaning the windows during the fall cleaning, I let them wear their favorite costumes (usually, my son would be Spiderman and my daughter likes dress up as Window fairy). Of course, they can’t make the windows spotless, but they make them clean enough, which is fine by me. While they clean the windows, I can check their caulking and reapply it where necessary.

#The free trade policy

That’s one of my favorites. It’s based on the system of free trade – anyone can exchange cleaning tasks with one another. My daughter exchanged her picking up of leaves with my caulking last fall and I was amazed how good she did it (I almost didn’t have to do it all over again when she was done).
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#The gardener’s heaven game

I’m not a big fan of indoor plants, but I love my garden plants. When fall comes, I need to make sure that my plants will survive the harsh winter weather and I always have my kids by my side to pass me gardening tools, etc. I always try to explain everything I’m doing so that if they ever wish to start a garden, they’ll know what to do.
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#The pipe doctor game

That’s basically the same as the florist’s heaven, but I first ask them to make an inspection of the pipes (where possible). The kids are old enough to notice a broken pipe so that we can repair it together. We usually make a competition for this game – whoever notices most broken pipes will get to choose what we eat for dinner or what to watch after dinner.
By: Nicole Gardiner
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