Learn children how to clean

As the saying goes, "Start them young, and they'll carry on." If you involve your children in cleaning from an early age, they will have less trouble with it later on. Plus, having a few extra hands during cleaning is always welcome. Occasionally, I manage to get my kids to help out too. Check out my tips on how I do it.

Tip from Morris:

Transform the Dust Magnet into a sword and let your child battle the dust monsters under the furniture.

Let's get started

Tip 1: Assign children regular chores

Children can be very helpful with tasks like doing the dishes, setting and clearing the table, and making their own beds. These may be small chores, but they give your child more responsibility. And of course, they'll love it even more if there's a fun reward involved!

Tip 2: Be patient, as it won't be perfect right away

Remember how you learned all the handy cleaning tricks through trial and error? Let your child give it a try and give them a compliment when they do well. And if it doesn't work out, offer constructive criticism and help your child do it properly. Never resort to a "fine, I'll do it myself" attitude.

Tip 3: Turn cleaning into a game

Set a timer for 10 minutes and have a race to see who can tidy up their toys the fastest.

More fun ideas:

•       Let your child help conquer the Mountains of Dishes with the Cloth of Vanishing Water (a tea towel). Tell them that the clean dishes must be stored away properly, so the Sneaky Scoundrels won't get their thieving hands on them.

•       Enlist your child's help in polishing sinks and faucets, pretending there's a Wishing Genie inside. If they do a good job, they get to make three candy wishes to the genie!

•       Children love their toys, especially displaying ALL of them. Give them a little quest before bedtime: tidy up all their toys neatly in exchange for an exciting bedtime story!

•       Let your children assist in collecting and putting away the laundry. On your signal, they can gather all the dirty clothes from their rooms and toss them into the laundry basket. For putting away the laundry, do the same: place the clean clothes in the laundry basket and instruct the children to put away their clothes as quickly as possible before the Dragon steals them! Of course, the quest would be complete if your partner dressed up as a dragon.

Tip 4: Chores by age

The more you involve your children in household chores, the more they'll enjoy it. With all that responsibility, they'll start feeling a lot more grown-up! Of course, a 2-year-old can't handle the same chores as a 12-year-old.

Children under 4 years old aren't quite adept enough to tidy up toys independently or operate a vacuum cleaner. But they can still help out:

  • Give them a soft microfiber cloth to help with dusting.

  • Let them sweep up crumbs with a dustpan and brush.

  • Teach them to put their own dishes in the dishwasher or dry plastic dishes.

Between the ages of 5 and 8, they can clean somewhat independently, but still need some guidance from you:

  • Have them tidy up their own room and give them a soft cloth for dusting.

  • Gradually teach them how to vacuum, so they can, for example, clean their own room.

  • Let them assist with loading and unloading the dishwasher or drying dishes.

From around 9 years old, they can do much more independently, but because they have a lot on their minds (school, friends, and sports), it's nice to create a kind of schedule with fixed tasks for them:

  • Teach them to independently load the dishwasher or do the dishes.

  • Let them help with washing the car.

  • Give them more responsibility with pets (under supervision, of course), such as walking the dog, cleaning the rabbit hutch, or feeding the cat.

  • Have them put their own dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

More cleaning tips for the house

From small cleaning tasks to the ultimate spring cleaning, with the right cleaning tools and our tips, you'll always be done in no time.

My cleaning essentials