For little hands that lack dexterity, some chores around the casa just can’t be done — or at least done well. But encouraging your children to pitch in helps them realize that a living space doesn’t magically tidy itself. And hey, it might save you some extreme bending-over time when it comes to cleaning the low areas — baseboards, vents, cabinets, drawers. Win-win! Impart a little fun into any of these age-appropriate cleaning activities, and consider your space spotless.
Mommy and Me Sweeping
Younger kids would have a hard time with heavy vacuums or mastering the hand coordination required for a broom and dustpan. We say, skip ‘em. Hand your child a dry Swiffer Sweeper and let him or her go to town attracting all the dirt and dust on your hardwood or tile floors. If your mini cleaning pro still wants to try out the vacuum, do it together.
Kids are short; use it to your advantage. Stubborn spills and dust are sometimes rampant on low kitchen drawers and cabinets. Grab a toxin-free, all-purpose cleaner and a few paper towels and have your child wipe down each bottom-most surface. Tip: Instruct kids to use only one spritz per cabinet or drawer or you’ll have a bigger mess on your hands than when you started. Another pint-sized place where kids can clean? Consider the baseboards, window sills, and lower vents.
Ready, Set, Table
Handing little ones anything breakable is a akin to handing them a black permanent marker near a white wall. But setting the table doesn’t have to be an off-limits activity. Let young kids learn the dinner table-setting process beginning with placemats and napkins. If you’re using cloth napkins with napkin rings, let them get creative with how they loop the napkin through.
Sort It Out
While it’s probably best to steer clear of letting tots pour detergent or be too close to the washing machine or dryer, you can get them in the laundering spirit with a lesson in proper clothes sorting. Delegate all white items to your child and make a game out of how many things he or she can throw into the basket in 45 seconds.