Ever since I can remember, both of my kids have always loved helping me clean. There are some times where I don't want their help, ha ha, but you know what I mean-- I just want to quickly and thoroughly clean something on my own. Cleaning to me, is almost therapeutic. Call me crazy, but I find it calming and relaxing to clean. Maybe it's because it gives me a little alone time and I can actually hear my own thoughts? Also, I'm one of those women when I get irritated or mad, I go clean, ha ha seriously-- it calms me down! While I like to do cleaning tasks on my own, I also know it's important to allow my kids to help me, and to teach them how to clean and how to do it the right way the first time. It teaches them responsibility AND when they finish cleaning tasks, they'll feel accomplishment and will be proud of themselves. Plus, it also helps mom around the house, and we can all use a little extra help, right?!
So what age is a good age to start teaching your child how to clean? Well I guess it depends on what cleaning task we are talking about, but I think the earlier the better! Making cleaning tasks around the house "fun" is what will get your kids to want to clean and help out around the house, at least it does for my kids!
So here are some easy cleaning tasks your young children can help you with around the house. My son turned 3 in May and loves helping me with the following...
1. Dusting-- allow your child to have a feather duster or Swiffer duster so they can easily dust off furniture and items they can reach. Keep a close eye on them if you have fragile items on an end table! Easy furniture for them to dust are the shelves on a bookshelf, end tables, tv stand, coffee table, etc.
2. Cleaning the TV and windows-- my son loves to clean our TV's and windows. I'll spray the window cleaner and he'll take his little cleaning rag and wipe them all down.
3. Folding laundry-- this one may seem like a hard task, but I think you'll be surprised at how well your young child might do! My son loves to help fold laundry. He watches me how I fold, plus I take the time to show him how to fold nicely since he wants to fold correctly. It's so cute to see him do this task.
4. Helping take dishes out of the dishwasher-- again, this is another task you have to help with or keep a close eye on your child, especially since dishes are fragile AND you don't want your child touching sharp knives (if you have any in the dishwasher). My son likes to hand me each dish as I put them away.
5. Putting away toys, books and anything else on the floor-- this is an obvious task probably, but I have to admit that for years I always did this task at the end of every day. Your child is more than capable to put their toys in their toy box/organizer, their books in their bookshelf, put their crayons in their box or container and throw away any trash that may have ended up on the floor, etc.
6. Vacuum-- this is something my son loves to do! He actually asks me to vacuum, and as long as the floor is completely free of items, I let him have it. I think in about a year or less I'll let him take our little Red Devil and vacuum the stairs. If I were to let him now, I would stand behind him the whole time, as I wouldn't want him falling backwards accidentally and hurting himself.
7. Making the bed-- this is a great daily task that you can make a habit or must-do each morning. It's nice to walk into a bedroom and see a nice tidy bed instead of it looking like a mess with pillows everywhere.
Like I said, having your child help around the house is something a lot of young kids want to do, so let them! They'll love being mommy's little helper and it'll make you feel good seeing how happy they are helping and knowing they feel proud of themselves for doing "big girl/big boy" tasks that they always see mommy and/or daddy doing!