Half term for schools is looming around the corner. While teachers may be looking forward to some much-needed relaxation time, for parents, it can often be the opposite.
As well as finding activities for the children to do, you will probably find that the house gets ten times messier, as toys come out more frequently and they finally want to try out that new painting kit they got for Christmas. The cleaning and washing can feel like it just never ends.
The best way to tackle this issue is to create some fun activities for the kids to help you with the cleaning. The activities listed will vary depending on age, but you can adapt each activity and tailor it to convince your children to grab that dustpan and brush!
Cleaning This Half Term
Make it a Half Term Competition
Children love to compete, so it makes perfect sense to turn cleaning into a competition — but there are two things which need to be crystal clear when organising this.
Firstly, the rules need to set and understood. If you ask the children who can clean their room the quickest, state what exactly needs to be done. One of the children could finish in five minutes, but all they’ve done is thrown their toys into a box and pushed things under the bed. Make a precise a list of everything they need to do and check it once they say they’ve finished. It can be as long or short as you want.
Secondly, you need to find an enticing prize. The prize needs to motivate them to be quick but efficient. For example, do they always fight about which television programme to watch? Let the winner decide. Be creative and think of something every child will want to win.
If your child likes drama and dressing up, using role play is perfect for getting them cleaning around the house — and there are a few creative ways you can use role play to get them active.
One is to have them dress up as their favourite characters and make them clean like that character, such as Harry Potter (you could even put some magical music on as well!). Another, more adventurous idea is doing role play for an advert while cleaning. If the little ones are wiping down kitchen surfaces, tell them they have to advertise the sponge at the same time. Let them know afterwards if you would buy the sponge based on the advert.
The Colour Game
This simple idea is great when you’re trying to do some washing. Call out a colour and the children have to find all the dirty clothes of that colour and put them in the washing machine. See how quickly they can do it for each colour; you could even give them a prize for each colour. For example, if they find all the white clothes the quickest, give them some white chocolate.
Creating a chart for the kids’ cleaning and tidying progress can be a lot of fun. Add your own name to the chart so they can monitor your progress, too! List different tasks such as making the bed, washing up and putting away toys or books. Each time the children do a task, they get a star. When they get ten stars on a task, they get a prize. If they get ten stars on each task in one week, they could get an extra special prize, like a trip to the cinema or a takeaway pizza. If it’s a good prize, you might be surprised at how quickly they do all of the tasks!
Set an Example and Show Appreciation
The most important thing when you’re cleaning this half term and trying to get your children to do the same is to set an example. While they’re doing some cleaning, do some yourself; it sets a good example and shows them that it’s important. After they’ve done a good job, always praise them and tell them how it good it looks; that praise will be something they’ll work hard to receive on a regular basis.
About the Author:
Ankush Gupta is a cleaning expert and owner of St Anne’s housekeeping agency in London. Offering domestic and commercial cleaning services, Ankush and the team know the best ways to keep a home tidy.