Too young to learn how to clean? Nah, not in our book!
With a little guidance and a lot of patience, it’s absolutely possible to engage pre-schoolers with some light house cleaning duties, and in fact, they are often capable of taking on more than we might give them credit for. The key to a successful cleaning pre-schooler, is to show them exactly what you want them to do, and to have a lot of patience until they get it right, or at least close to what you want. Encouragement and gratitude are also important; most younger children are eager to please, and by letting them know how much they’re helping you and how grateful you are for their efforts, you’ll likely get a lot more out of them, and they’ll clean unbegrudgingly.
While a lot will depend on each individual child and their abilities, desires and concentration spans, they should at least be able to complete some of the tasks listed below, and even if you have to go behind them and do the tasks again, it has kept them busy and given them something to focus on for a short time.
General cleaning chores for pre-schoolers
Try some of these simple tasks out on your pre-schooler and see how they get on:
- Wiping cupboards or baseboards with baby wipes
- Folding some laundry – select simple items such as towels and dishcloths
- Matching socks and sorting laundry into colors (darks/lights)
- Put away clean laundry
- Making their bed every morning
- Putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket when necessary
- Clean windows with a damp cloth
- Pick up toys and games and put them away
- Unload groceries
- Water plants
- Light vacuuming
- Wiping bathroom counters with a damp cloth
- Wiping door knobs/handles
Pre-schoolers can also be helpful at meal times, and while you’re busy cooking in the kitchen, they can be doing the following:
- Setting the table with serviettes and cutlery
- Calling other family members to the table
Then, once eating has finished, they can:
- Take the dirty plates and bowls to the kitchen
- Place them in the dishwasher or sink
- Wipe down the table and sweep up crumbs
The more you can get your kids involved with cleaning at an early age, the stronger the chance of them continuing to help you around the home as they grow older. Just keep in mind that they may need a lot of encouragement and guidance, and will almost certainly need a lot of praise, and possibly even some rewards!
For all the things your pre-schoolers can’t help you with (and let’s face it, there will be a lot!), hire a cleaning service and get the chores done without you having to lift a finger.