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3 Cleaning Games to Play with Your Kids

True confessions time!  My house is a mess.  My husband and I are both very creative people with lots of hobbies and crafts.  We like to joke that between us, we own every department of Hobby Lobby.  If you're looking for a craft supply or tool, we probably have it (haha).  But, cleaning is NOT creative, and it's really hard to motivate anyone in the house to get some work done.  This morning, I was sharing with another special needs mom some of the games we play at our house to make cleaning more fun.

Side Note- A few weeks ago, I posted this picture to my Instagram account and caused an absolute storm of controversy.  I had no idea how many people think that kids should not do chores of any kind.  How many people think that asking kids to clean is child abuse.

On this particular day, this child made a huge mess on the window.  I attempted to clean it up several different ways (with his help), but nothing was working, so I told him we'd have to get the ladder out.  The rest of the kids were jealous that they didn't get to clean on the ladder (hehe).  I was right under the ladder the whole time stabilizing it and giving instructions.  He also expressed how happy he was to get the job done.  Anyway, now onto the list!

1- I Spy Things that Don't Belong

To combat the feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness when confronting a dirty house, we play a fun and easy game of I-spy.  This is the kids' favorite game.  I tell them, "I spy things that don't belong" and then list them something to find.  "I spy a purple comb" or "I spy 3 bowls."  The kids race to be the first to get the item and put it away.  It's amazing how much neater the house looks after just a few rounds of cleaning I-spy.

2- Yes, Mom, What's Next?

Some of my kids can't follow multiple step directions to remember all the pieces that needs to be done to accomplish a task.  When a lot needs to be done all over the house, we play "Yes, Mom.  What's Next?"  This game also works well if I'm busy doing something else like washing dishes, doing laundry, or cooking.  Each of the kids comes up to me and asks, "Yes, Mom.  What's Next?"  I then assign them a task that I know they can accomplish.  It might be starting a load of laundry, picking up and putting away one item at a time, or setting the table.  The kids love the accomplishment they feel when they complete a short task, and I love how much we can get done in a short amount of time.

3- Beat the Clock

I realize this game is not original and probably the one that works the least well in our family.  I mostly use it for myself.  I set a timer on my phone and try to get as much done as I can before the timer goes off.  Or I try to finish my task before the time ends.  This game doesn't work well for my kids yet, because they tend to get distracted by the timer and watching the time countdown and don't actually get anything done.

Do your kids do chores?  Do they pick up after themselves?  Do you think cleaning is child abuse?  What cleaning games do you play?  Let me know in the comments!

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