How to get kids involved in spring cleaning

How to get kids involved in spring cleaning

When spring begins, many households participate in some form of spring cleaning to start fresh after months spent indoors. While certain tasks are most appropriate for adults, there are ways to involve family members of all ages in spring cleaning and make it fun.

“Giving children responsibilities helps cultivate a sense of autonomy,” says Dr. Alpa Shah, a pediatrician with Aurora Health Care. “By having a child complete tasks that they can manage on their own, they are learning many critical life skills, including independence and capability. By working together as a family to get a job done, you also are instilling the importance of teamwork, a sense of accomplishment and pride.”

Additionally, you may not realize it, but cleaning is a great way to fit physical activity into your family’s daily schedule.

Not sure what cleaning tasks are right for your child? Dr. Shah provides examples broken down by age group:

Young children (2-3 years old)
  • Toddlers and young children can begin to understand the concept of putting away toys and books when they are finished with them. Children in this age group watch parents and caregivers carefully and often imitate or model behavior. So, it isn’t a bad idea to pick up a toy vacuum or mop or hand them a rag so they can play alongside you.
Preschool-aged children (4-5 years old)
  • At this age, children can help sort or fold laundry, push a handheld vacuum if not too heavy, wipe down surfaces and help clean up after mealtime. Many children in this age group also enjoy helping with yardwork, including picking up sticks or leaves and gardening.
Elementary-aged children (6-10 years old)
  • Children in this age group are typically ready for recurring chores, including making beds, taking out trash or feeding pets. They can also help dust, tidy and organize items.
Age 11 and up
  • Preteens and teens can take on larger responsibilities, including loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, mopping floors and decluttering. This is a good age to discuss shared responsibility and accountability for household chores.

Talk with your child to help determine the cleaning tasks that are right for them and come up with a plan for accomplishing them.

Are you trying to find a pediatrician? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.