One of the keys to cleaning with children is choosing the right materials to work with, the other is teaching them the right way to do the job. Easier said than done, we’re aware, but we have some tried and true tips from our staff (who are also parents) that work.
Use kid-friendly cleaning materials. There are a lot of cleaning materials that are actually fun to use. Especially if you make it fun. Fairy dust spray anyone? But really, using things like Lemons to clean grout is a great example of how you can give a sensory experience to a child while teaching them some foundational life skills.
Let them do it. Yes you might waste a little, but really what’s waste when you’re teaching valuable skills? So let them sprinkle the baking soda in the toilet or on the carpet before you vacuum or allow them to use a spray bottle and spray vinegar on to the tub and scrub it with their favorite washrag. You can make this fun by encouraging them to pretend the solution is something creative--Unicorn food perhaps? **bonus points if you make washrags from recycled materials at home. Perhaps an old unrepairable t-shirt?
Make household cleaners together. We like to create a science like environment so that kids feel like they’re real scientists. Encourage them to mix vinegar and water and stir it together. We like to put the vinegar in multiple different sized and colored containers so they feel like their mixing more. You can use that same solution and set a little aside and add baking soda to it (this can be used as a toilet cleaner).
Get creative with the tools. We typically clean with the same tools, brushes, and rags every time. Although they make be effective they may not be the most inspiring to spark a child to want to clean. However a tool that catches their attention could be the key to spark the desire to clean. It could be a star shaped sponge, or a brush that they get to add their favorite stickers to, it could simply be their favorite color. You could buy a set, but you could also make one! Use sticks and old socks to create a horse inspired mop, even an old toothbrush has inspired one of our little’s to help clean grout on the shower floor. It’s really about making it safe and engaging.
Do you have a tip to share with us?
We’d love to hear it!