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How To Turn Spring Cleaning Into A Teachable Moment For Your Kids

They say that cleaning up while you still have kids at home is like shoveling your driveway while it’s still snowing, an uphill and ultimately unwinnable battle.

Being a parent you find yourself constantly tripping over toys, fishing half eaten snacks out of their backpacks, scrubbing markers off the walls and scraping melted crayons off the carpet. 

The best thing you can do is try and get your kids involved and on board with the cleaning process. Sure, there will still be messes, after all, kids will be kids BUT if you find ways to incorporate cleaning into your kids lives then your life will become infinitely easier.

So, let’s talk about how to involve your kids in your spring cleaning!

Kids love to feel more grown up and rejoice in demonstrating their independence. Usually, a young child’s independence will be projected in a bizarre outfit they picked out themselves, a tiara and two different shoes, a Spider-Man costume and ski boots. However, kids crave responsibility and giving them that responsibility, in a controlled environment of course, helps them to grow and take ownership over their own actions.

So when it comes to spring cleaning, gather all your kids toys in a pile on the floor. When it comes to our kids toys we have some sentimental favourites, bespoke wooden toys, hand stitched soft toys but we also have a mess of mangled plastic that is rarely played with, constantly tripped over and that you’d happily see go.

Gather these toys on the floor and explain to your kids that they need to pull out ten, twenty or thirty toys that they no longer play with. Explain to them that either these toys will be given to other boys and girls whose parents would love to buy them lots of toys but can’t always afford to or that they will be thrown away. Obviously it’s always preferable to be able to donate to charity but old toys but broken toys with missing parts or bite marks are not suitable for donation and for those toys you can call up 1300 Rubbish household services for professional, ethical and eco-friendly rubbish removals. For the gently used toys that are suitable for donation, check out these great places to donate.

This is an important way to teach your kids about letting go and about the importance of giving back and supporting others who are in less fortunate positions. You can turn this into a teaching moment for your kids to teach them about the life-cycle of objects, what can and can’t be recycled and the importance of reusing and reducing waste overall. 

Once your children have successfully separated their toys into ones they’d like to keep rather than donate or throw away then together you can work on finding a place for them all. Once again, giving your children responsibility here may just help them keep their rooms tidier going forwards. For more tips on how to encourage children to keep their space clean, check out these tips from Montessori teachers

If you’ve been reading this and thinking, ‘that’s great but there’s no way my kids are going to willingly give up a single toy,’ then you can always resort to the tried and true parenting hack of light bribery. Explain to them that if they get rid of the set number of toys then they will be rewarded with one new toy they’ve had their eye on. Parenting is hard but if you’ve got to bribe your kids to make your lives a little bit easier then we’re all for it.

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