If you’re a Mom to a school going child, you are probably familiar with some universal parenting struggles. These include (and are by no means restricted to) – waking them up on school mornings, getting them to bed on school nights, getting them to eat vegetables and of course, getting them to clean their rooms! Kids’ rooms often resemble mini war-zones and it can leave you wondering what on earth transpired in there to make it look the way it does!
It might seem easier (and tempting) to clean up the mess yourself – after all, it’ll get done the way you want and in half the time it takes the kids. Plus, you won’t end up discovering a long lost car with a missing wheel and drop everything to play with it. But getting kids to clean their own rooms is important, since they need to take responsibility for their space and their belongings. It fosters independence and creates a sense of accomplishment when they’re done (whenever that is). But like we mentioned, for you to feel accomplished you need to convince the kids to at least start cleaning! So today we’ve got something just for you – fun ways to get kids to clean their rooms.
10 Fun Ways to get Kids to Clean their Rooms
1. Use a Checklist
There’s something very satisfying about ticking things off your to-do list isn’t there? Let your kids experience that same satisfaction with this simple but effective checklist from Early Bird Mom. Let the kids tick each task as they go, and once they get into it, they’ll feel motivated enough to finish the list – job done!
2. Offer a Reward
Some Moms may call it a bribe, but whatever the name may be, it does work! Dangle a carrot (well, not really a carrot) in front of them, and let them work to get it. It could be anything from extra TV time to candy to a trip to the mall – anything to get the job done.
3. Make it a Race
A little bit of competition always works with younger kids, especially if you pit sibling against sibling! Blow a whistle and see who cleans their room the fastest, with the promise of a treat (see point no. 2). If you have an only child, set a timer and let your child race against it. Make it more fun by using a cute timer like this one from Amazon.
4. Put up a Sign
If your child’s problem isn’t exactly reluctance but rather forgetfulness, then these fun signs from Busy Mommy Media should work. They work like the open/close signs of a shop – put up the Messy sign when the room needs cleaning and let it stay on till it’s tidied. No yelling ‘Clean your room!’ – just peaceful, non-violent reminders!
5. Try Color Cleaning
Kids love innovative ideas, and this one is great for the younger lot. Ask them to walk through their room with a basket and pop in all the red things that are out of place – toys, clothes, stationery. Do this with each color and then you can sort through each basket separately. Yes, it’s a little time consuming, but pretty effective!
6. Engage in Role Playing
Well, this will require some involvement from Mom. You’ll have to turn into a pirate, the captain of your ship who demands that the other pirates clear up the ship right away ‘Aaarghh!’ Or, you could turn into the evil stepmother who insists that Cinderella clean up her room before the ball. Make it more fun by bringing in some props; everyone can manage an eye patch!
7. Organize a Treasure Hunt
This is kind of like offering a prize, but it’s trickier – the kids have to clean their room to find the hidden prize. If you think your kids might outsmart you by finding the treasure first and leaving the room as is, you can try something else. Drop clues here and there in the room, which eventually point to the exact location of the treasure. That’s a game that’s too tempting not to play!
8. Play Music
Have a version of musical chairs, where the kids have to continue cleaning as long as the music plays and freeze when the music stops. Hold it for about half a minute and then play again. Play some fun tunes that they’ll enjoy, so that the cleaning process doesn’t feel like a drudge.
9. Take a Photograph
If your child is a fan of makeover shows on TV, then she’ll like this one. Take a picture of the messy room and stick it up where she can see it, with ‘Before’ written on it. It’s way too tempting to add an ‘After’ photo next to it, so she’s bound to clean her room! Indulge her with an after photo and keep the two in a visible place to act as motivation for next time!
10. Get out the Clutter Jail
When all else fails, bring out the clutter jail. Have a big bin (preferably transparent), and drop in your child’s valuable toys that he leaves lying around his room. Now if he needs them back, he has no option but to clear his room. Sorry if it sounds harsh, but that’s how clutter jail works!
So you see, getting your child to clean her room needn’t be a chore for you, there are many fun ways to do it! Do consider your child’s temperament and age before choosing a method, for maximum effectiveness. Soon you’ll find that they actually look forward to cleaning their room and having fun!