It’s important to help kids learn household skills– even when it takes longer and may not produce perfect results.
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I have a confession to make. My kids want to help out around the house, more than I want to let them.
Well. It’s not that I don’t want to let them, it’s just that it’s so much easier — and faster — to do it myself.
When they come to me and say, “Mommy, can I have a job?” or “What can I do to help you?” or “Can I clean something?” I have to stop and remind myself it’s a good thing. No, it’s a great thing!
I used to stop and think what can I possibly have them do? They usually aren’t interested in cleaning their bedrooms and I want to do something that will actually help me.
We’ve tried several chore charts. I laminate them and pair them with a dry erase marker for the kids to mark things off as they go. Those work — for a while. After a few weeks they get old, and the kids start asking to do different jobs.
What’s worked best for us?
Personalized Cleaning Kits.
I take a small caddy, fill it with homemade kid-friendly cleaners, a couple of microfiber cloths, and a duster. See my post on kits HERE.
The kit is theirs. They can use it whenever they want, without asking, in any room they want. After two years, you’d think it would have gotten old. They may not make it out twelve times a day anymore, but it’s still fun.
The two favorite things? A fabric freshener we call Refreshe (homemade Febreze) and a feather duster.
Now, I know what you’re thinking on that duster: all it does is push the dust around. But let me say, if you get the right kind of feather duster, it does a fabulous job — and they’re so fun for kids to use! Don’t get the synthetic feathers – those things are a complete waste. What you want is an ostrich feather duster like THIS ONE. They brush against each other, causing a static charge, and when you run them over furniture in long gentle strokes instead of those tiny little flicks you used to see maids using in old movies, they do a surprisingly good job. Then the kids get to take them outside and give them a nice sharp shake, and watch the cloud of dust fly away.
Refreshe is so simple to make. In fact, I’ll give you the recipe tomorrow! See that post here.
Pair your child’s cleaning kit with a laminated card with instructions for cleaning each room and you’re golden.