June 13, 2006

Making Cleaning Fun with Kids

I am the first to admit I hate cleaning. I think I always have. I have repeatedly in my life tried to have a change of heart and have never managed to do it. I have gotten better at it over the years and our house is fine.

Yet I do not want my kids to grow up feeling the way I do about housework so I am really trying to be better, atleast for them. As in many other areas of life, my kids are often the motivation that finally pushes me to just do it.

With summer here and homeschooling responsibilities off our shoulders now is the time to make this transition. Yesterday we managed to have a fun time implementing some of the techniques recommended by Fly Lady, a free online self-help for messies like me.

We decided to the the "Home Blessing Hour" she recommends together. During this hour you do the following tasks, in about ten minute increments:

* Vacuum
* Dust
* Mop
* Polish Mirrors and Doors
* Purge magazines
* Change Sheets
* Empty all trash

To make it more fun I wrote the tasks on small pieces of paper and let the kids take turns choosing them - then we ran around the house together for 10 minutes doing as much as we could. Their favorite tasks were polish mirrors, windows and doors and mopping. Yes I said mopping!

I tried something different and they loved it. For our mopping time they all changed into bathing suits and I got a big bucket of water and some big rags. They dipped the rag in water and sat on them and scooched around the floor on their bottoms. They had a blast doing this and got wet and my floor got cleaner in the process. Not perfect mind you, but much better than it was 10 minutes ago. In 10 minutes they did our kitchen floor and entry way. I helped with a rag to get the corners and stubborn spots. As a reward and to rinse off they ran in the sprinkler.

When we polished the doors and mirrors they all loved the squirting part and the reward was the biggest helper/hardest worker got the "reward" of helping me wash the outside windows with the hose. Ciaran won that reward and Sirah and Rhia both said next week they would work harder so they could do that.

We set a timer and did as much as we could in that amount of time. The only one we kept going a bit longer was making the beds so we could finish the task. I think they liked knowing that it was only going to be a short time on each task. We also broke it up with some playtime and the sprinkler so our hour took two hours to get done but the kids had playtime in the middle and enjoyed it and look forward to doing it again.

We did some silly things and talked about ways to make it fun as well as how nice it was to have everything done and how nice it felt to be clean.

We also started a project, turning our office into a guest room and have been working on it a bit at a time with the kids help. Well I have spent the morning indoors and need to get outside on this beautiful day!


No comments:

Post a Comment