Getting Kids Involved in the Cleaning Process: Tips for Making it Fun

Whether you’re the lucky parent of boys or girls (or both!), getting kids to do chores is even more challenging than putting the youngsters in bed on time. Let us face it – the number of kids that like to vacuum clean and organize their rooms can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.

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Turning chores into something fun or adding a competitive element to the process can inspire kids to help a bit with cleaning. Here are some of the best strategies to try in order to form healthy habits and get a bit of assistance.

Music Makes Everything Fun

Having fun while cleaning is all about the right atmosphere, so pump up the music and allow yourself to act a little bit silly. Let your inner Freddie Mercury shine through and try to "break free" while vacuum cleaning.

Upbeat tunes give us the motivation to do something. It’s particularly beneficial for the times when we feel lazy. Music is great for changing the mood, whether you’re a kid or an adult that would simply like to crash on the couch.

Use your children’s favorite CDs and play those during the cleaning process to change the ambiance in your home and put smiles on the faces of your little helpers.

Turn Cleaning into a Game 

There could be a special award for the person that manages to organize their clothes the fastest. Or maybe vacuum cleaning could become a relay race that involves mom, dad and the kids?

Children love to compete and they’ll feel particularly motivated to be little helpers if special awards are provided at the end of the process. After all, cleaning should be fun rather than something cumbersome.

When coming up with such game ideas, be careful not to pit siblings against each other. When kids have to compete against each other, they may end up sabotaging sibling efforts. The whole game may eventually transform in a large mess. It would be best to have each kid competing against mom and dad. Eventually, you can let the little ones win and everyone involved will be happy.

Set a Good Example and be Honest

Kids are likely to replicate the behavior they observe at home. If you’re messy and you can’t be bothered to tidy up, chances are that your little ones aren’t going to view cleaning as a main priority.

Leading by example is seen as a major cliché but it’s the basis of reference that kids have. To have a beautiful and organized house, you’ll have to put some effort in the process, as well.

Also, instead of making it a game every single time, let kids know that you need their help. Children tend to understand a lot more than what adults give them credit for. Be upfront about it and chances are that your little helpers will be eager to help you organize the house when you’re busy with other things or you aren’t feeling particularly well.

Make Tasks Age-Appropriate

Kids are eager to help mom and dad. This is a natural urge that little ones have and you shouldn’t curb it by having unrealistic expectations. Tasks that young kids can deal with are quite different from pre-teen and teen chores.

Young kids should get in the habit of organizing their toys and putting those in the designated area.

As they age, kids should be given an opportunity to do something a bit more complex like organizing clothes, dusting and vacuum cleaning. Focus on safety and make that your main priority. An accident during the cleaning process can make it very difficult for a child to get involved again.

Keep a Chore Chart

Have a big chore chart in your living room or your kitchen. Use it to keep everyone on the same page.

The weekly chart should let all members of the household know about their responsibilities and the time for the completion of each task. You may want to use a star system to track progress and eventually – to hand out awards to the top performers.

The chore chart should also list mom and dad’s responsibilities. By having everyone involved, you’ll turn cleaning in a family activity that’s nothing but fair.
,br>Finally, remember that you’re the person that knows your kids the best. Use the approach and the motivational strategy that will be most likely to get your little ones cleaning. Opt for honesty or for a game – it’s up to you to form those beneficial habits in a non-traumatizing and enjoyable way.


  1. I love and follow many of your ideas. Teaches responsibility :-) Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  2. Thank you for this! I've been trying to find ways to get my toddler involved, as I know she is capable!

  3. Yes yes yes!! I try to get my 3nager involved as muich as his attitude will allow lol!! Lately he's been wanting to clean his own room which is amazing!! Even though his organization needs a little work ;) He also helps with laundry and cooking!! Can't wait till he can help with the dishes ;)

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